With all of the demands and stresses put on teachers, students are bound to feel it. Sometimes, school becomes such a serious and stressful place. Teachers can barely catch their breath and students are working hard to prepare for the end of year tests.
When you feel the weight of the world on your shoulders, and you see the serious looks on your students’ faces, you might be in need of some fun.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. I don’t have time for fun! When could I possibly fit it in? But I am going to give you 25 suggestions and hopefully you can incorporate some of them into your week. After all, is there anything better than the sound of children laughing, or the smiles on their faces?
1. Tell a joke
It only takes a minute! Kids love to hear jokes. Do a quick search on your computer and you can find tons of websites with kid jokes. Some can really get your students thinking!
2. Do an experiment
For FUN! I am not talking about a formal science experiment where students have to write and do work. I am talking about a quick experiment to make your students go “Ooooooooh” or “Woooww!!” Need an idea? Drop a mentos in a diet coke bottle! (Outside of course) Add vinegar to baking soda. Pour oil on top of water. Make butter! There are lots of little experiments you can do.
3. Take your lesson outside
Have students grab their materials and sit outside for the lesson. Sometimes we all need some fresh air and a change of scenery.
4. Read a short story–for fun!
You can also read a chapter book during your transitions. I love to ready Charlie and the Chocolate Factory with my students during transitions. I don’t even make them do work…I just let them enjoy the story.
5. Tell an interesting fact
This is an easy one! There are so many shocking and interesting facts out there. Here’s one: A snail can sleep for 3 years. (Just search: interesting animal facts, kids trivia, interesting facts for kids, shocking facts for kids, etc…)
7. Talk about your weekend
YOUR weekend! Students love learning about their teacher. Tell them what you did!
8. Share photos from home
Give students a peek into your life. Show them your house, your pet, your family, etc…
9. Allow for show and tell
This one can be a little more time consuming, but you can fix that by only allowing two or three students to share each day.
10. Do an estimation jar
Is there a holiday approaching? Dump some holiday themed candy in a jar and have students guess how many are in the jar. Closest guess wins the jar. Or, closest guess wins a cheer and everyone gets some candy.
11. Play a game during your lesson
Create a game to go along with your lesson. BINGO, Around the World, SCOOT, etc…
12. Tell a story together
Sit in a circle. You start the story, then the student beside you continues it. (Only for a sentence or two) See how long you can keep the story going. Does it get silly?
13. Check the forecast and see if its accurate
Students are naturally curious about weather. Show them how the weather forecast can be checked. You can turn on the TV (if you have one) and watch the local news forecast. Or, you can check online! Then, have students determine if the meteorologists were right each day.
14. Get a class pet
Beta fish are super easy to care for.
15. Decorate the classroom
Put up a fun or silly new poster. Hang some Christmas lights. Put some hearts around the room for Valentine’s day. You don’t have to go crazy and create a perfect pinterest classroom!
16. Get a class plant
Believe it or not, some students love caring for these just as much as a pet. I recommend some type of cactus.
17. Genius hour
I never had time to do this in class, but I let students research any topic they wanted outside of class. They were allowed to bring in a poster and present the topic.
18. Have indoor recess
Students love being able to play games with their classmates. You can let them use legos, color, or even play teacher on the whiteboard. Guess what else? You can get a lot of work done in your classroom during this time!
19. Take a brain break
GoNoodle is my favorite for this.
20. Call someone’s parent and brag on them
Right in the middle of the day! Let the whole class hear you praise the student to their parent.
I feel like kids never get to paint anymore. I used to love painting in elementary school. You can get water colors or jars of paint really cheap at Target or Walmart. Students can share! Have them paint about something you are learning so you can tie it into your curriculum. (Ex: Learning about plants? Have students paint the life cycle or the structure of a plant.)
22. Get physical!
Take a quick break from your lessons and do push ups, jumping jacks, or hop on one foot!
23. Play a game of telephone
Students stand in a circle. Whisper a sentence to the first student. Have them whisper it to the person beside them. And so on… Does the same sentence make it back to you?
24. Dance or Stretch
Put on a silly song and have students get their energy out by dancing! Direct students through some stretches! (GoNoodle is also good for this!)
25. Have a fun snack
Bring in a snack for the students to try. My school was part of the fresh fruits and vegetables program and we got one to share with students every day. It’s really fun. Students get to try so many fruits and veggies they may have never even heard of! Kiwi, jicama, grape tomatoes, carrots, lettuce, spinach, grapes, strawberries, bananas, oranges, etc…
I hope you can find a way to incorporate SOME of these ideas into your classroom! Don’t forget to have fun with your students! Life is short! 🙂