30 Quick and Easy Time-Fillers


We all have been there. The thirty-minute lesson we planned went much faster than expected, and now we have time to fill before the next activity. There is not enough time to do another lesson but too much time to let the kiddos be idle. If we don’t come up with quick and easy time-fillers fast, chaos will ensue!

I love lists! I love to have immediate options off a list that require little brain power on my part! We hope you love lists too because we have created one for you! We have listed 30 Quick and Easy Time-Fillers that you can use today as they require little to no prep! I love #3, #14, and #15, but my kiddos go crazy over #19 and #27!

Super Easy Time-Fillers

1 – Would You Rather? This game was a lifesaver during distance learning! So much fun that we have carried it over to use in the classroom. You can easily on the spot come up with questions such as “Would you rather eat pizza every day or McDonald’s?”. But we’ve also included a link to some cards that you can pre-make ahead of time.

2 – Freeze Dance. This freeze game is a classic. Pop on some music, and when the music stops, everyone freezes into a statue.

3 – Share some jokes.    Kids love telling and hearing jokes! Click to get 180 jokes for the classroom.

4 – I Spy. I spy with my little eye something red. I spy with my little eye something that starts with ‘a’. And so on. I’ve also included a link to our I Spy Phonics. Why not have a meaningful, engaging time filler that no one knows is school work?!

5 – Mirror Me. First, I strike a pose or do an action, and then, the kiddos do the same. A time-filler that requires nothing!

6 – Simon Says. A few rounds of Simon Says fills the time but also will improve listening skills!

Requires More Thinking Time-Fillers

7 – What Number Am I Thinking. For this, I draw a number line on the board of 1-20 and give two clues, such as it is bigger than 5+1 but smaller than the number before 17.

8 – Lists. Ok, tell me everything you can think of that is a vegetable. Let’s list everything we know about Halloween.

9 – Hot Seat. For this activity, I typically put myself in the hot seat first. The kiddos love asking me questions while I am in the hot seat!

10 – Twenty Questions. Sometimes, I will choose a character from a book we recently read, and the students have 20 questions to ask to figure out who I am. Other times, I will pick a random item in the classroom.

We Still Are Schooling Time-Fillers

11 – D.E.A.R.  Drop everything and read! Sometimes, I do the reading from a chapter book. If there’s enough time to fill, I have the students choose books to look at or read on their own.

12 – CNN10.  If you haven’t checked out CNN yet, always screen your viewings first! While the news reported is typically at a student’s understanding level, the topics can be heavy!

13 – Brain Quest. I have the Brain Quest boxes for K, 1st, and 2nd! They are jam-packed with questions that are perfect time-fillers. You can differentiate so everyone can have a chance to be right!

14 – Create a story. I love this activity. I usually give the setting and one character, and the kids take turns adding details to the story. The story we are creating is about a young boy at Disney…

Brain Break Time Fillers

15 – Yoga Stretches. One of my favorite sections in our CORE Binder is Yoga. The kids love the superhero poses, and the animal poses the best!

16 – Breathing. Breathing exercises are a powerful way to teach social-emotional learning (SEL), support a healthy immune system, and find those times to incorporate some calming activities within your daily schedule. Check out our blog on breathing exercises!

17 – GoNoodle. Well, love it or hate it, Go Noodle is a kid’s favorite time-filler!

18 – Dance Party. I love to put on a variety of music genres from classical to hard rock (all kid-friendly versions) and let them freestyle! Too cute sometimes!

A Few More Games and Activities

19 – Silent Ball. I have two rules with my students: 1) they must gently lob the ball and 2) no talking! The kids pass the ball around the class as quietly as possible.

20 – Head’s up Seven Up.  First, all the students will put their heads down on their desks and extend one of their thumbs. Then, the teacher secretly chooses one person as “It.” This child moves around the room quietly touching the thumbs of six other people. If a person is touched, they go to the front of the room. When six have been chosen, “It” yells, “Seven up!” Everyone raises their heads and tries to guess which of the seven people is “It.”

21 – Directed Drawing. Directed Drawings give the students an artistic outlet while still connecting them with reading, writing, and phonics activities. When introducing a new one, maybe do it in sections of 5-10 minutes.

22 – Math Facts Practice. There are countless ways to do this with or without flashcards. Did you catch my silly humor there?

23 – Sight Words Practice. Check out this excellent blog for some fun activities and games!

24 – Word Ladders. First, I write a word on the dry erase such as “book”. Then, we change one letter to create new words such as hook, took, loot, boot, and arrive back at “book”.

Some Final Time-Fillers

25 – Color By Number.

  • Make Math + ELA review more fun than FORTNITE
  • Encourage kids to self-check with colors
  • Differentiate between two levels, so ALL learners soar.


26 – Give Me 5. Give me five types of candy. Then maybe I will ask for five dessert choices. What are five of the holidays?

27 – Transformation Station. With 90+ pages of creative designs and guided instructions, your kids will love taking a squiggle and transforming it into their creation!

28 – Exercise. Give me 20 jumping jacks. Ok, let’s run in place for 30 seconds.

29 – Stand Up, Sit Down. Stand up if you like chocolate. If your favorite color is blue, sit down. You can use letters in names, colors, favorites, dislikes, etc.

30 – Chat with a Partner. My kiddos love to talk ALL DAY LONG. So, I give them a few minutes to chat it up with a friend whenever I can!

Well, there you have it: 30 Quick and Easy Time-Fillers that you can use today! Did you find some favorites or think of some on your own to add to this list? I have #15 and #16 built into every transition, but my students thrive on #30. If you have some ideas to share, please leave some time-fillers in the comments!


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Welcome! I’m Emily, Founder of Education to the Core. We are all about helping K-2 teachers by providing unlimited access to affordable printables for every subject area.