As you likely know, indoor recess can be the bane of existence if you are a kindergarten teacher! Well, maybe not that bad, but pretty close…unless…you have some great games to play with large groups. In my district, all four K classes are small, but a group of 50+ wiggly students is a lot to handle! You NEED something that has the bells and whistles to hold their attention. Here are a few of my go-to sites, and a few games with a “twist” that you may want to revisit!
First off, if you have an emergency rain situation, you will not have time to prep your room. In this case I always have @GoNoodle and @AdventuretoFitness queued up since I use them for short brain breaks all morning anyway.
GoNoodle is amazing with many, many, maaaany dance videos to keep your students moving! Movement is so important for indoor recess. If students do not move then, guess when they will be moving? Yup! Back in the classroom during your fabulous math lesson that happens to be part of a pop-in evaluation! It happens, trust me!
My other go-to for lots of movement with run-walk type activity is Adventure to Fitness.There are many free scenarios where students are asked to listen and mimic beneficial exercises as the video plays. What I like about http://adventuretofitness.com is that its free choices are fun, but the paid membership doesn’t break the bank!
I also use a variety of Harry Kindergarten and Jack Hartmann videos that teach concepts with music and movement. You can’t go wrong with either one! Here are two of our favorites:
It’s easy to see why Jack Hartmann has been a favorite for many years! The guy is SERIOUSLY COOL! Love him…even when he was “just a voice” on a favorite cd (understatement of the century)! So thankful for his videos!
Okay, so what if you DO have time to prep for an indoor recess? I have some guaranteed to please games that take little prep and have a resounding yes! from the K crowd. Do you remember the old game “Drop the Hanky”? Well, I have a version that is “upgraded” from the original that happens, also, to sneak in the standard for counting by 5s. All you need to do is place numbers on the floor in a circular pattern as in the pic.
Students sit on the outside of the numbers (I velcro to my carpet). During the first few rounds you will have the student with the “hanky” (we use a little stuffed animal) to walk completely around as they call of 5-10-15-20-…all the way to 100. You play a kids song and randomly stop the music. The student drops the hanky behind the student he stops behind and runs around the circle with the goal of getting back to his seat before the student who ended up with the hanky catches him/her. Then the new bearer of the hanky begins his journey counting by fives (whole group counts with him) until the music stops again. The chase is on and is repeated many times during recess. If a student doesn’t reach his seat before getting caught, he/she is out and helps lead the count for other students. I make a huge deal of having counting leaders. If you need more counting cards, count by 2s! I have included a very printer friendly set of counting by 5s and 2s at the end of this post. I recommend laminating the number cards for lasting durability. You can also use @SitSpots if you have them. In fact, I prefer Sit Spots (velcro backed spots that stick to any loop type carpet).
Another great game is “Flying Monkey Math”. 🙂 I have a little stuffed animal monkey that my hubby got at Menard’s.
It is so funny, and the students love sailing it at a wall to hit a number for points. You have student attention all the time! They love this! I pick teams by having students count of 1,2,1,2,…then have team 1 and 2 to make two lines. Everyone gets a turn, and a lot of great math happens! You can use number magnets and put fives on each side of a magnetic scoreboard, then add the fives (or count by five) to total the scores at the end.
Another game we like is an indoor horseshoe game. We divide the class 1,2,1,2…again, then throw horseshoes. Ringers (rare) are 10 points, a throw that touches the stake is 5 points. We keep score on individual magna-boards from Dollar Tree. Students are focused, have a purpose to watch and learn and love taking their turn! The horseshoe set is available at Walmart.
Here is the count by fives file if you want to print and use my simple number set. 🙂
Keep those little guys movin! You’ll be glad you did!