7 Early Finisher Activities For 2nd Grade Even Teachers Love

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

Also, the expectations for retrieving, completing, and submitting early finisher work should be clearly explained. 

No matter the skill or subject – math, reading, writing, science, or social studies – 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

Following you will find a collection of free early finisher activities for 2nd grade elementary students.

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.  

For those students who need it, provide a guide with suggestions of things to build.

2. Dabble in Art. 

What second grader doesn’t love art?

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

Plus, it allows teachers to tap into a different type of learning style.

In elementary schools, art sometimes receives little attention compared to the core subjects. 

You can remedy this issue by incorporating art projects as early finisher activities for 2nd grade in your classroom. 

Start by giving 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. 

To incorporate literacy into this task, provide clear, step-by-step instructions so that students have to read the instructions in order to complete the activity.

This is a great opportunity for integrating art and literacy.

3. Sharpen Your Drawing Skills.

Drawing isn’t just for the little ones; second graders still love to draw.

The benefits of drawing are many…

  • Improves creativity
  • Develops fine motor skills
  • Improves memory
  • Relieves stress
  • Motivates students to express themselves in a visual way

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. 

This powerful activity will help kids explore new ideas, helping them to learn more about themselves as learners and thinkers. 

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. 

This can be done in their writing notebooks. 

5. Write a Kind or Encouraging Note to a Classmate. 

Social-emotional and cooperative learning are common topics of conversation nowadays in schools. 

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

This activity is simple yet effective. 

7. Color.

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

As an added bonus, this 2nd-grade early finisher activity is so simple to prepare. 

Sometimes as a teacher you simply want to assign a low-maintenance activity that provides a break for you and the students. 

This task fits that purpose. 

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. 

Final Thoughts On Early Finisher Activities For 2nd Grade

Your classroom management system will be stronger and run smoother if you incorporate early finisher activities for 2nd grade as teaching resources.

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