Indoor recess are two words all teachers dread. Kids need time to run around and get their energy out, but when weather interferes with our ability to send students outside, teachers must get creative. Some teachers are lucky enough to have access to a gym and can play a game or get out some equipment for the kids to play with. What usually happens, however, is that teachers must keep their students in the classroom and give them a recess experience that will let them get that energy out without making too much noise, without anyone getting hurt, and without making a huge mess!

It’s definitely a challenge, but here are some great ideas to put in your indoor recess arsenal that will entertain the children and help keep you sane.

1. Have an indoor snowball fight

Gather some large white pompoms and encourage your students to toss them at each other for the duration of recess. Crumpled up pieces of paper work just as well!

2. Get out the busy bins

Many teachers call these morning bins, but the objective is to fill them with entertaining, but quick, activities. Keep some busy bins tucked away filled with blocks, card games, or sand, and let each student pick a bin for recess time.

3. Do some hands-on STEM challenges

Like busy bins, these are little containers with a challenge for your students to complete. They should be quick since they’ll want to finish before recess is over. The challenge could be simple like making a snowflake out of playdoh. Check out this list of STEAM bin ideas!

4. Give choices

Put up a slide on your viewboard or write it on the whiteboard, giving your students several things to choose from. Reading, drawing, and using technology are all no-prep, fun ways to spend a recess.

5. Create fun boxes

These are similar to the hands-on challenge boxes. However, they include other quick activities such as spotting the difference between two pictures or doing a dot-to-dot picture.

6. Drawing tutorials

There are so many step-by-step drawing tutorials online, both in video and printout versions. Keep a few of these on hand and you’ll have an instant indoor recess activity.

7. Play tic-tac-toe

Tic-tac-toe is a classic game that even the youngest students can play. Students can draw their tic-tac-toe boards or use paper strips and novelty erasers.

8. Play board games or do puzzles

Keep a stash of age-appropriate board games and puzzles handy, and your students will have an instant indoor recess activity.

9. Send them on a scavenger hunt

Give your students a list of items in the classroom and have them check them off the list as they find them. Alternatively, give your students a list of words and have them go on a scavenger hunt by reading books looking for the words.

10. GoNoodle

Kids love GoNoodle because it’s silly and it gets them up and exercising. There are so many videos and indoor recess activities to choose from! Check out this list of the best GoNoodle videos for the classroom!

11. Get out the LEGOs

LEGOs are one of the favorite toys around the world. What could be better than playing with LEGOs at school?

12. Play BINGO

BINGO is a quick game that gets students excited to make a row. Small prizes or snacks are a great incentive to get everyone playing along.

13. Make cootie catchers

Kids love these things, and you can make them in so many themes and curriculum concepts. There are tons of already made ones online that you can print and give to your students for a quick activity.

Indoor recess doesn’t have to be horrible. Have a few of these activities ready to go and you can relax the next time indoor recess is sprung on you.

13 Fun Indoor Recess Activities For Rainy Days