Teaching requires foresight. Last year, we had several days at the beginning of the year where we had inside recess. We had fires intermingled with rainy days. It was an odd occurrence that this occurred on the first day of school! Again, another first. I know I won’t ever run out of those in teaching. No two days are exactly alike.
In case it happens to you, I’ve come up with a planning tub with activities strictly for rainy days.
- Special toys that only come out on rainy days. In kindergarten, I hide stuff I don’t want tampered with when I have guest teachers or for rainy days. Stuff just gets ruined otherwise. These might be quieter toys like soft building blocks. I do not allow kids to play in the play kitchen, etc. Again, I don’t want things to get ruined.
- Movies. I love having a few fun movies through iTunes. Our kids go to recess first and then to lunch. This means, I can just pop in a special movie that is rated “G,” such as Monster’s Inc. or Toy Story by Disney.
- Coloring Sheets and Blank Cards. We don’t have coloring sheets on a regular day, so this is something special for my kids. They can sit quietly and color and/or make cards for friends and loved ones. For friends, they can deliver to our class “mailboxes.”
- Go Noodle. I love GoNoodle.com. We use it for our “dance,” parties that we have when all of our kindergarten classrooms do a switch-recess. We split up our kids into equal groups and split among our different kindergarten classrooms for different activities. We do this a lot throughout the year.
- Dixi Cup Towers. We use this as a team building activity and it stays all year. Kids love building “castles,” and structures out of dixi cups.
- Play Doh. This is conditional. I only allow play doh out if I know kids are responsible enough. I also have clear rules; it needs to stay in a certain perimeter. We use cookie sheets from the dollar store and it stays on there or they can’t play with it.
- Legos. Same rules as play doh. And it depends on the kids. Larger legos I don’t usually have much of an issue with as I do the smaller ones. The small pieces can make a huge mess.
- Dress Up. I do allow dress up. I don’t allow kitchen or vet clinic or other things that could easily get ruined and would be more difficult to replace. These areas off limits and I place activities at tables to avoid confusion with recess aids.
- Write Directions. Have typed, quick directions for recess aids so they know what kids can and cannot do. You could even have these as part of each activity tub. Put them in plastic sleeves and on cardstock. They are ready to go each time you have inside recess! Put them all in the tub and set up.
- Hot Chocolate. On special rainy days or after many rainy days, I let kids have hot chocolate. If kids can’t have dairy, I use sugar and cocao powder to make it with water. We only use dixi cups and fill it up half-way, so I don’t feel guilty about giving them a huge cup. AND, kids love it. It’s a great incentive to have a clean classroom for when you come back.