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With winter right around the corner, it’s a good idea to start planning indoor recess activities for when it’s too cold, rainy, or snowy to take your students outside to play. We’ve come up with a list of seven indoor recess ideas to help you offer students the best play experiences possible when they’re stuck indoors.

1. Practice Yoga

Yoga is a great physical activity for indoor recess! It promotes gross motor development and helps children relax and focus, which can result in improved academic performance. Read “Using Yoga in the Classroom” for more information about why you should use yoga in the classroom and how to get started. Be sure to browse our selection of yoga mats, CDs, DVDs, and activity cards. Body Poetry: Yoga Cards is the item featured in the video above.

2. Encourage Parachute Fun

Having a parachute for rainy days can provide countless indoor recess games. Make sure the size of the parachute matches the size of the space you have to play indoors. If you don’t have room in your classroom, see if you can use a space in the gym or an empty classroom or hallway for the activities. From a six-foot parachute to a clock-themed 12-foot parachute, we offer a variety of parachutes for you to choose from. You may also want to check out 3-2-1: Time for Parachute Fun for activity ideas. One idea featured in the book is that you can use the parachute to create a special imaginative play area in the room by using it as a tent or big top for circus performers, a tent for camping holidays, the sails of a ship, a restaurant, the inside of a space shuttle, or a jungle.

3. Utilize Play Carpets and Floor Mats

Carpets and mats that incorporate activities or spaces for children to build with blocks or use their imaginations are great for rainy day classroom games. The Crocodile Hop™ Floor Game, Hopscotch Play Carpet, and Zipbin Happy Farm & Dino Land Large Playmat are just a few examples of carpets and mats that can help engage young children’s minds.

4. Incorporate Bowling and Bean Bags

If you’re looking for indoor recess toys, consider getting an assortment of bean bags. Children can practice their hand-eye coordination by tossing bean bags at targets. Plastic bowling pins and foam bowling balls are also great toys to incorporate in your indoor recess plans. Be sure to check out the Six Pin Bowling Set, Flower and Target Complete Set, and Two-Sided Bean Bag Toss.

5. Create an Indoor Obstacle Course

Use Step-A-Logs and Gonge Riverstones to create an indoor obstacle course in your classroom! It’s a great way to encourage physical activity while helping children improve their sense of balance. Start with a simple obstacle course by placing the logs and riverstones in a straight line. Once children have conquered the beginner obstacle course, you can start adding curves and changing the placement of the logs and riverstones to create a more challenging course.

6. Play Chair Activity Bingo

If you don’t have a lot of space in your classroom for indoor recess, try Chair Activity Bingo. The game features seated stretches and simple movements that students can do in their chairs. Once they complete the pose, they can mark their game card. This would also be a great game for anyone with limited mobility.

7. Encourage Creative Movement

Encourage creative movements to help children get rid of some of their excess energy. The Magic Moves® Electronic Wand gives ninety fun and simple physical commands to help children get moving and build their listening skills. You can also use music and scarves and ribbons to help inspire creative movement and help children learn and grow. We have a variety of children’s music, rhythm scarves, and ribbons to choose from.

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