Preschool and early elementary teachers dread rainy days at school. Keeping small children indoors rather than letting them go outside for recess can lead to frustration rather quickly. Wise teachers research and create indoor games to give kids a much-needed physical and mental release. Indoor games also allow the teacher to play with the students, enriching relationships in the process.
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Divide the kids into teams of three or four. Assign each child an animal part to draw, such as a head, tail, legs and body. Each child chooses without telling the others what kind of animal she will draw. The children then cut out their body parts and glue them together on a large sheet of paper. Have each group come up with a name for their new animal and share with the class.
Hide the Object
Have everyone put their heads down and close their eyes. Find an object such as an eraser, a cup, or a stapler and hide it somewhere in the room. Tell the kids to open their eyes. The first child to find the object gets to help you hide a new object. For preschool children, hide the object in an easier-to-see place not too far above their eye-level. For older kids, make the search more challenging.
Instruct all the kids to sit on the floor facing each other in a circle. Use a soft object such as a Nerf ball or small stuffed animal. Set an egg timer about 30 seconds and have the kids start tossing the object to one another. Encourage them to toss the "potato" as soon as they get it because it is "hot." When the timer goes off, the last person to touch the object moves out of the circle and the game continues until only one person remains.
Create a Story
Play this game either verbally with younger kids or by writing words on the board with older kids. Have everyone stand in a line. Starting with the first person have them make up a story by saying or writing one word. The next person adds a word, continuing down the line. When the last person in line says or writes their word it goes back to the first person. Encourage the kids to be creative and silly with their story.
Indoor Obstacle Course
Arrange the room into 10 stations for an obstacle course--the kids can help set up the course. Tie some coloured yarn between the legs of two chairs that the kids will have to crawl under. Tape a hopscotch section. Set up cones for a tricycle to have to navigate around. Be creative with your stations around the room. Time each child as they go through the obstacle course, and encourage kids to cheer for one another as they compete.
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