10 Minute Filler

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By based on articles written by Nina Filipek and Sarah Woods

Need some inspiring and engaging ideas to fill 10 minutes? Look no further…

10 minute -filler


  1. Write a selection of words on the board with ‘prices’ alongside. Divide the class into teams and challenge them to ‘buy’ words from you in order to make sentences. Give them a set amount of money to spend on words!

  2. Sit in a circle and get one child to say the first word that comes into their head. The next child has to think of a word starting with the last letter of the previous word. For example, the first child says duck, the second child says kite and then the next child has to think of something beginning with ‘e’. Words could be restricted to topics to make it more tricky.

  3. Sitting in a circle, get one of the children to roll a ball to another child. They should then say something about the person they have chosen. For example, ‘I have chosen Emily because she likes reading books.’ The child with the ball then chooses another child in the circle, and so on.

  4. Sit the children in a circle and give them a subject, such as vegetables or animals in a zoo. Pick a child to begin by naming an example, such as giraffe, and then continue round the circle with all the children having a turn. See how many times around the circle you can get.

  5. Allow children who have difficulty with certain letters or numbers to paint the shapes using their fingers. This will help them to remember and learn how these letters are formed.

  6. Play the ‘Yes, No’ game with your class. Ask a child questions and see if they can last one minute without answering ‘yes’ or ‘no’. So if you asked, ‘Is your name John?’, that child might avoid saying ‘yes’ by answering ‘It is.’ This is a great game for developing children’s language skills.

  7. Display an origami pattern on the board each morning for children to make during registration. Encourage children to work through these without your help, allowing them to develop independence as well as learning to follow instructions.

  8. Get all the children to tell you one strange fact or interesting thing about themselves. Perhaps they have broken a bone, or they are learning the flute? Create a list of these facts and display them on the board. Children have to try and work out which fact relates to their fellow classmates.

  9. Gather the class in a circle and ask one child to volunteer to be blindfolded and stand in the middle. Pick one child from the circle to go and stand out of sight. The blindfolded child then has to remove their blindfold and work out who is missing.

  10. Set up a school recycling system where each class has a bin especially for paper and another for rubbish. Pick two children each day to be responsible for the recycling and take the class bins to the main recycling point. Don’t forget to have these in the dinner hall and the staff room!

  11. Play soothing classical or easy-listening music in the background when the children are practising their handwriting. It will help them focus on the task and concentrate for a longer period.
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