So as we know – the 2020-21 school year has been crazy and not like any other. Many things have needed to be revamped including how I do Fun Friday. I typically have all kinds of building activities out for the kids to work on, but obviously that is not an option with social distancing. So I’ve come up with a few new Fun Friday ideas that can be used in the virtual classroom, in-person classroom, or hybrid classroom.
Name Change – Mystery Time
First, Fun Friday has gone through a name change in my classroom. It’s now called Mystery Time. At the beginning of the year when everyone at my school was virtual, Mystery Time was built in to everyone’s schedule for the last 30 minutes on Friday. Mystery Time is pretty much Fun Friday except it’s a mystery each week what it will be. So every Friday it’s a different activity and throughout the day I give clues about the activity. Students then guess and get to see if their guess was correct at the end of the day. The kids love the suspense and every Friday during Morning Meeting they start hounding me for clues, so it definitely motivates them and keeps them engaged.
Here are a few ideas that I have used for Fun Friday or Mystery Time in my classroom:
Virtual Field Trip
Virtual Field Trips are a lot of fun virtually and in-person since field trips are off the table this year. One of our favorites was the Nickelodeon Slime in Space trip. Everyone love slime and space and it was cool to see what happened when astronauts played around with the slime.
Themed Breakout Rooms
I got this idea from Carolyn over at A Primary Kind of Life and it is a fantastic way to build community and provide the kiddos at home a chance to socialize. I’ve only done this one virtually, but I’m sure you could tweak it a bit and do it in person.
For Themed Breakout Rooms, I first had a discussion with my class about fun themes they’d like to talk about. Pokemon, Minecraft, Legos, arts and crafts, music, and toys all made the list. Then, I would narrow it down to 2-3 themes for that specific Fun Friday time. I would let the kids know the themes – say for example – Legos, Arts and Crafts, and Toys and they would tell me which room they would want to go to. Then, I would assign them to that specific room and the kids could just hang out, talk, share Legos, create art, and more together. I then popped in and out of the rooms to make sure things were running smoothly and staying on-topic. They honestly did great with this and I think they were so excited to be able to socialize with each other since that piece is often missing from distance learning.
Art Hub for Kids
This is one of our favorites! They have many different pictures you can draw and the kids love learning how to draw different animals, foods, places, etc.
While students can’t build projects together in a group, they can still build on their own. We had a think outside the box challenge where students had to use a box and materials from home to create something they could wear. This could also be done in-person with students bringing in items from home that they could use to create their project.
Games like Pictionary, Scavenger Hunt, This or That, and Finish the Doodle are also fun for Fun Friday.
Sometimes I assign my students a blank Google Slide™ with a specific task to complete with it. We’ve used a blank slide to create a jack-o-lantern, a disguise for a turkey, a snowman, and more.
For more ideas, be sure to follow me over on Instagram @teamjclassroomfun.