Filler activities are those that can be pulled out and used when planned lessons are completed, the day is not going to plan, or when you simply need an activity to do with your students to take up time.
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Below are 25 filler activities to add to your teaching bag of tricks!
Must-Try Filler Activities
Do you have your filler activities prepped and ready to go for those moments when you need them? Check out these 25 ideas for filler activities that have been teacher-tested and are student-approved!
1 – Books to Read Aloud
Read-aloud books are always a favorite – no matter how old the students are! Put a couple of read-aloud favorites in your bag for those moments when you need a filler activity!
2 – Silent Reading Books
Have a few minutes to spare? Pass out some printable books that your students can read on their own!
3 – File Folder Games
From math to language arts to science and social studies, there are file folder games for all occasions that can be prepped and ready for those times that need to be filled.
4 – Puzzles
Whether you’re using printable puzzles, digital puzzles, or ones that you bought at the store, puzzles are a great filler activity that get kids practicing and improving their fine motor skills.
5 – UNO
The classic card game of UNO is a student and teacher favorite! It’s best played in small groups or pairs so have multiple decks available.
6 – Card Games
A simple deck of cards can lend itself to a wide variety of card games!
7 – Coloring Pages
Printable coloring pages give students a creative outlet while also keeping them busy. Choose generic pages or ones with a holiday theme depending on your needs.
8 – Board Games
9 – Task Boxes
If you have a variety of different task boxes already created, they can make great fill-in filler activities! Students love choosing which ones they’ll do.
10 – Cut and Paste Art Activities
Simple art activities are perfect for those downtimes when you need a filler activity!
11 – LEGOs or Blocks
Let them build! Building with LEGO or other blocks allows kids to be creative and get a little bit of energy out while doing it.
12 – Dot Markers
Dot markers are just plain fun! Use them with dot coloring pages or decorate plain white paper with a dot-rific design!
13 – Tracing Worksheets
Those fine motor skills will get a workout with some tracing worksheets used as filler activities!
14 – Connect the Dots
Counting practice and coloring go hand-in-hand with some connect the dots activities that encourage your kids to be creative and hone their math skills.
15 – Solo Cups
Build a tower, build a castle, or simply see how many cups you can stack! Solo cups make a great filler activity manipulative.
16 – Structured Play
Play is the work of children and structured play is perfect for those filler activity times in the classroom.
17 – Adapted Books
Not only are adapted books great for special learners, but they’re also a lot of fun. When you’re looking for a filler activity, break out some of your pre-assembled books for students to use!
Need some Adapted Books for your students to use throughout the school year? Join the Adapted Book Club and get instant access to hundreds of books you can print, assemble, and use right away!Learn more about the Adapted Book Club HERE!
18 – Clip Cards
Clip cards are cards that have been printed out that contain a question or problem. Students must “clip” the correct answer with a paperclip, clothespin, bobby pin, or whatever the teacher has available. They’re a lot of fun and a great practice of skills.
19 – Directed Drawing
Directed drawing gives students practice drawing with a bit more help! There are directed drawing videos online that make it easier when introducing the concept to your students.
20 – BOOM Cards
BOOM Learning is an online platform that features teacher-created interactive games and activities. You can find decks on everything from parts of speech to beginning sounds to social studies topics!
21 – BrainPOP
BrainPOP videos are always a hit! Just use care with the quizzes as they sometimes contain information that was not thoroughly covered in the videos and that can frustrate students (and teachers!).
22 – BINGO
BINGO is class favorite no matter what grade you teach. Use the traditional number game or search online for language arts, holiday-themed, or math problem BINGO to make learning fun for your students.
23 – GoNoodle
Let those wiggles out with some GoNoodle dancing and moving!
24 – Playdough
Playdough can be used to form letters, build castles, and more. Use it with cookie cutters or just have kids roll and mold it with their hands.
25 – Sensory Bins
Sensory bins are always a good idea but they’re especially fun for a filler activity. If you’re not sure what to put in your sensory bins, these ideas may help!
What are your favorite filler activities to use year-round? Share them with us in the comments below! We’d love to know what you use to fill those odd amounts of time throughout the day!