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Indoor Recess Games

Compiled By: Editor

Fun ideas for what to do when recess is in the classroom

Four Corners
Posted by: bandmom

We play Four Corners: Designate each corner of the room with a number. One kid puts his head down (no peeking) and the rest quickly and silently walk to one of the 4 corners while the kid counts to 10. At the count of ten, he/she calls out one of the 4 numbers, and anyone standing in that corner sits down. Repeat until there's one kid left. As the numbers dwindle, thee may be a corner with no kids. Stress that once the kid counting gets to 9, they'd better be in a corner!! No dashing at the count of 8 or 9!! The last kid up gets to be the next counter.
My school plays this in all grades during indoor recess. My 6th grade would play all day if I let them.

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Indoor recess idea
Posted by: Nessa

My kids love a game I call Sixes. It requires 1 die per group of kids (6 kids works well), 1 pencil, and a piece of paper. The die is passed around the group and each person rolls, trying to get a six. The person who rolls a 6 takes the paper and pencil from the middle and starts writing the numbers 1-50 on a piece of paper (1, 2, 3, 4...). This person continues to write while the rest of the group passes the die still trying to roll a 6. When another person rolls a 6 they get the paper and pencil and begin where the last person left off in writing the numbers to 50. This continues until someone writes the number 50 and is declared the winner. It doesn't matter that the person before them wrote 1-49 and they only wrote the 50. The game sounds like it wouldn't be interesting but my kids LOVE to play. We have made it harder and more educational by having the kids write multiples of 2 up to 100 or 3's up to 150. My kids think it is a brand new game when we play 4's instead of 6's. I also bought foam dice the same size as normal dice to make it a quieter game and less time spent searching for bouncing dice.

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Indoor Recess
Posted by: radicalreader

I am also not a fan of indoor recess. I get out pattern blocks, dominoes, puzzles, crayons, magnetic letters, really any kind of hands on activities. Another idea you could maybe try is having them bring in a favorite game they play at home and they have to teach the class how to play. I have done that in second grade when I student taught.

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No title
Posted by:

Can you get some parents to donate games? Since you only have 10 minutes, I would suggest:

Connect 4

Also, just give them paper and crayons. Mine are always so happy when they just get to draw. I also pull out my math manipulatives like tangrams, pattern blocks and snap cubes. You could teach them a math game that they could play during recess ~ there are endless possibilities there.

When we have indoor recess we do all of the above, but it still gets loud and I still don't like indoor recess!! :s)

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Indoor Recess
Posted by: sallen26

We asked each child to bring an activity (coloring, etc.) book for indoor recess. They can usually find them at a dollar store or one of the chain stores. This is the easiest thing and they look forward to it since we only use it for indoor recess. I don't have to be in my room and the recess monitors watch the kids.

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Posted by: momallen

I just wanted to share what I added to SPARKLE:

before "sparkle" the person has to spell the WHOLE word (this is so the class hears how to spell the whole word one more time), then next person says sparkle, next says sparkle, next says boom and sits down:
I say: cat
1st - says cat - c
2nd - says a
3rd - says t
4th - says cat - c-a-t
5th - says Sparkle
6th says boom, and sits down.

If they do not know the letter, they are out.

Sometimes, we sit on desks, but other times we stand in a circle and when the student is out, they sit down.

Nessa, I will have to try that game... it sounds good.


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Puzzles and play-doh
Posted by: yesteach

These are my kids favorite things... I buy seasonal cookie cutters for the play-doh. We have several small puzzles they like to do.. I also have an extra table and we keep a jigsaw puzzle going on it for them to work on. They also like building toys - blocks, tinkertoys, legos, K'Nex, etc.

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indoor recess
Posted by: dw

How about making up little packets of activities such as word searches, mazes, fun math pages, etc.. I do this on days I have a sub. I grab some of those sheets, run them through the copier and have them stapled. One chld can be in charge of a pencil basket and a girl in charge of girls packets and a boy in charge of handing out and collecting the boys packets. This way they have something to work on inthe cafe. that's an easy clean up.
We too have been having a lot of indoor recess because of the cold. has dot to dot, mazes, word searches for kids to print out.
Just a thought.

Indoor Recess Games
Posted by: Anna

Hi T's,
I teach 5th, but when we have indoor recess we usually share the 4th and 5th grade classes in each other's rooms. I go to garage sales in the summer and buy games for very cheap (usually $1 or $2). I have Scrabble, they love Sorry, Monopoly, Brain Quest, Trouble, etc. I always have a deck or two of cards around also. They like to play cards, but they also like to build card towers.
Since we have some time off, I'd go garage saling and see what you can find.
Good luck.

indoor recess
Posted by: muffy

Here are some things my class does on snow days. We also have been out very little since Christmas.
1. show video
2. make a holiday craft
3. play a game like seven up or doggie, doggie, where's your bone
4. kids bring in games from home and teach others how to play
5. put out math manipulatives to use
6. drawing paper
7. reading books
I have one rule when they are drawing or reading, they need to have their rears in a chair or on the floor. They are allowed to sit near friends and chit chat but they can't walk around unless they are getting paper or books.I recently found an old pack of onion skin paper and the kids have been having fun with tracing and coloring pictures. One year we all made a craft stick box. We also sometimes go to the gym and do running games. I hope this helps. I usually have the kids do something different each day of the week so they don't get bored with it.

indoor recess
Posted by: Karen Tripolitis

There are many games to play with little to no prep. but you need to be OK with facilitating them. Four corners is always a hit and quiet. 7-up is great (especially at the beginning of the year when kids are learning each others names)too. I instruct my five tables very explicitly on how to play/handle five activities. They are: homemade playdough with cookie cutters/plasticware, legos, a shape perceptual card activity, construction straws, and pattern rings with shoelaces for stringing. Often times the children play at tables and we rotate them as needed. I even do this so I can quick do a reading group immediatly when the kids first come in. I'll teach the children how to play a new game/or activity changing only one at a time before I do another total rotation. I call this time, table activity time. It's working well for me. Rules for playing together also need to be in place/modeled so they can handle differences if they come up. Hope this helps.

Several Ideas
Posted by: lynnylubner

A teacher I know plays "Quiet Ball." She uses a Nerf ball and students pass it to each other. If they talk, they're out, and if they drop the ball they're out. I guess the kids really like it.

What about turning on Kid music and letting them sing and dance?

I let my kids determine what they want to play. Some get games out, some read, some draw, and some just hang out and talk.

You could also develop centers for recess and rotate...Suggestions: You would have 5 groups, and they would do a different center each day of the week
Center 1: Games
Center 2: Flashcards
Center 3: Computers
Center 4: Drawing
Center 5: Arts/Crafts
Just some suggestion,s I don't know if it would work, or end of being too much work!

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No title
Posted by: Maestra

We play "mums" which is like the PP "quiet ball game". The kids sit on their desk and toss the ball to each other. No talking, no giggling! Teacher decides what is a good throw.

Another game is 4 corners. The kids divide themselves up and stand in one of the 4 corners of the room. One child is "it" and covers his eyes and counts to 15. The kids change corners while he is counting. When he is done counting he names a corner and all the kids standing in that corner have to sit down. Game continues until 1 is left standing.

Eraser Tag. Pretty self-explanatory. I usually pick a boy and a girl. Then I call who chases who. I can switch mid-way. The object is to tag the other person w/o the eraser falling off. Can be very hilarious.

Spelling games like Sparkle and Hangman are another possibility.

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Seven up, Stand Up
Posted by: AussieBird

HEADS UP ,SEVEN UP. In Australia we call this "HEADS DOWN,THUMBS UP." It's good to play as a break between lessons or when the children come in very hot on hot days also.

Choose seven students to be 'It'. Those students go to the front of the room. The other students put their heads on their desks so they can't see , resting elbows on desks with arms up and thumbs pointing upwards. The seven 'Its' tiptoe around the room. Each taps one of the seated students on one thumb and once tapped the child has to put his thumbs down so he cannot be tapped twice).

The 'Its' return to the front when they have tapped one thumb. When all seven Its return to the front of the room, they say in unison, "Heads up, stand up" (ie if you were tapped .) Each student who was tapped has an opportunity to guess which student tapped him or her. If a student guesses correctly, he or she replaces the person who did the tapping; if not, that IT stays in for another round.
The game begins again when all have had a chance to guess.

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Pass the CHICKEN
Posted by: AussieBird

In this game, nobody wants to hold the rubber chicken -- the game's only prop!

To begin the game, all students sit in a circle. Select one person to be It. That person holds the rubber chicken. The teacher or a "caller" says to the person holding the chicken, "Name five presidents of the United States"( for example). Pass the chicken!"

As soon as the caller says, "Pass the chicken," the person holding the chicken passes it to the right. Students quickly pass the chicken around the circle. If it returns to the original holder before he or she can name five presidents of the United States, the holder is still It. Otherwise, the person holding the chicken when It finishes listing five presidents is the new It.

You should prepare the topic cards for this game in advance. Topics can relate to your curriculum or be general information topics. The student who is It must name five items in the called-out category in order to get rid of the dreaded chicken!
Some Suggested Topics
• fast-food restaurants
• authors of children's books
• countries in South America
• sports teams
• things that grow in the desert
• vegetables
• cartoon characters
• musical groups
• cereals
• rivers in the United States
• candy bars made with chocolate
• large bodies of water
• aquatic animals
• cities in
• capital cities around world....

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Chain Reaction
Posted by: AussieBird

You can easily adapt this game to many areas of the curriculum. The teacher writes a category on the chalkboard -- foods, for example.

Each student writes the letters A to Z on a sheet of paper. The students have five minutes to create an alphabetical list of as many foods as they can think of. Then the game begins.

The first student must tell the name of a food. The second person must give the name of a food that begins with the last letter of the food given by the first person. The third person must name a food that begins with the last letter of the second person's food and so on. One at a time, students are eliminated.

Other possible categories: cities; songs; things in nature (for older students, animal names or plant names); people's first names (for older students, famous people's last names or, more specifically, authors' names).

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