Indoor recess can sometimes be a challenge for kids, as they eagerly await the opportunity to burn off energy and have fun outdoors.
However, with a little creativity and planning, indoor recess can be just as exciting and entertaining.
Whether it’s due to bad weather or limited space, having a repertoire of fun indoor recess games for kids can make all the difference.
Balloon Volleyball is a great way to keep kids active and engaged during indoor recess. All you need is a large balloon and a clear space. Divide the kids into two teams and set up a “net” using a string or a piece of tape. The objective is to keep the balloon in the air and try to get it over the opposing team’s side without it touching the ground. Kids can use their hands, feet, or any part of their body to keep the balloon airborne. This game not only promotes teamwork and coordination but also provides a fun and safe physical activity.
Indoor scavenger hunts are a fantastic way to stimulate kids’ minds and keep them entertained during recess. Create a list of items or clues for the children to find around the designated indoor space. The items can be anything from a specific book or toy to a hidden object. You can even make it educational by incorporating letters, numbers, or colors into the hunt. Encourage teamwork by assigning kids into pairs or small groups, and offering a prize or reward for the first team to complete the scavenger hunt. It’s a game that combines problem-solving, critical thinking, and excitement.
Who doesn’t love a good dance party? Freeze Dance is a popular game that allows kids to show off their moves and have a blast. Choose some upbeat music and let the kids dance freely. However, at random intervals, pause the music and shout “Freeze!” When the music stops, the children have to freeze in whatever position they were in. Anyone caught moving after the music stops is out of the game. Restart the music and continue playing until only one child remains. It’s a fun and interactive game that promotes creativity, coordination, and listening skills.
Indoor Obstacle Course:
Setting up an indoor obstacle course is a surefire way to keep kids active and engaged during recess. Use pillows, chairs, hula hoops, cones, and other household items to create a challenging course. Kids can crawl under tables, jump over pillows, zigzag through cones, and balance on one foot in a designated spot. Time each child as they navigate through the course, and encourage friendly competition. You can even change the course layout or add new elements to keep the game exciting and fresh. An indoor obstacle course is not only physically stimulating but also helps develop motor skills, problem-solving, and resilience.
Charades is a classic game that never fails to entertain kids and spark their imagination. Divide the children into teams or have them take turns acting out different animals, objects, or activities without speaking. The rest of the group must guess what is being portrayed within a specified time limit. It’s a game that encourages creativity, communication, and teamwork. To make it even more fun, you can use a theme for the charades, such as famous movie characters or occupations. With endless possibilities, charades is a go-to game for indoor recess that will have kids laughing and bonding with their peers.
Simon Says is a classic game that never goes out of style. One person acts as “Simon” and gives instructions to the rest of the group, starting each instruction with “Simon says.” The participants must follow the given instruction only if it is preceded by “Simon says.” If someone performs an action without the phrase, they are out of the game. The last person remaining becomes the next “Simon.” This game promotes listening skills, concentration, and body coordination while providing lots of laughter and enjoyment.
Transform a hallway or a cleared-out space into a mini bowling alley for indoor recess fun. Use empty plastic bottles as bowling pins and a soft ball as the bowling ball. Set up the pins at the end of the hallway and have the children take turns rolling the ball to knock down as many pins as possible. You can keep score or simply enjoy the act of knocking down the pins. Indoor bowling helps with hand-eye coordination, concentration, and strategic thinking while providing an enjoyable and interactive experience.
Board Game Bonanza:
Take advantage of indoor recess time to introduce board games and create a board game bonanza. Set up different tables with a variety of age-appropriate board games such as Monopoly, Scrabble, Candyland, or Chess. Allow the children to choose their favorite games and enjoy playing with their friends. Board games enhance critical thinking, problem-solving, and social skills while providing a fun and relaxed atmosphere.
DIY Craft Station:
For kids who enjoy arts and crafts, setting up a DIY craft station can be a great indoor recess activity. Provide various craft supplies such as paper, scissors, glue, markers, colored pencils, and stickers. Set out different craft project ideas or let the children come up with their own creations. They can make greeting cards, paper airplanes, bookmarks, or even origami animals. The DIY craft station encourages creativity, fine motor skills, and self-expression while allowing the kids to unleash their artistic abilities.
Indoor Basketball Shootout:
Turn a corner of the indoor space into a mini basketball court for an exciting indoor basketball shootout. Use a small basketball hoop or attach a makeshift hoop to the wall or door. Divide the children into teams and take turns shooting hoops from various spots. Keep score or play for fun, allowing everyone to enjoy the game. Indoor basketball helps improve hand-eye coordination, motor skills, and teamwork, making it an excellent option for an active and engaging recess game.
Yoga and Stretching:
Promote relaxation and physical well-being during indoor recess by introducing yoga and stretching exercises. Clear a designated area and guide the children through a series of kid-friendly yoga poses and stretches. You can find instructional videos or print out simple yoga pose cards. Encourage deep breathing and mindfulness as they move through the poses. Yoga and stretching help improve flexibility, balance, and focus, while also providing a calming and rejuvenating break from more active games.
Bring the classic game of Musical Chairs indoors for a fun-filled recess activity. Arrange chairs in a circle with one less chair than the number of participants. Play music and have the kids walk or dance around the chairs. When the music stops, they must quickly find a seat. The player left standing without a chair is out of the game, and one chair is removed for the next round. The game continues until there is only one player remaining. Musical Chairs promote listening skills, and quick thinking, and add an element of excitement to indoor recess.
Puzzles and Brain Teasers:
Challenge the kids’ minds and foster problem-solving skills by providing a selection of puzzles and brain teasers for indoor recess. Set up tables with jigsaw puzzles, Rubik’s cubes, Sudoku, word search puzzles, or brain teaser cards. Encourage the children to work individually or in small groups to solve the puzzles. You can even offer a friendly competition by timing each group and seeing who can complete the puzzle or brain teaser first. Puzzles and brain teasers engage critical thinking, logic, and perseverance, making them ideal for stimulating recess activities.
Turn the indoor space into a vibrant dance floor for a lively recess dance party. Play energetic and popular music that the kids can groove to. Encourage them to let loose, dance freely, and showcase their unique moves. You can even incorporate dance challenges, where they have to imitate specific dance styles or follow along with a choreographed routine. Dance parties not only provide a fun way to exercise but also promote self-expression, and coordination, and boost mood and energy levels.
Indoor Mini Golf:
Create a mini golf course indoors and bring the excitement of this outdoor game inside for recess. Use household items like cardboard, ramps, tubes, and obstacles to construct a mini golf course in a spacious area. Set up holes with cups or containers as targets and provide child-sized golf clubs and soft balls. The children can take turns playing through the course, aiming to get the ball into each hole with the fewest strokes. Indoor mini golf enhances hand-eye coordination, patience, and strategic thinking, offering a unique and enjoyable recess experience.
Bring the classic outdoor game of hopscotch indoors with a few modifications. Use masking tape or colorful floor mats to create a hopscotch grid on the floor. Instead of tossing a marker, the children can jump or hop from square to square, following the traditional hopscotch rules. Encourage them to challenge themselves by hopping on one foot or trying different patterns. Indoor hopscotch improves balance, coordination, and gross motor skills while providing an enjoyable and active recess game.
Paper Airplane Contest:
Let the children unleash their creativity and compete in a paper airplane contest during indoor recess. Provide a variety of paper, such as construction paper or origami paper, along with markers, stickers, and scissors for decorating. The kids can design and fold their own paper airplanes, aiming for the best distance or accuracy when flying. Set up targets or marked landing zones to add more excitement. This activity promotes fine motor skills, problem-solving, and friendly competition.
Boost memory skills and concentration with a fun indoor recess memory game. Place a set of matching cards face-down on a table or the floor. Each player takes turns flipping over two cards at a time, trying to find a matching pair. If they find a match, they keep the cards and continue. If the cards don’t match, they are turned face-down again, and it’s the next player’s turn. The player with the most matches at the end wins. You can use themed cards like animals, shapes, or colors to make it more engaging. Memory games enhance cognitive skills, focus, and visual recognition.
Indoor Relay Races:
Create an exciting relay race setup indoors for an active and energetic recess game. Set up different stations or checkpoints with various tasks or challenges. The children can form teams and take turns completing each leg of the race, passing a baton or an object to the next team member. The challenges can include hopping on one foot, doing jumping jacks, solving puzzles, or even answering trivia questions. The team that completes the relay race first wins. Indoor relay races promote teamwork, physical fitness, and friendly competition.
DIY Science Experiments:
Engage curious minds with interactive and educational DIY science experiments during indoor recess. Choose simple experiments that can be done with readily available materials, such as making a volcano using baking soda and vinegar, creating slime, or conducting static electricity experiments with balloons and wool. Provide step-by-step instructions and encourage the children to observe, hypothesize, and draw conclusions from their experiments. DIY science experiments not only entertain but also promote critical thinking, curiosity, and a love for STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) subjects.