Being a teacher comes with its own unique challenges. And these days, more often than not, it can seem as though those challenges are steadily growing. But one thing that does not have to be challenging is keeping your kids entertained when they are stuck indoors due to inclement weather or other issues. Especially for special education teachers, this may seem like a difficult task. However, these helpful ideas may keep you from pulling your hair out when your kids are searching for something to do.
While this may seem like an obvious idea, board games may not often be thought of for special education children. That said, the pluses of board games are many. There is a huge variety of types of board games, even for young children. Board games do not have to be done by the whole classroom, either; they can be done in smaller groups that may be easier to manage. Board games can also be tailored to the student depending on their needs. For example, Chutes and Ladders is a simple game that may be good for everyone. Conversely, a game like Operation (which may be startling or loud) may not be good for all students.
If your kids are readers, give them quiet time with books. Keep a stash of interesting YA books on hand, perhaps even tailoring them to your kids. If you have children who are not very much into reading, though, feel free to try graphic novels or comic books. Introduce them to books they may not otherwise have been exposed to, or even encourage a project off of a book. Perhaps recreating a favorite character in art expression would be a great way to keep a rainy day busy. A day of reading may also be informative to you as a teacher for monitoring progress in your software of special education< and tracking advancement in your students.
This is a fun game that is inexpensive, can take up a lot of time, and doesn’t require a lot of effort. Plus, it can be done individually, in a team, or both. Plastic cups are fun to stack, make a satisfying crash when they are knocked down, and can be used for a huge variety of fun games, not just stacking. Plus, if they get damaged or crushed, it’s not a big deal, as they are so cheap. You could have a team of students build a castle or try to see how high they can stack the cups as a team, while others play with the cups individually.
Plus, the cups can be saved for later and used for many other activities in your classroom. Try setting up the cups and have students throw cotton balls or ping-pong balls into them for points. Turn the cups into balloon launchers and let the children fling cotton balls all over the room, or make targets on the walls or on their desks. Stacking cups is even a competitive sport. Show your students videos, then see who can stack theirs the fastest.
Who doesn’t love balloons? While popping balloons may provide a problem for children who aren’t good with loud noises, balloons can be a great boon for a classroom full of restless children. Have balloons blown up and ready for them when they come into the classroom and there will be instant excitement. Set up a makeshift balloon drop, include confetti, and have a dance party. Turn paper plates into paddles and see how long students can keep balloons in the air. Students can even use markers to draw faces on balloons, turn them into animals, or create a balloon centipede with a head and a tail that can snake around the room.
If you are having a mostly quiet, calm day of inside activities, break up the atmosphere and inject a little fun and energy into your students’ day with short dance parties. Children’s songs with activities can be made fun even for older kids. Cut large sheets of paper into rocks or islands, and play The Floor Is Lava. Do the chicken dance, and have the children think of silly activities to insert into the song. Remember singing in rounds? If your kids like to be vocal, try teaching them a song to sing in rounds, and see how long they can keep it going.
Or if you are open to a bit of clean-up, have the kids make their own confetti with fun hole punch shapes, and add balloons into the mix, or even glow sticks and a dark room. No matter what you decide, it’ll be sure to provide your students with hours of entertainment. Sure, keeping the classroom fun on cold and rainy days may take a bit of extra effort, but it is not impossible! And the payoff of smiling faces and happy children more than makes it worth it, any day.
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