By Shannon Anderson, author of Penelope Perfect: A Tale of Perfectionism Gone Wild
Many of us are already experiencing the cold, rain, and snow this time of year brings. And you know what that means . . . indoor recess!
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, recess is a crucial and necessary component of a child’s development. Teachers would agree. What we have to remember, though, is that while some kids crave and need time to be physically active, others may want to exercise their creative muscles or may just need a break to relax.
Just as we honor our students’ learning styles, we can honor their recharging styles. Here are a few ideas for when we’re “stuck” inside:
For students who prefer to be physically active:
- Have one of the recess monitors take kids to the gym to play.
- Blow up balloons for kids to bop around.
- Project “Just Dance” videos on your whiteboard.
- Allow students to do the activities on websites like Go Noodle.
- Provide games like Twister, Bop It, and hopscotch.
For students who like to be creative:
- Get a bracelet-making loom and elastic bands.
- Get a hat-making loom and yarn.
- Set out art supplies for painting and drawing.
- Create a makerspace area in your room for inventive works.
- Point students to art tutorials online, such as the ones at Art for Kids Hub.
For students who like to relax:
- Provide coloring sheets and colored pencils.
- Allow students to go on mindfulness websites.
- Provide comfy seating for reading or listening to music.
- Set a jigsaw puzzle out for kids.
- Show a movie in one corner of the room.
To mix it up a bit, you can do things like Friend Fridays, where kids can invite a student from another classroom to play in your room. Other days, it’s fun to offer a special option, like a Lego challenge or the chance to do random acts of kindness for others in the building.
Whatever the weather, kids are sure to have a good time if they have a variety of enjoyable options to choose from.
Shannon Anderson has her master’s degree in education and is currently a third-grade teacher, high ability coordinator, and presenter, and a former first-grade teacher, adjunct professor, and literacy coach. She loves spending time with her family, playing with words, teaching kids and adults, running very early in the morning, traveling to new places, and eating ice cream. She also enjoys doing author visits and events. Shannon lives in Indiana with her husband, Matt, and their daughters, Emily and Madison.
Free Spirit books by Shannon:
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