Early Finisher Activities That Help Teachers Work Smarter

The following list of early finisher activities will eliminate the phrase “What do I do now?” from your second or third grade classroom.

These activities are engaging, self-explanatory, and require minimal to no teacher support in order to complete. 

Your second and third graders will stay on task and remain distraction-free with these tasks.

Early Finisher Activities for Elementary Students

Writing Prompts

early finishers activities writing prompts

Writing prompts are fantastic assignments to use as early finisher activities because they can be easily differentiated, they prompt kids to stretch their imaginations, provide students an opportunity to apply their developing writing skills, and they fit in with every subject area. 

What’s more … as long as students are able to understand the prompt, they really don’t need help from the teacher in order to complete. 

Related: You’ve got to check out these incredible classroom management tips for elementary teachers.

Choice Boards

early finishers activities choice boards

A favorite early finisher activity not only with students but also with teachers is the choice board. 

Choice boards are versatile because they include a variety of activities from which students can choose. You can incorporate math, spelling, reading, writing, science, or social studies activities into the boards. 

What’s also great is that this particular early finisher activity can be used repeatedly since learners are completing a different activity each time from the same board. 

Sudoku Puzzles

early finishers activities sudoku puzzles

Sudoku puzzles challenge. Your advanced learners especially will appreciate these early finisher activities. Sudoku puzzles have easy, medium, and hard levels so there’s a puzzle to fit every academic level in your classroom. 

A wise move, however, is to model a few times to and with students how to complete one. Once they get the hang of them, they’ll love the challenge of working on them independently.  

Word Searches

early finishers activities puzzles word search

Every kid knows how to complete a word search. That’s why they make practical early finisher activities for 2nd and 3rd graders. 

As an extension activity, require that the kids take about five of the words and use them in a sentence or create a story.

Word Jumbles

early finishers activities puzzles

Word jumbles are another fun idea for early finisher activities. They are a vocabulary activity which is a good fit for your struggling spellers.

Just like with the word search assignments, once they’ve completed the word jumble, ask that your 2nd and 3rd graders choose 5 of the terms. They write a sentence with each or draft a story. 

Brainstorming Words

early finishers activities word work spelling language arts

Brainstorming Words is one of the most exciting early finisher activities. 

With this activity, you provide students a word. As an example, let’s use stadium

Now they have to brainstorm as many 2-letter, 3-letter, 4-letter, 5-letter, and 6-letters words as possible using that term. 

To challenge them, tell learners how many total words you found and see if they can match you. They’ll be thoroughly searching. 

Math Word Problems

early finishers activities math problem solving

Math word problems are a low-maintenance activity. Working in their math journals, learners problem solve a set of math problems/riddles. 

Whichever level of math skills you choose to target, it’s always good practice for kids to reinforce math concepts. That’s the essence of math spiraling

Book Projects

If you have mature students who read instructions well and stay on task more often than not, then book projects will serve well in your elementary classroom as an early finisher activity. 

Think beforehand what materials learners will need.

Be sure those supplies are easily accessible to them. Doing so will minimize the chance that they’ll need to interrupt you.

Your Kids Will Love These Early Finisher Activities

Never again here, “What do I do now?” 

This list of early finisher activities will keep your elementary students engaged.

Why not add a few of these fun activities to your classroom management plan this week?