It can’t be all sunshine and rainbows with those inevitable rainy days on the horizon.
Indoor play can mean stress and improvisation for the average teacher, especially when you run out of classroom games to try. But fear not – with 35 fun indoor recess games and activities, you’ll have plenty to keep your students occupied.
Here are our best 35 Fun Indoor Recess Games & Activities
Read on to get some excellent ideas for fun classroom games that the kids are sure to love:
- Duck, Duck, Goose – why not go with a classic when it’s on hand? This game provides a little exercise and a lot of sitting-down time, perfect for keeping students happy when it’s miserable outside.
- Row your boat – pair up students and have them join hands to sing classic nursery row. Row your boat is one of the best elementary games.
- What time is it, Mr. Fox? – this game is sure to have your students squealing in delight and is ideal for developing motor skills.
- GoNoodle – this online interactive website has plenty for students to do and links up to most smartboards. Sit back and let it do the work for you.
- Freeze dance – getting your students moving and grooving is easy with fun classroom games involving dance. Stop the music for a freeze, and anyone left boogying will be out.
- Drawing and coloring – a simple activity but one that all kids love. Break out the colored pencils, and you’ll soon be having a blast.
- Red light, green light – as far as games to play in class go, this one is always a winner. Perfect for preschool and up.
- Chicken dance – students love learning new dances, whether old school songs or the latest video game dances. Pull up a video and start busting those moves.
- Board games – for older students, fun classroom games can mean quiet time and some good solid snakes and ladders fun. Don’t forget the dice!
- Yoga and stretching – for more low-key activities, yoga tops the charts. Throw on some relaxing music and gentle stretches, and you’ll all feel ready for afternoon lessons.
- Charades – another excellent classroom game for kids selection. This game will have you all in stitches with some of the best mimes your kids come up with.
- Create play-doh monsters – what’s better for time spent indoors than a bit of play-doh? Present your students with the challenge of creating their monsters and watch them work away for the whole recess.
- Origami – is another one of those elementary games that are better for older kids. Provide paper, create an origami video and watch the cranes and frogs appear.
- Move like an animal – this game will have your students moving like their favorite animals on the floor. Much hilarity will ensue, especially regarding the monkeys and apes.
- Ring toss – use those old paper plates with this recycling-friendly game. Toss the rings and score points, working in teams to get the best total.
- What’s missing? – this mystery memory game will have your student’s attention in no time. Remove one object at a time, and let them tell you what’s no longer there.
- Musical spaces – an excellent alternative to musical chairs, this game is best-played with colored mats or pads to use as the spaces.
- Directed drawing – you might be surprised to learn it, but students love a step-by-step tutorial, especially if they’re fun. Directed drawing is an excellent way to get focused and get some great pictures at the end.
- Indoor hopscotch – another outside game bought in with games for elementary students. You need a little space and some tape, ready to go.
- Four corners – as far as simple indoor recess games go, you can’t get better than four corners. Pick who is ‘it,’ and watch your students enjoy themselves in this stand-up-sit-down challenge.
- Construction battles – divide your students into teams, and see who can build the highest tower, longest snake, or most giant animal from recycled materials.
- Puzzles – there’s nothing quite like puzzles regarding quiet classroom games. Keep a stack on hand, and your students will have fun for hours.
- Minute to win it – these speedy, fun classroom games only take 60 seconds each, and plenty can be found on Pinterest. Keep a batch handy, and you’ll always have something to do.
- Parachute play – with enough space, parachute play can be a great way to spend a rainy afternoon.
- Create a snowman – perfect for the colder months. Provide students with two paper plates each to design their snowman for display.
- Tissue paper flowers – this simple, quick, and easy craft are one of the games for elementary students that’s fun for everyone. Create carnations or even roses to form a beautiful bouquet.
- Break out the Lego – encourage students to design and create their buildings, animals, or scenes ready for display.
- Hold a free-for-all disco – stick on an appropriate kids’ playlist, get out the glowsticks, and have a mini-rave. It’s sure to lighten up even the rainiest of days.
- Make cards for a favorite family member – mom, dad, uncle, or grandad. Sit down with your students and make meaningful cards for their favorite relatives.
- Hold a puppet show – recruit some of your more dramatic students and hold a puppet show, sure to make all the other students split their sides laughing.
- Create collages – old magazines, advertisements, and comics make an excellent start for a fun recess spent creating spectacular collages.
- Balloon volleyball – no one wants an actual volleyball flying around the classroom, but playing keepy-uppy with a balloon is an excellent alternative if you have one handy.
- Card games – older students will love the chance to play Go Fish with their friends and Pokémon, Yu-Gi-Oh, or anything else if you have any stock in your classroom.
- Trivia fun – YouTube is stuffed with trivia suited for kids, or many apps offer an enjoyable quiz suited to the age range of your students.
- Toy parade – This game can be fun for younger children. Ask each student to pick a toy and arrange each in a long parade. Most significant at the front and smallest at the back.
Even on a rainy, miserable day, there’s plenty your students can do to keep them entertained. What are your top picks for indoor recess activities that students love? In need of educational activities?