Friday, February 5, 2010

Rain, Rain, Go Away....

"The sun did not shine. It was too wet to play. So we sat in the house all that cold, cold, wet day. I sat there with Sally. We sat there, we two. And I said, "How I wish We had something to do." It was too wet to go out And too cold to play ball. So we sat in the house. We did nothing at all. So all we could do was to Sit! Sit! Sit!, and we did not like it, not on little bit." ~Dr. Seuss

We have had
a lot of rain lately. I try to change up what we do for indoor recess so the kids don't become bored. We have a variety of activities that they request. Inevitably, the activities they request are lacking in large motor movement. When we miss outside time, those little bodies still need the activity, so I try to compromise and provide a large motor activity and still have time for a quick BINGO or board game.

Our indoor activity one day last week was bowling!
I got a few empty 2 liter soda bottles from our recycling bin (sent in from parents) and filled them with water and few drops of food coloring. We usually do this twice a year---the bottles hold up well and last a long time. Use a few long blocks to make an "alley", set your pins and you're ready for a strike! We've found that a kickball or standard playground ball works best with the weight of the pins. Since all the materials used are classroom materials, this can be set up in a flash---even when you weren't counting on inclement weather.

We were so busy playing with our homemade bowling alley that I forgot to get out the camera! Here's a shot of the bowling pins, just to show how they look.

Here are a few of the things we've done to get our blood pumping on dreary days:

My little friends love to do obstacle courses! I have built them myself, but I've found they can be even more creative than I, so I like to let them help plan it. We've used large hollow blocks as balance beams, tunnels under tables, carpet squares as "islands". The possibilities are endless!

Indoor snowball fights using recycled paper can be fun. Be sure to set clear ground rules beforehand. (No aiming at faces, etc....let students help devise the rules!) We've used cardboard blocks as "forts" for protection. Make the clean up afterward a game.

Indoor basketball using rolled socks or a small foam ball and a storage bin can be a great way to get little bodies moving.

Twister is a fun game for indoor gross motor movement. You can use several preschoolers at one time, and practice colors and left and right body parts. We usually vary it to one or two parts on the board at a time so more friends can play.

Ice skate on wax paper. Place a small square under each foot and skate away! Works well on hard floors or carpet!

Our parachute is too large for our indoor play area, so I have an old small round tablecloth that works just as well. Put a balloon, foam ball, Beanie babies,or bean bags and "Pop" like popcorn. Have students take turns crawling under to the other side.

And of course, we dance! As I talked about in my earlier post
Do You Dance?, we dance to everything and really enjoy movement songs!

Be creative and take a cue from your kids. If you see that they enjoy a particular type of movement, try to find activities that incorporate that type of movement. Change it up, have fun!
And if you have anything you do indoors on dreary days, I'd love for you to share!


  1. Your indoor snowball fight idea is awesome and so easy. The best part of all these ideas is that there isn't a lot of prep needed, which is always a plus for me!

    Although we live in a part of the world where if we didn't play in the rain, we'd never go outside (current spectacular weather aside) I have a few indoor large motor winners as well. Wrestling is a blast and, I've found, not just for boys, and the kids love to give me sponge balls then run away as I try to bean them -- seriously!

    But the indoor large motor activity we're most known for is the balloon cage, which I always set up the week of my birthday. I enclose a corner of the classroom, floor to ceiling, with caution fencing, lay down gym mats, they fill it up with 100+ balloons. It's crazy fun. I'll blog it, with pictures in a couple weeks.

  2. I love those bowling pins! So colorful!


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