The Chalk Blog

Fresh Ideas for Indoor Recess

1.11 Blog HeaderIndoor recess again?! This is the phrase every teacher dreads hearing after an exhausting morning of lessons. You know your students need an outlet for their energy and a break from the cognitive demands of the classroom, but the extreme weather has made outdoor time impossible. What do you do? If puzzles and board games just aren’t cutting it anymore, check out a few of our fresh ideas below! These 10 indoor recess activities will help beat boredom (and save your sanity!): 

  1. Finger knitting

All students need is some inexpensive yarn and their fingers to create a handmade bracelet, scarf, or belt! 

  1. Directed drawing

Let Art for Kids Hub guide your students through the steps to draw amazing creations like this ice cream cone tower.  

  1. Virtual field trip

Want to take your students on a faraway excursion? Virtual field trips are the answer! With just a few clicks you can transport your class to the rainforest, ocean floor, or to a museum in Paris. 

**Take learning to the next level with these 10 Virtual Field Trip Activities that can enhance and extend the experience. 


  1. Magic Bin 

Do you have extra cardboard boxes, craft sticks, and tape lying around? Start a “Magic Bin Challenge'' with your class! Invite each student to use the materials from the bin to create their own invention. Begin your challenge with inspiration from the book, Miss Makey and the Magic Bin: 

  1. Origami

Grab a piece of paper and get folding! Students will love following along with the easy origami projects featured on the Art for Kids Hub YouTube channel, including this dragon: 


Introduce your students to the fundamentals of coding with They can build an app or video game, create poetry and even program some of their favorite characters from Frozen, Star Wars, and Minecraft. 

 **For a deeper dive into teaching students to code, scope out our new course 5206: Integrating Computational Thinking and Coding Across the Curriculum. 


  1. GoNoodle

Help your students release all that pent up energy with one of GoNoodle’s dance-along music videos. Students can sing, dance and workout all while building academic and SEL skills.  Check out one of my favorites from Blazer Fresh (available on the GoNoodle site): 

  1. Chopstick Challenge

Grab some chopsticks and challenge your students with this team building activity! 

  1. Human Tic-Tac-Toe

Recreate the ageless game of tic-tac-toe with a new twist! Student teams race each other to make three in row using their bodies, or other items around the classroom: 


  1. Classic Games

Nothing beats the old standards! These games never failed to generate fun and excitement in every classroom I’ve been in. Maybe it’s time to dust off the classics like Heads Up 7 Up or my personal favorite for just a few minutes of quiet, Silent Ball: 


Now when it’s too cold, too hot, or too wet, no problem! You’ve got 10 fresh ideas to keep your students busy during indoor recess all year! 

Topics: Teaching Advice, Instructional Strategies, Student Engagement

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