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Independent Kinder Indoor Games that Kids Can Lead on Their Own (minimal work for teachers)

We all get those days! This post will show you some quick and easy Independent Kinder Indoor Games that kids can play on their own. Indoor recess, indoor lunch are words that no teacher wants to hear even though we know that they are bound to happen. As much as we, as teachers love our little students just like they are our own kids – we, too need the break! And as an introverted teacher myself, I understand this concept quite a bit. Are you like me?


Independent Kinder Indoor Games

There are so many ways you can get kids to play on their own, but when it comes to 30 kids in a classroom well things can get quite chaotic. Here is a list of games you can try to get kids to play independently during recess or lunch (and hopefully keep your sanity and your tummy happy by eating your lunch in peace).

  1. I love this idea from Get some recycled cardbox containers or cereal boxes and let the kids go nuts ‘creating their cereal box house’ – each group can create their house independently or you can have the whole class create their cereal box house from a number of cardboard boxes. Of course, you will need the materials for this beforehand but they are easy to get your hands on. Collect them from home and keep them at school for any ‘kinder indoor games’ emeergency. 😉

Here are the materials you will need for this:

  • 4 or 5 cereal boxes or shoe containers.
  • coloured markers or crayons
  • old magazines
  • box of safe glue sticks
  • scissors or safety scissors (if your students are under 5)
  • decoration pieces and craft pieces to add to their houses like pom poms etc.

Here is a sample image from where you can find a cereal box cut into a house with windows and cute fence. The fence can be cut out from a magazine. This idea is not limited to houses, you can have them create funny faces from different set of eyes, mouths, hair etc.

Kindergarten Arts & crafts Activities: Make a Cereal Box House

2. Set up some simple roll and colour or roll and feed activities for the kids to do in small groups. They can be done independently – because they basically practice their math and counting skills and consolidate the learning skills they’ve already been exposed to during class. Like this super simple Unicorn Mat Preschool Math Activities which you can differentiate and use with kids in preschool and kindergarten. This is a free printable which you can get from the post linked above or in the picture below.

3. Build a large ship: Brain Flakes Stem Challenge. Grab a large container of brain flakes and tell the kids that they will be building a large ship because of an impending earth catastrophe (you can create a little story on a whiteboard or on your digital whiteboard) to present this game as an escape room challenge. So much fun. The brain flakes can be found on the link here or on the picture below.

If you also do a quick google search, you will find lots of image ideas you can show your kids as a guide to create this ship right here.

4. Have a set of playdough learning mats ready for this independent game or center. Have the kids use play dough to build letters, sight words, numbers and more with these easy to prep and use mats. When you have these on hand, they are the best way to engage the littles and the best part? You don’t need to supervise because they can work on these on their own on their tables or on the floor.

Play Dough Learning Mats

5. Meditation Mindfulness for Kindergarten: play a short video to inspire kids and show them how they can meditate and process their emotions. Personally, I love any opportunity to teach social skills and social and emotional skills. There are so many easy kindergarten videos you can find on YouTube for this idea. Here’s one embedded below.

6. Building Bricks with simple guide cards: use these super clever cards to help kids work on their fine motor and critical thinking skills to build different objects using building bricks. Here is an example image from The Printable Princess which gives you an idea on how to use the cards. print them and laminate. Have them ready for when kids come in for recess or lunch. Or you could do a simple search on google to have them create similar items with building bricks.

Want whopping access to 200+ Editable Fine Motor Name Mats for preschool? Best part? This bundle will be updated regularly. Grab your Preschool Fine Motor Name Mats right here.

Fine motor games and a freebie! Fine motor development is an important part of early childhood. These fine motor games are perfect for PreK, Kindergarten, or First Grade students. They are easy to prep and can be used as an independent activity or fun partner game. Plus grab a superhero themed freebie to play with your students!

7. Pom Poms Building Set: this is a very similar idea to the one above. Kids can work independently on these and best fo all, students in preschool and kindergarten can work on these. Laminate the cards and have the kids build them independently in their little groups.

Fine Motor Skills Activities - Pom Pom Task Cards Winter
Fine Motor Skills Activities - Pom Pom Task Cards Winter

8. Indoor Brain Break Videos for Independent play: these videos on YouTube will have your kids burning energy AND playing independently while they workout. Great way to get kids moving and centered when they return to ‘class time’.

Brain Breaks Action Songs for Kids – great for burning energy.

Mix of Brain Breaks for the Classroom – this is a great mix which you can play and leave on for the kids.

We all get those days! This post will show you some quick and easy Independent Kinder Indoor Games that kids can play on their own. Indoor recess, indoor lunch are words that no teacher wants to hear even though we know that they are bound to happen.

I hope these ideas set the wheels turning for you to prepare for Independent Kinder Indoor Games this year. You can always leave me a comment here to tell me what games you play with your kids indoors. I would love to add them to the list here!


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