Thursday, October 13, 2011

Indoor Recess

At my school, Kindergarten teachers are responsible for their students' recess.  That means that when it's torrential downpouring, snowing like crazy or just plain nasty outside, I am left with 22 very disappointed little faces looking at me, just DYING to get that energy out.

I played this video for the kids today, and it was a MIRACLE!  They begged for more, and loved seeing the kids on the video acting out the moves.  Best of all, they were exhausted after doing this dance three times in a row!  If your district blocks YouTube, like mine does, try my sneaky trick of playing it once on your laptop at home, putting your laptop to sleep and then just hitting play.  It works like a charm (without internet or anything!).  You can also try finding videos on Teacher Tube, or embedded on other sites.


Another favorite indoor recess activity is using colorful scarves to dance and move with.  Sometimes I play fun music and just let them do their thing.  Other times, I play this great "Musical Scarves" CD because it gives direct instructions and creative ideas.  My favorite is "Under the Sea" (I STILL want to be The Little Mermaid!) because the voice on the CD tells them to pretend their scarves are fish, to sway like seaweed, etc.  So fun!  Many times we will make a "scarf parade" and march around the classroom so that they have a little more space to move.  I the scarves and CD {HERE} but you might be able to find them cheaper on another website.


 A third lifesaving activity is to make an obstacle course in the classroom.  I set up three or four hula hoops on the floor to jump to (we often pretend that they are lilypads), a tunnel to crawl through, river stones to walk across and this amazing hopscotch rug to hop down.  I put them in a different order each time to make it new and exciting.  While about four kids go through the obstacle course, the others are dancing on the rug.  If you are thinking to yourself "WOW, this lady is crazy to have all of this going on in her classroom!" you just might be right.  BUT I have to remind myself that not only do they need to move their bodies to release energy, but they need to practice balance and tons of other gross motor skills.  Also they get very good at helping you set up and break down the course.  Also, who can resist when four year olds clap their hands and say "YAY!!!!"

 I would LOVE to know what you fabulous teachers are doing for indoor recess in your classrooms.  Please feel free to comment... I am always looking for more great ideas!

2 comments:

Silver Rose said...

It sounds like your classroom is the place to be at recess! I love the ideas. :) And you're definately not crazy. Organized chaos is always ok!

Reagan Tunstall said...

I found Adventure to fitness this year. It is free. It is a 30 minute episode with Mr. Marc and he wears them out! You just play it from their site. No downloading, no worries! It's awesome! I make my kids stand behind their chairs and they run, jump, duck, hop, etc all in the classroom. They beg for it everyday even when the weather is great. Here's a link to my post about it and to the site http://tunstalltimes.blogspot.com/2011/09/indoor-recess-problem-solved.html
Hope that helps!
Reagan