Time Filler Activities for Kindergarten

Whether it's a half day of school, you have a few minutes left at the end of the day, or you're simply having an “off” day, it's always a good idea to have a stash of quick and fun activities for kindergarten. These time filler activities can prevent your classroom from turning to chaos in a hurry.

Fun time filler activity mats for kindergarten

Time Filler Activities for Kindergarten

Instead of having your students color or draw independently to pass the time, which often leads to more chatting and off-task behavior than actual coloring or drawing, break out your trusty stash of easy time filler activities for kindergarten.

These activities are fun, quick to prep, keep students on task, and are also educational. Plus, they're great to keep on hand for substitute teachers, too.

Whole Group Time Filler Activities for Kindergarten

If you have a short period of time that you need to fill, perhaps after a school assembly, at the end of the day, or on a shortened-schedule day, these whole group kindergarten time filler activities are perfect to use.

Whole group discussion games

One of the easiest and most fun ways to fill the time is with whole group discussion games.

You can play these games using only discussion cards or prompts or take it one step further with a no prep follow up page if you have a bit more time. These games also encourage speaking and listening skills.

A few ideas for whole group discussion games are:

  • Would you rather?
    • Students choose between two choices and decide which one they'd pick.
  • Stand up if…
    • The teacher says a prompt such as, “Stand up if you are wearing blue.” Students stand if the prompt is true for them. Take it one step further by having students count how many students stand up.
  • What would you do?
    • The teacher reads a scenario aloud. The students think about what they would do and take turns telling the class.
  • Jump in the middle if…
    • Students stand in a circle. The teacher says a prompt and the students jump in the middle if it is true for them. A few prompt ideas include:
      • You are wearing tennis shoes.
      • Your birthday is in the fall.
      • You have a sister.
Fun time filler whole group activities for kindergarten
Listen and Color Teacher-Led Activities

Another fun activity for kindergarten to fill the time is listen and color teacher-led activities. These encourage direction following and attention to detail.

To play, students will need a no prep listen and color page. The teacher reads the directions one at a time and students color to complete them. They can also follow along with the directions on their page.

You can also do a DIY listen and draw version. Give students a blank piece of paper and give instructions such as “Draw a blue circle at the top of the page. Draw a yellow triangle below it.” This helps students practice colors, shapes, directions, etc.

Fun time filler whole group activities for kindergarten

Independent Time Filler Activities for Kindergarten

Sometimes you need students to work independently to fill the time, such as when you are assessing other students or helping a group of students finish work at the end of the day.

For these situations, it's nice to have some time filler activities for kindergarten that students can successfully complete on their own.

No prep activities

Having no prep educational activities on hand for students to complete is a great option for independent time fillers.

These activities can be simple math or literacy activities, such as matching and coloring letters or numbers. You can also use basic cut and paste activities for students to practice fine motor skills.

Fun no prep time filler activities for kindergarten
Draw a Story

Before starting this independent time filler activity, quickly give students the who, what, when, and where elements of a story in a whole group setting. You can also have students discuss in small groups to decide each element if you have time.

For example, your story elements may be:

  • Who- dog
  • What- digs
  • When- in the fall
  • Where- under the tree

Give students a blank piece of paper and have them independently draw a picture to illustrate a story they could tell with those elements. Every student's drawing and story will be unique.

Low Prep Activity Mats

If you're looking for a hands-on time filler activity, low prep math and literacy mats are a great option. Students will just need an activity mat and basic manipulatives to play.

They are perfect if you have a bit more time, but still not enough time for a full lesson. These activity mats include I Can cards, but you don't have to use them if you are short on time.

Fun time filler activity mats for kindergarten

Time Filler Activities For Waiting in Line

There are many times when your students are waiting in line, whether it be for recess, in the lunch line, or to go to a school assembly.

It can quickly become chaos, which can be very stressful for the teacher. Having quick time filler activities that you can use while waiting in line is a great way to keep your students focused and avoid chaos.

Trivia line up

If you are stretching the time before lining up for a transition, recess, lunch, or at the end of the day, call on students one by one and have them answer a trivia question.

If they get it right, they can line up! You could ask them to spell a sight word, solve a simple addition problem, say a rhyming pair, etc.

Word Web

If you're waiting to line up in the classroom, choose a topic, such as a season or a place. Have students brainstorm words that fit the topic.

Create a word web on the whiteboard to represent the topic. You can have students tell you the words to write or have them take turns writing them on the board if you have more time.

Alphabet train

This game is perfect when standing in line. One person starts by saying the letter A. The next person says the next letter and so on.

The students have to pay attention so they know what letter comes next. You can also do a counting version by saying numbers.

Line Up and Mix Up

Choose one student to be “it.” Choose 5-10 students to stand in front of the person who is “it,” side by side.

Give the “it” person one minute to memorize the order that the other students are standing in. (Write this down so you don't forget too!).

Then have the person that's “it” turn around and close their eyes.  The group of students standing side by side rearrange themselves.

The “it” person opens their eyes and tries to put the other students back in order as fast as they can. If they need help after 30 seconds, they can “phone a friend” from the group of observing students to help.

When the student arranging thinks they have them back in order, they say, “Line up, fix up!” The teacher reveals the original order.

Who Said That?

Choose one student to be “it” and come to the front of the line, turn around, and close their eyes.

Silently, choose another student by pointing or tapping on their shoulder. They are “the voice.” Only “the voice” can speak in this game.

“The voice” tries to disguise their real voice and say, “Hello, how are you today?” The student that is “it” must try to guess who said that.

If they guess correctly, the round is over. If they do not guess correctly, “the voice” will repeat the phrase in another disguised voice and they guess again. “The voice” reveals themself if “it” doesn't guess correctly again.

This is a funny time filler game with all of the silly voices!

Mirror Mirror

The teacher does 3-5 movements (such as touch your nose, jump one time, and wave your hands in the air). The students must repeat the movements back, like a mirror.

As students become more familiar with the game, increase the number of movements.

I hope you enjoyed these time filler ideas and fun activities for kindergarten. You'll never be stuck with time to spare and nothing for students to do ever again!

If you'd like to get your hands on more easy and no prep time filler activities for each month of the year, check out this Plans in a Pinch Bundle. These activities are perfect for time fillers and sub plans alike.

If you're looking for quick time filler games that require no materials, check out this blog post.

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