Indoor Recess Ideas: Quiet, Up & Moving, Community Building or Creative


A little prep and a bag of tricks can make indoor recess what you and the kiddos need. And, face it, on different days, it can mean different things - sometimes up and moving is definitely it! Other times, calm and quiet will give kiddos a chance to catch their breath and be ready for learning later. Then, there are times in the middle where a chance to get creative or play a game with a friend will help everyone reenergize. We've got ideas for you!

Up and Moving Indoor Recess

We love these fitness apps - almost as much as our kids do!

GoNoodle is the hands-down fav in Marti's class. Kids take turns choosing a fitness activity. Sometimes it's yoga but most times it's dancing - yes, we have kids who love to dance. The moves are fun! Everyone first finds their "bubble space" then we're set to go. We've built several champs as we've jumped and done pop see ko. It's hard to pick our favs but Flappy Tuckler and Tangy Bodangy might be it! If you haven't tried GoNoodle, we say go for it! It's mostly free, so much fun and great for getting everyone up and moving!

Yoga gives kids a great movement break with stretches and focused movements. Anna's class loves Cosmic Kids Yoga on YouTube. The kids love the storylines including Star Wars and Harry Potter that go along with the exercises.

Adventure to Fitness is a great option when you want some fast-paced movement and a story too! And, unbelievably, even science facts, history trivia, and vocabulary. Kids get all this as they scale mountains, dodge stampeding buffalo and face pirates. Ahoy! Mr. Marc leads adventures that have kids running, jumping and swerving for about 30 minutes. Want to go on an adventure but don't have a half hour? No worries. Adventure to Fitness has mini-adventures too. It's available on a subscription basis: $19 a month (you can cancel anytime) or $99 for the year.

Quiet Indoor Recess

The Traveling Trio - that's armchair traveling for classrooms. And really fun too as we go on adventures with Olivia and her twin brothers Ingram and Everett. Learning about the cultures and history of places like the Czech Republic, Krakow and San Antonio, Texas is fun with kids who are 10 to 12 years old leading the journey. Each adventure is about 3o minutes. Anna's class loves the episode on Krakow whose history began with a fire-breathing dragon! After an adventure, kids feel refreshed and excited to have been part of the siblings' adventures traveling and making new friends. Episodes are expensive - $1,000 but for sure check out the free episode on their website.

Discovery Education - one-stop shopping for episodes of Magic School Bus and Animated Hero Classics

Animated Hero Classics - a series of animated videos that tell the lives of artists, inventors, and leaders. After watching the video on Helen Keller, Anna's kids understood her story so much better.

Magic School Bus - We're going on record here. We love Ms. Frizzle and have for a long time! She's got to be the ultimate teacher - always with a preposterous new adventure at the ready and a bag of tricks to get everyone safely out of impossible messes. Follow along to adventure in the rainforest, in space, even in the human body!

Indoor Recess for the Creative in All of Us!

Creative - Kids love Zentagle type coloring pages. Many of us never outgrow coloring - it's so relaxing and Doodle pages fit the bill. The ultimate in creative freedom has to be a box full of creative junk - the castaways that kids can use to make their latest, greatest invention or fashion creation. Kids in Marti's class make sushi rolls with colored paper. Anna's kids have been on a card making kick, distributing their cards to everyone at the school. That makes for a lot of smiles all around! 

Indoor Recess that Builds Community Too!

Games - Yes, we love coming together to play games. And we're here to share some of our favs. Check out the card games by Gamewright  - you'll love playing Sushi Go! Think strategizing combinations of sushi to gain the most points. Then, to totally change things up, there's Loot, a plundering pirate card game. Shiver me timbers! It's fast-paced and fun! Tried and true games are still some of our favorites. Silent Ball, Heads Up 7up, and Who's Missing? are fun with little or no props needed. 

Indoor recess? Embrace it with several different options. Choose the one that fits what you and your kids need at the moment. With lots of options, you've got this! What's your go-to for indoor recess? Please share.