Did you have indoor recess today? This time of year it’s getting colder in many states and indoor recess will be more frequent. Indoor recess can be one of those challenging parts of the day, but we’ve got a few quick ideas for you to help make this time as enjoyable as possible!
- Indoor recess observations
- Ideas for indoor recess
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Hey, welcome back to the podcast. I'm Ellie, and I'm here with Brittany.Brittany:
So did you have indoor recess today, this time of year it is getting colder in many states and indoor recess will become more and more frequent. That can be one of the challenging parts of the day indoor recess. But we have got a few quick ideas for you to help you make this time as enjoyable as possible. So Brittany, what was your indoor recess like?Brittany:
Well, my tutor, or para covered indoor recess for myself and my building, mate, we were always in those little trailers, modular thingies outside. And so she would often take over for us so we could leave and go or whatever. But usually, I just stayed and hung around because I had nothing better to do and, and I wanted to like keep an eye on all my good stuff. And right. And so I had a gigantic tub, it was probably about seven feet long, by maybe two and a half feet across, and it had wheels on one end. And I would open up this giant tub. And in it were lots of board games, lots of logic puzzles, like, you know, you got to do put the frog in a position on the board, and then somehow figure out how to get the frog across the lily pads and escape from the board. Those kinds of puzzles, the rush hour games, with the cars and figuring out how to get the traffic jam on done. I had lots of those type of puzzles, I had a lot of those antique type finger puzzles that you saw in the olden days, where it'd be like two chains interlinked. And you had to figure out how to get the chains on done from each other. Okay, or the triangle with the hopping pegs. And you had to figure out how to get only one peg left on the board. The ones you see it like Cracker Barrel and stuff.Ellie:
Yeah, my brother actually made me one of those ones. Oh, made it all out of wood and everything. I still have it. It's very cool.Brittany:
So I had a ton of different things in there. And then I had like Rubik's cubes and Rubik's puzzles. My husband and I used to collect those. So I had him like in snakes in circles and triangles and 16 sided ones. And yeah, it was Wow. So I had a lot of different toys and games for the kids to play during recess. And then I would also just let them kind of go around the room. And some kids would choose to talk and just hang out at their desk or in a corner. Some kids would choose to read silently. Others wouldn't play like games like hang man or something on the board, but just had a lot of options for them to keep them busy. And, and not to not get them to hyper write write about you. What did you do for indoor recess?Ellie:
Um, it was really pretty similar. We did have somebody that would monitor our lunch aides would monitor the classrooms, but I was always there. Anyway, I ate my lunch in my room most of the time. So I was always there. Yeah. And it just I think she had to monitor for classrooms. So you know, it was a little easier if we were in there as well. So I typically hung out in my room and I had, I didn't have a nice big bin like you did, that's awesome. But I had a cupboard in my classroom where I kept a lot of my teaching supplies. But there was one cupboard where I kept all of my board games and things like that. And so students had access to that. And again, we had very similar board games as you so I'm not going to relist them, but we had those, I would let students use our mini whiteboards. I had a lot of mini whiteboards and markers. So I would let them use the mini mini whiteboards if they wanted to. And they would play like Tic Tac Toe or hang man things like that. I sometimes let them use the big classroom whiteboard as well, if they wanted to play games on there. One thing that you mentioned reminded me that I had pentominoes in my room. And so we use pentominoes at the very beginning of the year. Just a specific pentominoes puzzle. And so my students and all my classes always had access to those pens, dominoes if they wanted to come over and use them or they wanted to do them to figure that puzzle out because a lot of them never did figure it out from the beginning of the year. And so at lunchtime, they do that Like, Oh, can we can we pull those out? So they had access to the pentominoes, I had a really big table in the back of the room that some years I put regular puzzles on, like jigsaw puzzles. And so if they had time, they could go back and they could work on the jigsaw puzzle, that kind of thing. So very, very similar. I had beanbag chairs in my room. Yeah. Until they popped and the stuffing all came out for the kids like being on the beanbag chairs, or just sitting and talking with their friends sitting and reading. So very, very similar things that you were that you mentioned.Brittany:
Yeah. I always wanted to have a puzzle table in my classroom. And I thought I would do it my last year, and it just never came about. So yeah, that's really neat.Ellie:
Yeah, fortunately, the kids were really good with the pieces, you know, they didn't hide them or take them and most of them stayed on the table. So we didn't lose them. So that was really, really good way to use time. And that was a kind of thing. In our ninth period, study hall type thing, if they didn't have homework that they had to work on. They could do it then. But also some kids worked on homework during indoor recess, if they knew from their first couple of periods of the day that they had some homework to do. And they were inside, they were allowed to work on things if they really wanted to. So some kids did choose to use that time that way.Brittany:
That's true. Yes.Ellie:
One thing I noticed with the board games, though, as the years went by, it seemed that fewer and fewer students were familiar with how to play board games, especially at the beginning of the year, I think they didn't play them quite as much at home. And so if you do have students who maybe struggle with board games, indoor recess is a great time to give them that opportunity to learn how to play board games, games that have strategy games that have logic, it's a great time to develop that. So if you don't have board games in your classroom, I'd recommend absolutely getting some students have some access to those. You could even have a board game tournament, as you work through the year as you work through the winter months.Brittany:
That would be a lot of fun. I remember students not knowing how to play backgammon, and I love that game, teaching them how to play backgammon. I myself have forgotten how to play part cheesy, and we have a Parchesi game.Ellie:
Yeah, I haven't played that in years.Brittany:
Some of those older games that just don't get the love, you know, like clue and sorry, a monopoly getEllie:
and Yahtzee they don't play Yahtzee?Brittany:
don't play Yahtzee. No, no, I had a math club after school one year, there were like maybe 10 kids there. And I don't think any of them had ever played it before.Brittany:
We played. Yeah.Brittany:
Great idea. So did you do anything with like, sometimes I would get out like colored pencils, or crayons. But that's about the only art supplies I had. Did you do anything with art work or art supplies?Ellie:
They always they almost always had access to the glue sticks and the scissors. And we did have some glitter in the room. But I tended to not for indoor recess time. But it can be a good time, if you've got some easy prep, low cleanup type of supplies that kids could work on some different art projects, making some cards. If there's some special event going on, or some student isn't feeling well, and they want to make cards for somebody. That's a nice type of project that they could do at indoor recess time.Brittany:
I highly recommend you stay away from glitter.Ellie:
Yeah. It lasts forever. Yeah, but you could have some some art supplies. And I have a little bit of art projects going on. Even coloring projects. Like I've done graph paper coloring, just color in a certain pattern.Brittany:
You know, it doesn't have to be anything fancy. But they could spend time just coloring an art project like that on graph paper.Brittany:
And then any other kind of games group games that you ever played, orBrittany:
we would often play just silent ball, which we talked about in our three classroom games that you can take and play today. We would often play silent ball during recess, because that it's a game where they can burn off some energy. But yeah, it's pretty quiet and pretty mellow. as well. It's a good mix. Right? How about you?Ellie:
Yeah, I mean, we would play the word wheel game, which we also mentioned in that episode, that one can take the whole indoor recess time if you want to. And you can do that in teams. You can do it with whatever whichever students want to play. My students knew the rules well enough that a student could be in charge. It wasn't something I had to go be in charge of and say, Okay, I'm going to run the game, but students could run the game themselves and they could work on that themselves. And that's good. Again, strategy, logic. Teamwork. Yes. All those great things. Yeah.Brittany:
I always thought it'd be fun to do some kind of yoga, or a little exercise stuff. I have to say that I did not do that. But I always thought that would be a fun thing to do for students who'd be into it. Did you ever do any exercise Yogi kind of things?Brittany:
No, we did mindfulness after recess. But right, but nothing during indoor recess. Yes.Ellie:
How about trivia? Do you ever do anything with trivia?Brittany:
Thank you. Yes, I had those brain trivia cards.Ellie:
Brain quest? Yeah, I had those.Brittany:
Yeah, I had those brain quest cards. And I would just pick one question from the like, five or 10 questions that I had on a card? And I would ask that one question. And then I would go to the next card and the next card. And so they never, because sometimes kids would pick up the whole deck, and they would just like study the deck. And so they never knew like what question I was gonna ask or where I was going to go. Sometimes I would turn like 10 cards at a time and sometimes less, but I had probably about 10 different decks of those brain quest cards. And so we would do trivia a lot of times for indoor recess. And they they enjoyed that and trying to win a Jolly Rancher or something that was a big hit.Ellie:
I have heard of people doing scavenger hunts or things like that I did not do scavenger hunts. And I suppose if it's something that you have, on hand ready to go, that might be something easy to use. But if it's not something that you already have, you know, you may or may not want to spend time creating scavenger hunts just for indoor recess. But I have seen that as an idea that some people are using,Brittany:
I did a lot of scavenger hunts in history class and math class, but never an indoor recess. But that would be fun. Especially if you could get your co workers to go in on it or something. And you you know, you know that a coworker has a blue giraffe or whatever. And then yeah, you know, we're, which teacher has the picture of Lincoln sitting on a toilet or something and they've got to go look around, you know, and peer through windows and try to figure out where different things are. That would be fun. Great idea.Ellie:
All right. Well, we have talked about quite a few indoor recess ideas, we figured we just give you a quick list so you can think about something that you might want to incorporate. If you have more ideas for us, or for everybody else listening head over to Instagram and add a few ideas in the comments for this episode.Brittany:
We'll see you later. Thanks for joining us.Ellie:
Have a great day.