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Inclement Weather Indoor Activities for Preschoolers



Planning for Inclement Weather Indoor Activities

It is important for us to anticipate a bad weather snap!  We never know when it will come, but let’s be prepared for it.  You need some ideas for your back up plan.  

This first half of this page will give suggestions on how to plan and where to file your ideas for inclement weather indoor activities.

The second half of this page has a list of around 36 inclement weather indoor activities to get you started!

Create a Bad Weather Busters Box or File

The first step in planning for inclement weather indoor activities is ... well.... having somewhere to find those activities!

This box will either be a physical box, such as a recipe box or file folder or a decorative can that has index cards with ideas in it!

You will need:  a recipe box, index cards and a pen (or a file folder, paper and a pen OR a decorative can –such as a tin candy can, index cards and a pen).

How To Use the Bad Weather Busters Ideas

On days (or weeks!) where you need to plan inclement weather indoor activities because bad weather is keeping you in, go to these cards!  You can flip through them and choose what you want to do each day.

The key in planning will be to change up your ideas every day.  The surprise of a new indoor activity each day will keep the children excited!

You might have an obstacle course one day.  The kids will LOVE it.  They may love it so much that they ask to do it the next day as well!  I typically don’t do the same activity 2 days in a row.  I want the excitement to be high when I fall back to that activity in a few days or a week!

You could plan based on each day:  Obstacle course Monday; Music Game Tuesday, etc.

Or, you could just wing it!  Here is a way we have done this in the past:

Take out all the cards.

Begin “shuffling them” face down.

Tell the children to chant “Shuffle, shuffle, shuffle” (while you are shuffling) and then say “STOP”.  When they say stop, whichever card is on the top is the indoor activity you will do this day!

I don’t use the “wing it” method often for gross motor activities very often.  The reason is that some of  the activities require set up time of 10 minutes.  Rather than take the 10 minutes during classtime, we would set up what was needed before the children arrived at school.

Helper’s Choice:  If you have a classroom helper each day or week, have them reach into the box or can and pull out a card for the gross motor activity!

Let’s Plan Inclement Weather Indoor Activities

Okay, so, let’s plan some Bad Weather Buster Ideas!  Take out your index cards!

Each index card that you make should have the following on it:

Name of activity

Items Needed

How to Set up or How to Play

You may have many more to add to your own activity list!  

If you would like to share your ideas with me to add to this page, I’d love it!

Simply click on the “Contact Me” button on the upper left of the page.  

Be sure to type in the space provided that your ideas are for the Blizzard Box page!

Type in your ideas (include name of activity, items needed and how to play instructions and click submit!



Bad Weather Buster Gross Motor Activities

Here are about 36 inclement weather indoor activities to start you off!

Action Cubes

Materials needed:  Two Boxes (small gift boxes or any cardboard box that the children can easily hold), Clear packing tape, black marker

On the sides of one box, print numbers

On the sides of the other box, print actions (jump, hop on one foot, crawl, etc.)

The children toss the boxes in the air and the carry out the actions:

Hop 6 times; crawl 4 times

EXTENSION:  Set this up so that you can use it again and again for different concepts.

Make "pockets" on each side by making clear packing tape pockets. 

You can then slide different cards into the pockets when you play.

You could then have a number cube where you change the numbers, so rather than having 1-6 permanently on the cube, you can change it to other numbers you are working on.

You could change the "action" cube to have colored cards in them or different actions.

With color cards, the children might "find 4 red items".

You can also purchase this type of game from Discount School Supply OR from Amazon.  See the link at the bottom of this page for my Preschool Plan It Amazon Store.

Bean Bag Games

  • Italic Bean Bag Color Toss

Needed:  Variety of colors of Bean Bags and matching colored bowls

The children toss each bean bag into its matching bowl.

VARIATION:  Tape colored pieces of construction paper on the floor that match the bean bags.

  • Italic Bean Bag Shape Toss (taped on floor)

Needed:  Variety of colors of Bean Bags, painters' tape or construction paper shapes

Tape shapes onto your floor or carpet (or tape precut paper shapes onto the floor)

The children practice tossing the bean bags into the shapes from a distance.

  • Italic Bean Bag CD

I love the CD ITALIC Bean Bag Activities & Coordination Skills by Kimbo Educational!  So, so many bean bag games on this CD!

Click Here for the Bean Bag CD and Information

Bear Hunt

Needed:  Bear Hunt on CD (any version....my favorites are Greg and Steve and Dr. Jean).

Take the kids on a bear hunt in your classroom!  Use items in your room for each place in the story (i.e. under the table is the cave; a door is the tree, etc.).

Blue Bird, Blue Bird Through My Window

Needed:  Just a clear space in your classroom!

Lyrics:

Bluebird, bluebird, through my window.

Bluebird, bluebird, through my window.

Bluebird, bluebird, through my window.

Oh, Johnny aren't you tired?!

Take a little girl and tap her on the shoulder.

Take a little boy and tap him on the shoulder.

Take a little girl and tap her on the shoulder.

Oh Johnny aren't you tired?!


The children all hold hands and make a circle.

As they are holding hands, YOU begin weaving in and out of the circle singing the song.

Click the link below to see this song/activity in action!

Go To Bluebird, Bluebird Youtube video

Bowling Ideas....

  • Cup Bowling 

      Needed:  Plastic cups (those red solo cups work great!), plastic balls

      Let the children build the cups into tall towers.

      Use the balls to bowl with.

      Variation:  If you have a flat scooter on wheels (you know, the one           that the children sit on!), have them lay on their belly on the scooter         and use their arms to bowl themselves into the cup tower!

  • Traditional Bowling

      Needed:  Plastic bowling set

      Just set up and bowl!

  • Bowl with soda bottles

      Needed:  One or two liter soda bottles with caps (at least 6 of them),         balls

      The children set up the bottles and bowl.

  • Bowl with cans

      Needed:  12 or more aluminum cans (tape the edges for safety).

      The children stack them into pyramids or towers and use the balls to         bowl with!

Bubble Wrap Fun...

  • Bubble Wrap Dance Floor

      Needed:  bubble wrap, cd player, music CDs

      Tape the bubble wrap to the floor and let the kids dance on it!

  • Bubble wrap shapes -- Twister

         Needed:  bubble wrap, tape, circles cut out of different colors of                construction paper, Twister Game spinner (or make your own                    spinner!)

      Place the colored circles on the floor.

      Tape bubble wrap over the circles.

      Use the spinner to call out the instructions (right foot on red)

      The children find that color and pop bubbles with their foot, or hand,         whatever the spinner shows!

Copy Me

Needed:  CD Player, Music CDs

Put some fun music on.  

Have the children stand in a circle.

Let each child take a turn "showing their moves" by getting in the middle of the circle and showing a dance move.

Encourage the children to try to move like their friend.

Dance Party

Needed:  CD Player, Music CDs

Just dance!  Have a dance party!  One area is a dance floor; have water in cups on a table for them as well!

Duck, Duck, Goose

This is a great traditional game!  Be sure each child has a turn being "the ducker" (what we call the one who walks around saying Duck, Duck, Duck, Goose!).

If you let each "ducker" know to only choose a friend who has not had a turn yet, everyone will have a turn!

Find Your Shoes Relay

Needed:  A space to run in.

Have the children remove one of their shoes and place it in a pile at the opposite end of the room.

Pair the children up.  Have one partner go to the pile to find their friend's shoe.

They retrieve it and bring it to their friend and help their friend put it on.

Then, the friend goes to the pile to find their partners shoe and does the same.

Follow the Active Leader

Begin with YOU being the leader.  The children should follow you and copy what you do.  Perhaps you will hop on 2 feet.  

After a few hops, go to the end of the line and the next child in front is the leader and chooses a new action to copy.

Continue until all children have had a turn being the leader.

Freeze Dance

Needed:  CD player, CDs

Play music.  The children dance.

When the music stops, they must freeze as they are.

Variation:  Play a variety of music and have them dance to the tempo of each song (fast, slow, jazz, opera, etc.)

Hopscotch

Needed:  Chalk, tape or paper and tape.

Draw a hopscotch on your floor or carpet with chalk or painters' tape.

Or, tape different colors of construction papers to your floor with numbers on them.

Hula Hoop Twister

Needed:  Hula hoops of different colors

Have the stand around the hoops (line up hoops in several rows of 3 or 4 hoops per row.)

When you call out a color, the children all get into that colored hoop.

This is a group help game.  If there are only 2 red hoops, they need to make room for each other in the few red hoops you have!

Call out the next color.  They do the same.  

Jam Session

Needed:  Musical Instruments

Let the children choose and instrument and have fun playing it.

After a couple of minutes, have them trade instruments.

Keep trading until they have all had turns with all the instruments.

EXTENSION:  Play music for them to try and use their instrument to the same beat!

Limbo 

Needed:  CD Player, Music CD, Anything to limbo under (broom, pool noodle, etc.)

You know how this goes!  Have fun!



Mat Maze

Needed:  Exercise mats opened up!

Stand the mats up all around the room, like a maze.  The children start at one end and find their way out together!

Milk Jug Scoop Ball

Needed:  Gallon milk jugs (plastic)--you will need one for each child, soft balls, colored tape (duck tape or electrical tape), scissors

In advance, cut the bottoms off the milk jugs.

Tape of the cut part with tape for safety and color!

The children use these to toss a ball back and forth.

At this age, I find that they tend to want to try and toss the ball in the air and catch it rather than partner catching.

Musical Fun......

  • Musical Chairs (preschool traditional)

      Needed:   1 chair for each child; CD player, Music CDs

      Set up chairs in 2 rows, back to back.

      The children walk or dance around the chairs while the music is playing.

      When the music stops, they find a chair to sit on before you count to 5!

      For preschoolers, there is NO need for them to be OUT.  Do not               remove a chair so that there is on less chair than children.  This is very       frustrating for children this age to comprehend.

  • Musical Hoops

      Needed:  5 or so hula hoops, CD player, music CDs

      Play music.  The children dance around the room.

      When you stop the music they must get in any hula hoop before you         count to 5.

      After a few times, remove one hula hoop.

      Continue playing.  Continue removing hoops until there is only one.

      The children should be helping each other stay in the hoop together.

  • Musical Shapes 

      Needed:  Shapes cut from different colors of construction paper (two         of each); CD Player, music CDs

      Place one of each color shape on a chair (just have the same number         of chairs as you do children).

      Give each child a shape.

      Play music.  They walk around chairs.  

      When the music stops, they must find the chair that has the matching       shape as the one they are holding.

      (NOTE:  I taped the shapes to the chairs.  The children thought they         were supposed to pick up the shape before sitting.  Then I had to             replace the shapes on the chairs again!).

      VARIATION:  Tape the shapes to the floor around the room rather             than on chairs.

Obstacle Courses.....

  • Traditional

      Needed:  What ever you can use in your room!

      Set up a course where the children should go under a table, around a         chair, through a tunnel, on a balance beam (or walk on a piece of tape       on the floor).

  • Streamer Course

      Needed:  streamers!

      This is fun!  Criss cross streamers (crepe paper) in your room to make       almost a web shape!  The children must crawl under or through it to         get from one side of the room to the other!

      There is a picture of this on my Pinterest Page!  See the Pinterest Link       at the bottom of this page!

Parachute Fun....

  •  Traditional Tossing

      Needed:  parachute or large sheet; items to toss (stuffed animals,             balls, plastic bugs!)

      Work on teamwork!  Teach them how to go low, medium and high             with the parachute or blanket without anything in it.

      Then try adding items to toss out of the parachute or blanket!

  • Story Telling Tell stories about the items inside the parachute to help children decide the speed they should shake the parachute with.

      For example:  The Teddy Bears were sleeping.  They were so, so tired.       If you are quiet you can see them gently breathe in and out (slowly           move chute up and down).

      When the sun came up, Mommy said "Bears!  Time to get up".  

      The bears started stretching in their beds (move chute a little faster).

      You get the idea!  Have fun with it!

  • Trade Places

      Needed:  Parachute

      This was one of our favorites!  It takes a while to teach the children,         but they will ask for it again and again once they know how to play!

      Teach the children how to slowly raise the chute way up and hold it up.

      Then tell them to bring it back down to their bellies.

      Tell them you are going to play a game called "Trade Places!"

      Demonstrate this for them with a child.

      Say, "We will shake the parachute up, then down, then up and keep it       way up when I tell two of you to Trade Places!

      It is important that you keep the parachute way up so that your two         friends can see and don't get hurt!

      I'll show you how!  Ready?  Okay Joey and I are going to trade places!       Parachute up, up, hold it up!

      Joey!  You and I TRADE PLACES!  (you and Joey run under the                 parachute.  You go to Joey's space and Joey goes to yours.).

      Great job! Okay, now when the parachute is back up, ____________         and __________ trade places!"

      Keep playing until all children have had a turn.

      We always played this twice.  The second time was for the children to         go back to their original spaces!

Pool Noodle Fun......

  • Noodle Ball

      Needed:  Pool Noodles (cut in half so they are shorter for our                   children!), beach balls

      The children use the noodles to help each other get the beach ball to         the other end of the room.

  • Noodle Golf 

      Needed:  Pool noodles (cut in half so they are not so long!); short             cones (that we use to mark off a parking lot), small plastic balls.

      Place balls on the holes of the cones.

      The children use the noodles to get the balls off the cones.

  • Noodle Obstacle Course 

      Needed:  pool noodles (not cut), wooden children's chairs.

      Place noodles so they rest on the rungs of the chairs for a herdle to           jump; or on the backs of the chairs for the children to limbo under;           and on the floor for them to hop over!

Skating Indoors  

Needed:  wax paper, scissors

Cut out squares of wax paper.

The children step on the wax paper and "skate" on a carpeted area

Snowball Fight 

Needed:  Newspaper crumpled into balls or rolled up socks--lots of them!; painters' tape

Tape a line across the floor.

Separate the children into 2 groups, one on each side of the tape.

The children try to get all the "snowballs" on the other side by throwing them.

Yell Freeze at some point and have the children count how many snowballs are on their side!

Tape Walks...

  • Tape Shape Walk

      Needed:  Painters' tape

      Tape large shapes on the floor.

      The children walk on the taped lines without "falling" off the tape!

  • Tape Letter Walk

      Needed:  Painters' tape

      Tape large letter shapes on your floor or carpet for the children to             walk.

      VARIATION:  Tape the first letter of each child's name on the floor.

      They need to find the letter their name starts with and walk that letter.

      Or you call out the letter each child should find and walk!

Talent Show

Needed:  chairs, popcorn

Set up chairs and make popcorn.

Give each child a turn "performing" their favorite song or dance or telling of their favorite story for their friends as their friends eat popcorn at the Talent Show!

Yoga

Show the children Yoga moves to do together!

Variation:  Make or purchase Yoga cards.  Show them one at a time for the children to do.

Music and Activity CDs

There are many CD's that provide you with all the movement and action you will need!  I'm a huge fan of Greg and Steve CDs and the Bean Bag Activity CDs.  

The Greg and Steve Cds Kids In Action and the Greg and Steve CD Kids In Motion have always been a favorite in my classroom! 

You will find these CDs listed (as well as many of the items needed for the activities on this page) in my Preschool Plan It Amazon Store!

Click the link below to check them out!



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