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Thursday, June 20, 2024


AFFILIATE DISCLOSURE:  This post includes Affiliate Links to some of my favorite Indoor Recess Activities. As an Amazon Affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases. 


There were two words that I dreaded as a Primary Teacher more than anything. Those words were
INDOOR RECESS!  In the midwest, indoor recess can be due to rainy or snowy weather, or even below normal temperatures and I always preferred for my students to get outside and burn off some energy on the playground. However, there were many days due to inclement weather, when my students returned to our classroom after lunch for indoor recess. I felt the need to have engaging activities my students would love that vary from what they may use at other times in my classroom for centers or small group activities. 


I love a classic board game and building options for this very reason and so many more reasons too. First of all, the students may be familiar with the games from home. Second, if they are familiar  with the game, you do not have to spend much time explaining directions. Third, your families will be familiar with these too and if they are donating these to your classroom, this is a plus.  Fourth...building materials are open ended and allow your students to be creative and develop fine motor skills which is always a plus. And finally, your students learn social skills: sharing, taking turns, rule following, being a good sport, and so much more.  These are not typically learned from staring at a computer screen or tablet. These features all make these TEN great games/activities to put on your Amazon Wishlist, on your classroom Giving Tree that you post at your Fall Open House, or apply for grant money from your PTA/PTO.  Please be aware there are so many ways you can creatively fund these items so they do not come out of your own pocket! 


There are 2 versions of this game and I love them both.  Think Scrabble and Word Work combined, with the tiles all kept in a cute and zippered banana pouch.  
I love that students can work on this game at their own level.You can't go wrong with either version but this is my 

2. UNO

Does this card game really need an explanation? Your students will love the colorful Uno cards.  Matching colors and numbers while strategically trying to get rid of your cards is always a hit with even the youngest of students. You will definitely like this double deck of Uno so more of your students can enjoy this game.


One of the classic path games that your primary students should experience. Drawing a card and moving along the colorful candy path has time on its side. Generations of students have loved this game so Candyland is a MUST HAVE! 


This is right up there with Candyland. Your students will love following the path and sliding up and back. This too is absolutely perfect for the youngest of students. Click here if you would like to check out this game!


This game is a definite keeper. Your students will try to guess their opponent's "person" by asking pointed questions and eliminating the possibilities. This one wasn't around when I was a kid but I know it would've been on my top ten list then too. While there are a few variations of this, I prefer this version so be sure to check it out for yourself. 


This was a childhood favorite of mine and still a classic in my book. I can hear the distinct sound of playing this even as I am writing this post. Students love pulling a stick out of the Kerplunk tower, while trying to avoid the marbles dropping from their resting spots. This is a whole lot of fun and creates a bit of anticipation as to the outcome. 


This is another activity that needs no explanation.  Fine 
motor practice is a bonus and your students will love 
creating with Lego Blocks.  They need no patterns to 
follow but there are tons of versions  that they can 
build based on themes too. I simply loved having a jumbo 
box of Classic Legos like these and they always engaged my 
students. One big container full can keep a large number of 
students involved.


Setting up plastic ice cubes in the frame and using hammers to remove one block at a time has been fun for decades. Eventually, they all fall which is always entertaining. Your students will love this activity and the sights and sounds involved in this game.


Eye-Hand Coordination is key in Jenga. Your students will love removing wood bricks from the tower while trying not to topple it over into a heap. But when they do topple, it's always fun torestack and rematch.  Many versions exist but I love the original version as well. 


And who doesn't love slipping the checkers into a Connect Four frame? Trying to get 4 in a row while blocking your opponent so he doesn't is key.  Your students can balance offense and defense, while keeping their eyes wide open. 
Check out Connect Four as you will want to add this to your indoor recess games!

So friends...are any of these your classroom favorites as well? My last group of students would be absolutely furious with me if I didn't mention one last activity. So consider it a bonus...with no extra charge.  Be sure to check out YETI IN MY SPAGHETTI.  This is like Pick Up Sticks meet Kerplunk.  Students are trying to remove a piece of spaghetti while trying to not spill the adorable Yeti who rests on top of the spaghetti.  OK...now they would give me the thumbs up for sure.

I'd love to hear what your favorite Indoor Recess games are and if you dread Indoor Recess as much as I did. What would you add to the list? Having a variety of great resources on hand definitely make those rainy days a bit more palatable for teachers and equally enjoyable to your students. So start filling your carts so you can check this off of your to do list!

Until Next Time, 

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