Quick Time Filler Games for Kindergarten
Time filler games are a necessity in the classroom! Don’t you hate those awkward few minutes between activities we all have with our students? You know, when everyone’s packed up and just waiting for the bell to ring, or when there are only four minutes before lunch, or the lesson you planned went much more quickly than you intended?
You don’t have time to do any real work, but you want some sort of constructive activity to keep your kids busy so they don’t crack up. Here are 17 fun time filler games for Kindergarten that will keep your students engaged and learning too!
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Quick Time Filler Games
This game is a fun time filler for kindergarten that will help kids with counting skills. Have students stand in a circle around the rug. Choose one student to begin counting aloud, saying the number one. The next students in line says two and the counting continues around the circle. Whoever says the number 21 each round has to sit down. The game continues until only one person is still standing and wins!
21 Challenge Version
This version is great for strategy. Begin the game as above but this time students may choose to say one number or two. For instance, if it were my turn I could say one or I could say one, two. The next person could say three or three, four. Kids love changing up whether they say one or two numbers.
And when it gets down to only 2 or 3 people left you can see them thinking and planning what to say to stay in the game.
The Vowel Game
Similar to the game above but this version teaches students vowels. Have students stand in a line. Each student says a vowel in order- a,e,i,o,u. Whoever says the letter U goes to their seat. Repeat until only one student is left standing.
Sit Down Saturday
This game is a great way to review the days of the week. The class stands in a circle. Choose a child to begin by saying “Sunday.” Continue around the circle, saying the days of the week. In other words, the next child says Monday, the next Tuesday, etc. until you get to Saturday.
Everyone says “Sit down Saturday!” and the Saturday child sits down and is out of the game. Continue until there is only one child standing or you run out of time.
This activity will get them up and moving. Call out a physical movement (jump, clap, spin, etc.). Then roll a giant pair of dice and students must do that many of the movement.
A game of process of elimination. One person is ‘it’. Inside their head, they choose one person who is their secret friend. All students start standing. The person who is ‘it’ calls out clues, one at a time. For instance, they may say “My secret friend has blue eyes.” All students who do not have blue eyes sit down. The person who is ‘it’ keeps giving clues until there is only one person- the secret friend- is left standing.
This is one of those great time filler games for Kindergarten to review spelling. Kids stand in a circle. Teacher calls out a word for the students to spell. The first child says the first letter, the second child says the second letter, and so on around the circle. If a student gives an incorrect letter, they sit down. When play gets to a student who thinks the words has been spelled correctly they say Sparkle and the person after them sits down.
If they are incorrect (for example the word is c-a-l-l and the students have spelled c-a-l and the next student says Sparkle) they sit down. Repeat with more spelling words until there is only one student left standing or you run out of time.
Hot and Cold
Time filler games for Kindergarten that also review skills? Now that’s a win-win! This activity reinforces letter recognition. Pick a letter and choose one student to be the ‘Finder.’ While the finder waits outside the classroom door, a couple of ‘Hiders’ find an object that starts with the chosen letter and shows the class. For example, if the letter is B, the hiders can choose a book, block, button, etc.)
The ‘Finder’ comes back in the room and tries to guess what the object is. When they get near the object you tell them warm. When they are far from the object you tell them cold. Play continues until the ‘Finder’ finds the object.
Catch the Teacher
This activity helps build listening skills. Tell the students a simple nursery rhyme. Then repeat it, intentionally making a mistake. If the students can catch the teacher’s mistake and tell what was incorrect and how it should have been said, they win.
Silly Voice Sight Word Practice
This is a fun activity to practice recognizing sight words. Point to a sight word on a posted chart and have students read it aloud. The twist- tell them ahead of time what sort of voice to use. For example, whisper, squeak like a mouse, sing, deep voice, robot voice, etc.
The first player starts the game by saying “I’m thinking of an animal…” and gives three clues about the animal they’re thinking of. Students take turns making guesses until someone guesses correctly. That person gets to think of an animal and give the next three clues.
Slap the Sight Word
Project a word document with sight words on it onto the board or a wall. Have students form two lines in front of the projection. The first two players come to the board, each armed with a plastic flyswatter.
The teacher calls out a word and the students attempt to be the first one to slap the word with their flyswatter. The winner has to use the word in a sentence. If they do so correctly, their team gets a point. Those players move to the end of the line and two new players approach the board to play the next round.
This game helps kids build communication skills without talking. Kids sit in a circle and pass the ball to another player without saying a sound. They do not have to pass the ball around the circle, but can toss it to anyone they like. Everyone must keep their eye on the ball so they know if it is coming to them. If anyone talks or make silly noises, they are out.
Reinforce letter and sight word skills with this “get up and move around” game. Lay out letter cards or sight word cards all over the floor (One for each student in your class). Play some music. Kids wander around the room. When the music stops, each student must go to a card and one by one when you point to them, read the letter, sound, or sight word on their card.
This is a fun call and respond game that requires students to use their bodies instead of their voices. Students use their listening skills as they use motor skills. Lead a sequence of patterned sounds. For example clap, pat, clap, pat or clap, pat, stomp, clap, pat, stomp, etc. Students listen and repeat the rhythm.
Number the corners in the room 1, 2, 3, 4. One child stands at the front of the room with eyes closed. The remainder of the class move around and choose one of the 4 corners to stand quietly in. The child at the front of the room calls out the number of one corner. The children in the named corner are out and go sit down.
Continue the game until you have one winner. The children change corners for each round. The child at the front of the room must keep their eyes closed for the entire game so they do not gain a sense of the choices being made by the class in terms of corner selection. A blind fold is helpful.
You can also switch this up by having the player call out an addition problem, and the sum is the corner that is out. Same with word families. Name each corner a word family. The caller will say a word from one the word families. Everyone in the word family corner is out.
You know what they say- a busy class is a happy class. I hope these time filler games for Kindergarten help you add a little fun to your day and keep your schedule on track. For more indoor game ideas click here. For outdoor game ideas click here.
Thank you very much for these ideas. Our Preschools in South Africa are open after lockdown but the children have to practice social distancing at all times and are not allowed on the playground ): Many of these games can help them still play as a group.
These are great…thanks!