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Engaging & Fun Indoor Recess Ideas

Use these indoor recess ideas on inclement weather days.

In this blog post, teachers will find indoor recess ideas. Indoor recess is always a challenge on inclement weather days, but students usually rise to the occasion and enjoy playing games with their classmates.

Use these indoor recess ideas on inclement weather days. As educators, we understand the importance of outdoor play and its impact on children’s well-being. However, when the weather refuses to cooperate or safety concerns arise, indoor recess becomes a necessary alternative. 

While it may seem like a challenge to keep students engaged and active during indoor recess, this does not have to be the case. Like with any routine you want students to learn you will need to model the expectations and possibly have practice run during class time so students truly understand what is expected of them. 

In this blog post, you will find engaging indoor recess activities that foster social interaction, creativity, and problem-solving skills. 

This blog post contains a sponsored link that is of no cost to the reader. This blog post also contains Amazon affiliate links that are of no cost to the reader. If you purchase through the provided links this blog will receive a small commission to help with the financial costs of maintaining the site.

Engaging & Fun Indoor Recess Ideas

Here is a list of possible indoor recess ideas:

  1. Listen to podcasts. Here is a list of interesting middle school podcasts
  2. Watch the school district-provided streaming videos.
  3. Play class-wide games projected onto the whiteboard via the projector (teacher gets answers from students and clicks the mouse).
  4. Cell phone games like Kahoot, Quizziz, Quizlet. 
  5. Riddles 
  6. Scattergories
  7. Mad Libs®
  8. Whiteboard games i.e. Tic Tac Toe (teacher vs. the class and teacher writing on the board). 
  9. Watching online animal live streams (YouTube has a kitten one and many zoos have cameras set up).
  10. Give each student their own pack of playing cards and teach them how to play Solitaire.
  11. Create individual bags of Lego and post a daily challenge on the board.
  12. Give each student a sketchbook.
  13. Class ‘I Spy’ game.
  14. Encourage silent reading.
  15. Play ‘Would You Rather’
  16. Project a ‘Where’s Waldo’ page under a document camera and have students find Waldo and all the accessories list. 
  17. Teach students how to play online card games like Solitare. One student can sit at the computer and move the cards. Each student can get a turn sharing which card they want to move.  The Solitaired website has other online games which would be fun to teach students how to play.
  18. For more indoor recess ideas, you may also want to check out these blog posts: Level Up: Incorporating Fun Games into Your Classroom for Interactive Learning and Get Creative & Use Digital Escape Rooms in Middle School.

Indoor Recess Ideas – Game Suggestions

I have provided Amazon links for these games, but also check out garage sales and thrift stores for board games. 

ELA Games

Card Games

Strategy Games

Social Games

Math Games

Use these indoor recess ideas when going outside with your students is not an option. These ideas are engaging and entertaining for students. Try to teach students to interact with one another during indoor recess, and resist the temptation to put on a movie. Learning how to fill unstructured time is a key skill everyone needs.

Encouraging students to work together during indoor recess will help build that classroom community that is key in a school environment and encourage social-emotional learning among your students. If you have more indoor recess ideas you’d like to suggest, connect with me on social media.

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