Recess for kindergarteners is a much needed break for both the student and the teacher. What do you do when the weather does not permit for an outdoor recess? Keep reading for The Best Indoor Recess Ideas For Kindergarteners.

Research has shown that children learn and retain information much better when academic activities are split up with physical activity. Students need to release their energy and rest their brains. Allowing children time to run, play, jump or any other activity of their choice, will give them time to reset and refocus.

You may live in an area that gets very cold, very wet, or has extreme weather changes. If you do, you may already have activities prearranged for indoor recess days. However, you may need some new ideas to freshen up what you already have for these indoor activities.

What do you do for physical activity/recess when the weather is poor? How do you manage recess indoors?

Here are some great indoor recess ideas.


Have you used GoNoodle before? This is a great resource to use in your classroom for indoor recess. Your students will love this channel with the many different songs and physical movement activities. The students can watch, sing, and exercise. Click here for the link to GoNoodle and go to “indoor recess ideas”.

These physical activity games can be purposeful as well as fun. Add academics and your kiddos will be learning while exercising in the classroom!! This is a great way to get the wiggles out and have fun physical activity during indoor recess.

Check out blog post “GoNoodle Ideas for the Classroom” for more ideas and information.

Arts and Crafts

Let your students have free rein with art supplies. Put butcher paper on the tables and set out paint, crayons, markers, stamps, and plenty of paper. They will draw and paint without any instructions. Then you can just roll up the butcher paper and toss in trash. Easy clean up!!

Free Time

Let your students pick an activity of their choice. They can choose from one of the centers such as library, have free play, play with legos, blocks, magnetic blocks, lincoln logs or any other toys you have in your classroom. Most kids love this opportunity to play with classmates.


Bring out the playdough and let them have at it! This activity gives them an opportunity to use their hands and work on fine motor skills while using their imagination. Set out the cookie cutters, stamps, and molds. They will stay busy until recess is over!!

Don’t forget Playdough Mats. This is purposeful play! You kindergarteners will love to play with these mats-especially because it is their choice!

Check out blog “Purposeful Playdough For Little Learners“, “The Playdough Station in the Kindergarten Classroom“. “30+ Ways To Use Playdough in the classroom” and “How To Make Quick & Easy Microwave Kool-Aid PlayDoh” for more ideas.


Set out tissue paper squares, glue or paste, paper or templates and this activity will keep your little ones busy. Alphabet Animal Art Templates can be used for this fun yet purposeful indoor recess activity.


Do you have my Alphabet Animal Art Activities?👍🏻Make sure you re-download for the traceable alphabet sentence addition!🤩The creation station provides creative literacy opportunities, as well as following multi-step directions and fine-motor muscle practice. 💬🥰 #kindergartenchaos #handsonlearning Want to know more about the Creation Station in Kindergarten? 💬

♬ FEEL THE GROOVE – Queens Road, Fabian Graetz


Set up a hopscotch game. Use painters tape to lay out the hopscotch grid. Use balled up paper to toss into squares. Hopscotch can be meaningful and purposeful as well. Use colors, numbers, or letters in the squares for the students to call out. This is a physical activity that teaches taking turns, playing with friends and can be meaningful.

You can also make indoor recess more exciting by setting a timer and rotating activities.

Just remember-being prepared ahead of time for indoor recess activities will make this potential reality go much more smoothly.

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