10 Great Early Finisher Activities For 2nd Grade Students

To avoid the issue of students looking around confused, wondering about what they need to do next after they have completed a classroom assignment, make sure that you have in place early finisher activities for 2nd grade that students can engage in independently. 

It can be a bit frustrating when all of a sudden you see a hand raised with a student asking, “What do I do now?”

You come up with something quickly and vow to never let this issue happen again. 

The problem is now solved by incorporating early finisher activities into your lesson plans. 

Fast finisher activities are extension tasks that students complete once they are done with their main classroom assignment.

Ideally, these activities should be…

  • Low-prep
  • Easy for students to understand
  • Reinforcing or reviewing a skill
  • Easily accessible
  • Independent work
  • Engaging so that students stay focused

No matter the skill or subject, you can adapt any of these early finisher activities for 2nd grade to fit your needs.

What’s more, implementing second-grade early finisher activities will strengthen your classroom management system and yield fewer distractions plus downtime while maximizing learning.

Early Finisher Activities For 2nd Grade

1. Construct a Model.

Second graders are still in that phase where they love hands-on activities. These types of tasks strengthen fine motor skills and fully engage.

Support their development by providing students with a variety of materials such as Legos, blocks, marshmallows, popsicle sticks, etc., and have them use their creativity to build a model of something.

Allow their imaginations to run wild.  

2. Dabble in Art. 

What second grader doesn’t love art?

Art strengthens creativity and allows students to express themselves in a unique way.

Give students a variety of art materials such as markers, colored pencils, watercolors, sketch pads, etc., and encourage them to create something great.

Specific art ideas include mosaic art and simple crafts.

3. Practice Drawing.

Provide students with a selection of materials: drawing books, colored pencils, drawing paper, pencils, etc. 

Place these things in a designated station or center. 

Now challenge students to draw something from one of the drawing books.  

4. Solve a Word Search Puzzle. 

Print a few word search puzzles, and have students complete them independently. 

To make this second-grade early finisher activity more academic-focused, choose word search puzzles that connect to a current learning topic.

As an extension, after locating all the words, ask students to write a sentence with each of the vocabulary words. 

5. Write a Kind Note to a Classmate. 

Support students in improving how they communicate and interact with one another by having them write a kind or encouraging message to a classmate.

This task prompts students to self-reflect, empathize, and think about someone other than themselves.

What’s more, students will have the opportunity to practice their writing skills and tap into a growth mindset.

6. Stair-Step Spelling Words.

These early finisher activities for 2nd grade would not be complete without an activity that focuses on spelling words.

Instead of the traditional practice of having students write words three or five times each, have your second graders stair-step each spelling word.

As an example: umbrella









Once they complete that formation, students will enclose the formation with a stair step. 

See a visual example of stair-stepping spelling words

7. Color.

Coloring is therapeutic and benefits second graders by improving fine motor skills plus creativity. 

Provide a variety of regular and intricate coloring sheets. Make them seasonal or related to a current unit of study.

Remind students to color neatly and purposefully. 

8. Watch a BrainPop Video.

Using iPads, cell phones, or tablets, students will watch a video pertaining to something they are learning about in class. 

Also require that they complete any extension activities, graphic organizers, or worksheets related to the video.

9. Practice On a Dry-Erase Board.

Take any repetitive skill such as math facts, spelling words, or vocabulary, and have students practice them on a mini whiteboard to make the task more engaging.

All that’s needed is a set of mini whiteboards, dry-erase markers, and erasers (even old but clean socks work well as erasers). 

10. Answer Writing Prompts.

Give students a variety of writing prompts that they can choose in order to practice writing skills and strategies.

They will also have the opportunity to express their thoughts and explore their creativity.

Final Thoughts

Your classroom management system will be stronger and run smoother if you incorporate second-grade early finisher activities as teaching resources.

Not only will learning be maximized, but there will be fewer distractions and interruptions during instructional time.