blank'/> Promoting Success: Winter Indoor Recess Game Ideas

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Winter Indoor Recess Game Ideas

Indoor Recess Game Ideas for Your Elementary Classroom - Play Again and Again!

Indoor Recess Game ideas

Note: This blog post contains resources from our 
TpT store and our Amazon Associate store.


Winter 2015: Baby It's Cold Outside! Here in the state of Iowa, we are having a hard time reaching 0 degrees Fahrenheit! All the schools were closed yesterday due to -40 below wind chills. They had a late start today since we may reach 1 degree! Here is a photo of sun dogs taken from our backyard.

Winter Activities Teachers Pay Teachers Promoting-Success

The cold weather brings on indoor recess.  This can create some long days for teachers!  I came up with an indoor recess game that will create structured movement...movement with a purpose, not just running around the room! LOL  If you are lucky enough to live in a place where indoor recess isn't a thing, you may still play this game as a brain break allowing for movement in the classroom.  Brain research shows us the movement helps fire neurons that increase student achievement.  Plus, it is fun!


Indoor Recess Game - Matching Mittens (or Gloves)


This game requires minimal prep work. You may purchase mittens for everyone in your classroom. The dollar store is a great resources. You may purchase enough for one mitten per child or a pair for each child. It is best if you have several different ones. Most families have tons floating around their home, so you could also ask for each family to donate one pair. It doesn't matter if they are worn or have holes. :)

12 pairs of kids mittens

magic gloves mittens for kids neon


After you have enough gloves or mittens, hide them around the room.  You will need to decide if you want students to find one individual glove or their own pair.  If the students are to find only one glove, then they must find the other student with the matching glove.

If you prefer less competitive games, then have the students work as a whole team trying to beat the clock using an online timer or this fun one from my Amazon associate store.


Here are some additional game options:

1. Create a graph to chart how long the game takes the students.

2. Allow students to talk and help each other.

3. Do not allow students to talk and help each other.

4. Do not allow students to talk, but allow hand gestures.

5. Have students find as many pairs as they can. The student with the most pairs wins.

6. Designate a special pair of gloves. The student(s) that find the pair win special honors.

7. If you have students who will struggle with this game, allow them to hide the mittens and monitor the timer instead of searching for the mittens.

8. Hide a task card in each mitten. Students must answer the question in their mitten. 

Here are some fun task cards you may wish to hide inside the mittens:

free telling time to the minute practice review

Free Long o oe oa ow vowel teams speech therapy

free skip counting by 2 3 4 5 and 10 1st 2nd grade


But wait! Here are lots more ideas on how you may use mittens and gloves in your classroom:

Math Ideas
  • Sorting and Patterning: Have students sort mittens and gloves by color, size, or style. Create patterns using different pairs.
  • Graphing: Graph the different colors and styles of mittens and gloves. Discuss the concepts of more, less, and equal.
  • Measurement: Use mittens to measure objects in the classroom. How many mittens long is the desk?
  • Addition and Subtraction: Create simple addition and subtraction problems using pairs of mittens as visual aids.
Language Arts Ideas:
  • Descriptive Writing: Have students describe their mittens using adjectives. What color are they? How do they feel?
  • Storytelling: Use mittens as story props. Students can create and act out short stories featuring the mittens.
  • Alphabet Matching: Attach letters to mittens and have students match uppercase and lowercase letters.
  • Sink or Float Experiment: Fill mittens with different materials and predict if they will sink or float in water.
  • Texture Exploration: Discuss the different textures of mittens. Are they soft, rough, fuzzy, or smooth?
Science Ideas:
  • Conductivity: Explore how well mittens insulate by placing ice inside and observing how long it takes to melt.
  • Static Electricity: Explore how rubbing mittens together can create static electricity.
Social Studies Ideas: 
  • Cultural Exploration: Research and share traditions related to mittens in different cultures around the world.
  • Map Skills: Use mittens to mark locations on a map. Discuss the importance of maps and directions.
Art Ideas:
  • Mitten Printing: Dip mittens in paint and create prints on paper or fabric.
  • Design Your Own Mittens: Allow students to decorate plain mittens with fabric markers or fabric paint.
Physical Education Ideas:
  • Mitten Relay Race: Have students participate in a relay race while wearing mittens.
  • Mitten Toss: Practice hand-eye coordination by tossing a small ball into mittens.
Music Ideas:
  • Mitten Rhythm: Create a rhythm using the sound of clapping mittens together.
  • Mitten Song: Invent a song about mittens and have students sing and dance along.
Health Idea: 
  • Hygiene Lesson: Discuss the importance of keeping hands clean and demonstrate how to properly wear and remove mittens.
Technology Idea: 
  • Mitten Scavenger Hunt: Use tablets or smartphones for a digital scavenger hunt where students find and photograph different types of mittens in the classroom.


This winter craftivity would also be a calmer indoor recess activity.

winter activities crafts for kids


Your younger students may also like these file folder games:

penguins winter file folder games


You may also like these resources from our Amazon Associate store:

indoor recess game


indoor recess dancing video


indoor recess activities for kids


indoor recess classroom games


classroom set BINGO game

indoor recess exercise game activities for kids


Click HERE to view our Teachers Pay Teachers Promoting Success store.

Shelly Anton is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to ** This means there are Amazon affiliate links in these blog posts. This does not mean you pay a dime more when you purchase a product through the link. It just means I am trying to save you valuable teacher time by making it easier for you to find great resources for your students, and I earn a few cents for my research and time. Thank you for all you do for kids!

Indoor Recess Games for Elementary