5 Fun Indoor Recess Activities

Honestly, many elementary teachers dread hearing the announcement on the speakers letting everyone know recess will be indoors. For some teachers, this means that their room will be used during recess, which makes it hard to get some work done. For others, this means that children will not get fresh air or time to run around. Ultimately, this creates antsy students who have a hard time focusing in the afternoon. Hence, it is so important to get creative with indoor recess. Thankfully, the 5 fun indoor recess activities below will ensure teachers get some work done while students burn off energy! 

Indoor Recess Ideas 

Indoor recess has to have structured activities. Otherwise, students can get extremely loud and rowdy. Thankfully, these 5 fun indoor recess activities will allow students to stay engaged while maintaining composure in the classroom. 

Board Games

Board games are a great way to keep students engaged while building collaboration skills! Thankfully, there are a ton of games to use! Students will have a blast while working with others. 

CVC Words Snowball Fight 

Being inside does not mean students lose all opportunities to be active! For instance, students can have a CVC snowball fight! Thus, they are combining educational content with fun activities during recess. For this activity, grab some plain white paper, pencils, or smelly markers (Mr. Sketch is amazing!). If you prefer to conserve some paper, you can even cut it in half or fourths. Next, have each student write the skill on the paper. Then, have students crumple up the paper to make “snowballs.” 

After this, it is time to get the snowball fight going! First, divide the class in half and have them stand on separate sides of the room. Second, inform students how they will know when to throw snowballs and when to stop. For me, I love playing music and having kids freeze when the music stops. However, you can also simply yell, “Stop!” Once students stop, they can open their “snowball” and read the skill on the paper! 

The possibilities are endless with this fun activity! Teachers can use sight words, numbers, letters, or addition and subtraction facts. Honestly, it can work with any type of content! For some extra practice, students can even record the skill they are working on using this snowball fight worksheet! Additionally, students can take this activity home as a fun way to practice during winter break or snow days.

Winter Books 

There are so many books students can read during every season! Thus, they are the perfect item to offer during recess. This book list will allow students to have some calm, peaceful time before continuing the school day. Additionally, students can even read with a partner. 

Color by Code Activities 

Oftentimes, students love to color! It is the perfect activity to keep students 

calm while allowing them to produce something they are proud of. Thankfully, 

Color by Code activities are so engaging that students don’t even realize they are practicing academics. Since recess can be indoors so much during the winter, the Color by Code Winter Bundle will be perfect to have!

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If students want an extra challenge in their coloring, there are even mystery pictures! With these, the picture is not obvious. Thus, students have to ensure they follow the academic/color key in order to correctly make the picture. For instance, students are practicing academics and directions in this FREE CVC Mystery Picture. Even better, this one resource works great with so much content! It can be used with anything from letters to numbers. Hence, students will always have a variety of options! 


If students are already struggling to stay in their seats during the morning, they need time to let their energy out! Thankfully, GoNoodle will greatly help as it focuses on getting students moving through organized activities. Even better, all activities are rooted in research. Thus, activities will be healthy for the body, engaging for the students, and beneficial for motivation! 

These 5 fun indoor recess activities will be perfect to implement as the cold weather arrives! Students will have organized activities to complete while releasing some of their endless energy. Be sure to check out the Winter Bundle Video for an overview of these incredible activities!

If you do not want to miss any of the upcoming lessons, join my email list to be notified of all the interactive lessons coming up! By joining the email list, you will also receive a FREE Color by Code Freebie for blog exclusive subscribers!  You might also like this color by-code blog post.