Winter can be beautiful. Trees covered in snow. Cozy days spent inside under a blanket on the couch. Or maybe you love to hit the slopes and trails for your favorite winter sport. And while winter can be a wonderful time, it can also be a painfully long, dreary season. Especially when you’re stuck inside the classroom! That’s why our brain breaks for winter months are here to save your sanity.
During this time of year it’s dark when you leave for school and dark when you head back home. Depending on where you live, you might have to dress in 7+ layers just to keep yourself warm on the drive to school. Your students come in with their coats, snow pants, and boots and everything is wet, muddy, and messy. And worst of all… So. Much. Indoor. Recess.
Maybe it’s too cold, too icy, too wet… whatever the reason, there seems to be an uptick in indoor recess time during the winter months. And that can cause you to lose your mind and your students to go stir crazy. Our kids thrive off that chance to breathe in the fresh air during outdoor recess and run off some of their pent up energy.
Now I don’t have any magical solutions for getting your students fresh air during indoor recess besides opening the windows, but I do have some fantastically fun indoor winter brain breaks for the classroom when everyone needs a break from learning!
Brain Breaks for Winter
Winter brain breaks are an excellent way to maintain on-task behavior in your classroom throughout the colder season. Not only do they help increase learning and engagement in students, but they can also encourage creativity and teamwork amongst your class. We’ve collected a range of activities to bring movement into the classroom during the winter – all while having a blast.
Indoor “Snowball” Fight
I love to use this Editable Snowball Fight printable throughout the winter months. You can put letters, numbers, sight words, equations, or any other skill that you’re wanting your students to review on the snowballs. Your students will have a blast throwing and picking up the “snowballs” and you’ll love that no one is getting hurt or wet while playing! This game is always a hit so be prepared for the kids to request it over and over again.
Winter STEM Activities
Some of my other favorite brain breaks to do with kids during the winter are these Winter STEM Activities. I always like to have one prepped in a center or in bins so that when everyone is needing a break from their learning, we can get up and complete a STEM challenge as a class or in small groups. Your students will still be learning through exploration, but they’ll get a much-needed break from their seats and their written work! This Avalanche Experiment is an easy prep STEM activity our kids find absolutely fascinating.
Write the Room Activities
Everyone loves a good task, right? Our students (and even us) typically thrive when given just the right amount of structure and direction. Sometimes you can just say “everyone get up and move around for a few minutes” and it will go really well. The kids will stretch and return to their seats when asked. But other times, if I tell them they can get up and move around for a few minutes, we’ll end up with a game of tag, outdoor voices, and usually some tears from people crashing into each other or tripping.
This is why I love using write the room activities as indoor brain breaks. Your students can still move around the room relatively freely, but they are tasked with an activity to keep them focused. While this isn’t a complete “brain break” since they’re still thinking and learning, it definitely counts as a movement break and anything helps during the winter!
Our Write the Room bundle has more than 200 Write the Room activities that will keep you and your students busy all school year long. My favorites to use as cold weather brain breaks include the seasonal winter words, the subtraction for winter, and the addition for winter write the room activities. There are also sight words, uppercase letters, lowercase letters, beginning sounds, and counting write the rooms for every month of the year, so the January and February ones will be perfect to use during the winter!
Indoor Fun with BINGO Games
During the winter, I am always looking for fun, creative indoor brain breaks for kids, and I love to use easy activities that I can store away and use year after year. That’s why I always have a game of bingo prepped for every season and holiday. This Winter Bingo game is one of my favorites on my list of cold-weather indoor recess ideas! I always suggest grabbing both the Seasons Bingo and Holiday Bingo bundles because you’ll never be without an easy brain break for your students!
Video Brain Breaks for Winter
Sometimes we want to run an activity or structured brain break, and sometimes we just want our students to get out of their seats for a few minutes! These videos make for the perfect winter brain breaks to get moving and burn energy.
Your students will be laughing and dancing along with the Koo Koo Kangaroo clan with this fun “Brr” song and dance.
We can always count on The Learning Station for simple-to-follow, age-appropriate movement breaks, and this Snowman freeze song is no different!
I love Jack Hartmann videos for my kindergarteners, don’t you? He has a video for everything! Play this Make any Shape and Freeze! game this winter when you need to get your students out of their seats.
Lastly, one of my students’ FAVORITE things to do in the classroom is yoga. I find that the Cosmic Kids Yoga channel on YouTube has the best and highest quality yoga videos for our students. Some exciting winter brain break options include JoyBob the Polar Bear Yoga and Pedro the Penguin Yoga.
Whether you live in a place where you’re snowed in with indoor recess all winter long, or maybe you’re just looking to break up your day in the classroom with some brain breaks, I hope this collection of fun indoor classroom brain breaks for winter helps make these cold months fly by.
Get access to all of our products!
- Access to ALL of the easy-to-prep, engaging resources we’ve EVER made!
- New, exclusive, themed resources every month made for Pre-K, Kindergarten, and First Grade that our members vote for!
- Complimentary access to all 1000+ digital games we’ve made for Google, SeeSaw, and Boom Cards!
- One-click access to all of our freebies in both color and black & white!
Shop our Amazon favorites!
These fun and easy winter brain breaks for the classroom will keep your students engaged and learning throughout the season!