10 Indoor Recess Ideas for Your Homeschooling Sanity
Have you ever considered the need for an indoor recess for your homeschool?
You don’t have to be a parent for very long to know that kids need to move.
Their bodies crave it, which is why you are always telling them to stop running through the house and stop climbing on the furniture.
As a homeschooling mom, you are probably starting to notice this need for movement being directly connected to your productivity in the school room.
The wiggles start to take over and you just can’t seem to get that lesson finished.
Recess is Important for Homeschoolers Too
The American Academy of Pediatrics describes recess as “crucial and necessary” for children.
If benefits their physical well being, ability to focus, productivity levels, cognitive performance, and emotional development – that’s a lot of benefits!
As a homeschool mom, I’m sure you take breaks for snacks, maybe screen time, independent play, but how much movement does your child do during those breaks? How much energy does your child use up?
With the choice of homeschooling, you may not have the ability for regular outdoor recess time for any number of reasons:
Why Recess Gets Skipped in Homeschool
- Parks are too far away
- Small or no yard
- The baby needs a nap
- Errands need to be run
- The weather is terrible
- Somebody is sick and can’t leave the house
- Mom too tired or doesn’t feel well
- Children are too young to be outside unattended
- Mom feels there is not enough time to get all the school work done and do recess breaks
But the Biggest Reason Homeschool Recess Gets Skipped is:
When a kid has a break between lessons, mom is moving on to help the next kid. If the kid on break isn’t old enough to go outside alone…then they have to find something to do inside until school hours are over.
Unfortunately though, when kids have not had a chance to get their energy out, they are so much more likely to misbehave, whine through their lessons, climb all over your furniture, tear apart your house, and drive you nuts.
If this sounds all too familiar, welcome to the club!
There are so many indoor movement toys, ideas, and activities though that can get your kids moving right inside your house.
Benefits of Indoor Recess for Homeschoolers
In an ideal world, kids should be outside in the fresh air every day. But when that is not feasible, it is wise to have a plan to get your kids moving.
Indoor Recess toys and activities are awesome things to have up your sleeve because your kids can still get movement in, even when:
- Somebody is sick
- You’re sick
- The weather is crazy
- You don’t want to buckle everyone in the car to drive somewhere
- You have more school work to do with older kids during the day
Below is a list of things I have personally owned and used with my kids. I can tell you they have been life savers when I needed them the most.
10 Indoor Recess Ideas for Homeschoolers
1. Indoor Trampoline
Outdoor trampolines are always a hit with kids, but when the weather is rough – you need an alternative.
We love having this indoor trampoline right in our classroom! It is perfect for bouncing out energy and giving my kids an outlet – rain or shine.
My kids really love that two people can jump on this trampoline and the bar is perfect for balance and doing some gymnastics tricks.
When you need some indoor recess time to get all the wiggles out of your homeschooler – this will save your life. For extra fun, turn on some upbeat music!
2. Painter’s Tape Hopscotch
The first time we did this was in a hotel room after a long car trip. I put painters tape down on the rug and made a hopscotch grid – they went crazy!
How many different patterns can you possibly do hopscotch??
Left foot only!
Right foot only!
They would love to come up with new ideas and say “watch me mom!”
We have done this activity many times since that hotel. My kids actually found some painters tape and put down a game of four square on my wood floors.
They had so much fun playing and the tape came up very easily days later.
3. Alexa activity games
If you own an Alexa/Echo, there are loads of cool Alexa skills to get kids moving!
A great indoor recess option is to just tell your kids to “play” with Alexa.
Some of our favorite skills are
- Freeze Dance
- Animal Workout
- Gingerbread Man
For more info, check out my post on Amazon Alexa Skills. There is a free printable at the bottom of the post too that will help you remember all the commands!
4. Flybar Pogo Stick
A flybar is such a fun way for kids to get the feel for a pogo stick.
They can hold on and jump and bounce all over your house and work off a ton of silly energy.
There are different options for colors, and you can even get one with a unicorn head on it.
***The Flybar does have a squeaker in it. So every time your child jumps on it, there will be a squeak noise. That did not bother me at all with my kids. If they were smiling and active, I just tuned the other noise out.
5. Indoor Bounce House
Yep, this is a bit of an investment, but it was well worth it for us.
We got our bounce house when my oldest was 2 years old and we still have it 6+ years later.
It has been used during so many bad weather days, long winters, and playdates – I can’t believe it still works!
If you have the room in your budget, definitely take a look at it. This is the Bounce House we have, and I highly recommend anything by this company – their stuff is built to last.
6. Fort Building
Is there a more classic indoor recess activity for a homeschooler??
My kids have used countless sheets, blankets, pillows, chairs, and tables to build their fantasy structures. As you probably know, the joy is in the buildng, and not so much actually sitting inside the fort.
If your kids love forts, but you hate to see your sheets dragged across the floor and your furniture being abused, consider these fort kits!
My kids love this fort kit they got for Christmas years ago and still play with it years later.
It is often the trick up my sleeve when I see them getting stir crazy – “Anyone want to build a fort?!”
7. Indoor Soccer
The guy who invented this Hover Soccer Ball is a genius.
It feels like you are playing air hockey on your floor with something that looks like a soccer ball.
Don’t worry, the padding around the soccer “disc” really does protect your walls and furniture.
Your kids will have so much fun playing this together – no mud or grass stains – hooray!
8. Musical Hop Skipper
Do not let this really simple toy fool you – it is so fun!
How it works: the Musical Hop Skipper plays music, the bars spin, and the kid jumps.
It has several settings to make it harder or easier – you can adjust the height of the bar and you can adjust the how fast they spin.
My kids went crazy for this! All three thought it was so fun to see who could last the longest without touching the bar.
I tried it myself a couple of times and it actually is hard to keep your stamina up to keep jumping at just the right moment to get over the bar. After one minute, I was done!
***The plastic bars do come out very easily which is nice for storage. But, it also makes the plastic bars easy weapons for siblings to swing at each other…just saying…in case your kids tend to notice things like that.
9. Obstacle Course
My kids LOVE obstacle courses and have so much fun setting up their own creative ideas.
“Jump over the toy, crawl under the chair, roll under the table…”
The sky is the limit for their imagination!
My kids loved to add in these multi-colored “RiverStones” for all kinds of balancing games and “hot lava.”
***They also work well outside as bases for kickball!
One of these days, I want to get my kids a real obstacle course, like one of these. But for right now, I like to just suggest they build one and see their creativity take off.
10. Roller Coaster
That’s right, I said roller coaster – for inside your house!
This was another amazing Christmas present my kids received and it has definitely stood the test of time. All my kids (ages 8 and under) and all their friends consistently want to play with it over and over again.
They wear themselves out laughing, running, hauling the little car back to the top of the coaster – and they do it forever!
This is a can’t miss indoor recess option that you will be so thankful for this winter.
11. Recess and Results Virtual Recess Club
I know, I know. I said the top 10 indoor recess things, but things change people.
COVID has made all of us crazy, so I had to pop back into this post and add a fun new indoor recess option I just came across.
Somebody actually had the brilliant idea to start a virtual recess club with certified fitness experts to lead kids in play based exercise!
A lot in our homeschooling world has changed, so we are excited to get some extra movement and social interaction thought this super creative outlet.
You can check out the website here – Recess and Results Virtual Recess Club – and get one free month with Promo Code: THEFREE
Indoor Recess Recap
Alright, so there you have it – all my indoor recess ideas, toys, finds, and tips for your homeschool sanity!
It’s good to have a handful of options on hand and rotate through them, so the kids don’t get bored.
If this is a bit too big of an investment for you right now, consider saving these ideas until the next birthday or Christmas pops up. Start focusing more on giving your kids toys that encourage movement.
Trade in the barbies and video games for fort kits and trampolines!
Want to hold onto this for later? Awesome! Just pin to your favorite Pinterest Board and share with your friends and followers!