The Best Winter Recess Activities

Snow on the trees.

I’m sitting here at my desk, looking out the window at blank, dreary grey skies. The skies that are supposed to be delivering the white fluffy stuff.

Snow has been severely lacking this winter. But our friends in southern New England and other northeast states seem to be getting dumped on pretty often.

That creates winter wonderland for your students. Snow angels, snow forts, and bundled-up kids in snow boots, hats, and mittens. It reminds me of that classic scene in A Christmas Story where Ralphie sticks his tongue to a pole. Just puts a smile on my face.

Winter is a fun time for students. However, it creates a desolate playground. The monkey bars are covered in ice. The pavement has turned into an ice rink, and well, it’s cold.

That’s why the team at QuizBean (with hot cider in hand) came up with a list of great recess alternatives for  winter recess. Here’s what we’re thinking:

1. Class-wide snow fort (or large dinosaur)

Get everyone bundled up – a feat in it’s own right – and take them outside to build a large snow sculpture. It could be a fort, or a dinosaur, or even an igloo (which would be sweet). Building the sculpture together encourages teamwork, planning, communication, and leadership. But, best of all, it encourages fun. Winter doesn’t have to be boring and bland. Get started with your fort tomorrow!

2. Hot-chocolate making – from scratch!

Kids love to play with their hands. So, give them an opportunity to do just that – and warm up at the same time. Hot chocolate, when it’s not made from a SwissMiss powder packet, can be life-changing. If you’ve got kitchen space, you could even make homemade marshmallows. Ok, that may be pushing it.

3. Aerial snow designs

I just saw this blog post a few days ago. I was blown away at the time it takes for this man to dream up his snow-dependent designs. And he knows that with one wind gust, it’s gone. Could your students do the same? Get a couple of them together, think of a design and start stomping. When you’re done, take a picture from above – and if you want, send it to parents to show them what their child has been up to!

4. Nap-time/Quiet time (seriously)

Sometimes the classroom just gets too loud (you know what I’m talking about). Flip it around and have quiet time with your students. They can play games, read books, or even take a nap. And believe me, if I had to get all of my snow stuff on at lightning speed, I’d take a nap, too. Naps are awesome. Let the rowdy kids outside and enjoy your quiet time.

5. Drawing Winter Dreams

I’ve found that kids love to draw – whether it’s with crayons, pencils, markets, or paintbrushes. Art is sorely lacking in today’s schools. It’s steam-rolled by test-prep when it should be given more space in the schedule. When it’s too cold to go outside or it’s snowing blankets, get your art on! Pull out some printer paper and ask students to draw what they they want to do this winter. Let their imagination go wild!

See? There’s plenty to do in the winter. What have you done with your students that’s put a smile on their face during these cold few months? Let me know in the comments below!