Why Indoor Recess Is Actually a Good Thing

Indoor Recess can be a great time for students and teachers. Learn some ideas and activities so students can still burn off energy, and build social skills.

When you look out your classroom window and see rain, your heart might sink! Two dreaded words flash through your mind:

Indoor Recess

Some teachers dread indoor recess, for good reasons too. The room gets messy, the students get loud, and they don't get to run around outside and burn off energy.

But today I am going to tell you a few reasons why indoor recess isn't so bad!

Indoor Recess can be a great time for students and teachers. Learn some ideas and activities so students can still burn off energy, and build social skills.

1. You can still get your students to burn off energy! If you have a computer screen, a projector, or a smart board, you can display GoNoodle and let your students exercise. The videos guide your students through yoga exercises, dancing, and singing. It's a great way for them to burn off energy! If you have access to YouTube, you can display some kids zumba videos.

2. It doesn't HAVE to be loud! Have you ever played Four Corners with your students? (Designate four corners of your classroom. Close your eyes. Students quietly walk to one of the corners. You call out a corner to eliminate. Everyone in that corner has to sit down. Repeat.) Students need to be very quiet so the person guessing corners can't hear where they are! It gets them up and moving but still keeps them quiet. After you model how to play the game, you can choose a student to be the guesser. I have found that my class can run this game by themselves!

3. It allows for teamwork and problem solving skills to develop! When you have indoor recess, you can break out board games, toys, puzzles, word searches, and other activities. When students work together to play games it allows them to develop their social skills. I encourage my students to problem solve on their own and only get me if they really need me. Sometimes I intentionally keep my class inside so we can practice these skills!

4. YOU can get a lot done! At the beginning of the year, indoor recess takes some modeling while you set expectations. But, once you have, indoor recess can give you some valuable work time in your classroom. While my students are having indoor recess, I am busy getting things done and organized in my classroom. Sometimes I am finishing up typing a lesson plan. Sometimes I am filing away some papers. Other times I am organizing things. All of this can help eliminate the amount of work I have to do outside of school.

5. You can teach your students responsibility. Over the years I have collected some pretty awesome indoor recess toys and activities. However, students must be responsible to get to use them. At the beginning of the year I model how I expect these things to be put away. I explain to my students that I have purchased these items with my own money. If they are not taken care of, I will not bring them out anymore. Students are so appreciative of the activities I let them play with, that they take really good care of them.

Here are some suggestions for indoor recess games and activities:
Word Search Books
Tic Tac Toe Books
Yahtzee (Replace the regular dice with some foam dice and the game is silent!)
Scrabble Junior
Guess Who
Rock Me Archimedes
Connect Four
Markers/Foamies/Construction Paper
Watercolor paint sets

What types of activities do you like to do during indoor recess? Leave a comment below!

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