15 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 15 minutes (or more)? Look no further…

15 minute filler


  1. Challenge children to tell a fairytale by taking turns in a circle. Each child tells a part of the tale and by the time you have gone all around the circle you have to have finished telling the story. Younger children may need some visual clues to help.

  2. Why not take your class on holiday! Pick a destination and plan a holiday involving all aspects of the trip; from looking in brochures to planning flights and finding out about the country’s climate. On the day of the holiday, enjoy some local cuisine or traditional entertainment.


  3. At the end of term, set up your class as an art gallery and allow children to pick and display their favourite piece of artwork. Encourage children to wander through the ‘gallery’ and discuss the works of art with their fellow art lovers.


  4. Show children a selection of postcards from different locations, to inspire them to design one for the area you live in. Then take a class trip and snap some digital photos of the best features of your local area.


  5. Give each child a word of the week. They then must go away and find out as much about their word as they can – or collect things that they might associate with that word. For example, the word could be ‘beach’. Then have a class ‘show and tell’ session at the end of the week.


  6. Take the children on a colour walk around the school grounds. Decide on a specific colour beforehand and then get the children to record (on paper or digitally) all the things that they spot which features a shade of that colour. This can make a great stimulus for poetry writing and art.


  7. Explore fairytale dilemmas by holding your own court session (Who stole the golden egg? Did the Big Bad Wolf really gobble-up Grandma?). Children can take on the key roles of judge, jury, witness and the accused, and work through the different angles of the scenario to come up with their own verdict. Will it be guilty or not guilty?


  8. Show the children an object that they may not be familiar with, for example, a pastry brush. Pass it around the group, asking the children what they think it could be used for. Encourage a creative response, such as a broomstick for a miniature witch!


  9. Why not create a class book of records that you keep all year? Children can compete to break the records set, and they could range from sporting to academic or even silly records. For example, why not have a record for the number of marbles a child can hold in their hands?


  10. Let children’s imaginations run wild (literally!) and allow them to make up an animal – deciding on its name, where it lives, what it eats and, most importantly, what it looks like.


  11. Each week ask a child to review something different; it could be a book or a new toy. That child should say what they thought of it and why and who the product might be aimed at.
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