No one likes a boring classroom. Playing games in the classroom is not only fun but can be a great learning experience too. Playing games helps a child stay energized and engaged in the class, helps build student-teacher rapport, builds on a student’s social skills, helps with team building, and makes their school experience fun. These games listed below are mostly geared towards elementary and middle school students but high school students will also enjoy some of the games listed below, such as mum ball and jeopardy. Check out our list of must-play classroom games for kids.
This game is played best with a large group of children (over 10)
Scrambled Eggs is a memory game where children have to guess who’s missing. This is a fun and easy game to play. It can be played by young elementary students through middle school.
Materials: 1 chair for every player. This game can be played at a child’s desk
- Have all the children sit in chairs. (the chairs can be in a circle or scattered around the room. Children can also use the chairs at their desks.)
- Pick one child to be it, that child has to leave the room. If they are unable to leave the room, they can stand in the classroom away from the chairs facing the wall.
- Next, the teacher yells scramble. All the children change chairs.
- After all the students changed chairs, point to one of the students and have them hide somewhere in the room.
- Call the child who is it back into the room and try to guess who’s missing. l
- Repeat the above steps
This is one of my favorite games to play with students and is my go-to game when things are getting hectic in the room. The best thing about this game is that the children have to communicate without talking. In fact, talking isn’t allowed at all. This is a quiet game. Mum ball is be suited for middle school and high school students. It can be challenging for young elementary school students.
Materials: Tennis ball
- All the children must stand at their desks and are not allowed to talk. If a child talks, they are automatically out.
- 1 child is given the tennis ball
- They must throw the ball to another child silently
- If that child does not catch the ball they must sit down. Children must also sit down if they talk or make noise or if they have a bad throw (i.e throws it too high or low)
- During the game, the teacher yells hold the ball at random times and changes the rules. Teachers can change the rule to you must stand on one foot to throw the ball, you have to catch the ball with one hand, you have to spin then throw the ball etc… be creative and change the rules throughout the game to keep it interesting.
- The last child standing wins.
Fun Mum Ball Rules
Close one eye and throw the ball
Give a compliment to the person you are throwing the ball to (this would be the only exception to the talking rule)
Show off a dance move before throwing the ball
Throw the ball with the opposite hand
Squat and throw the ball
Sardines is a cute classroom game. It is geared towards elementary school children. This game can be played in an open classroom or outside on the field or playground. Sardines can be played with 5 or more children
- One child is chosen to be the “Sardine”.
- All of the other children stand together with their backs turned toward the “Sardine” and count to 100.
- While the children are counting the “Sardine” runs and hides.
- When the children reach 100 they have to search for the “Sardine” when they find the “Sardine” they quietly have to hide with them.
- As each child finds the “Sardine” they must squeeze into the same hiding spot.
- The game ends when the last child finds the “Sardine’s” hiding spot.
- The first person to find the “Sardine’s hiding spot is the next person to be the “Sardine”
Paper golf is a cute game that is played in groups of 2 or 3. What’s fun about paper golf is that it will bring out a child’s creative side. Before playing children will have to draw a golf hole. They will need to create a golf green, scenery such as trees, water, sand, etc… This game is not only fun but will also have children working on their creative side.
Materials: Crayons or Markers, Paper
2 or more players needed
Step 1: Give each of the children playing a piece of white paper. Have the children each design and draw a golf hole on their paper. Include the golf green, hole, and flag. Draw the hole toward one corner of the paper and on the opposite side of the paper draw a golf tee. Once the golf hole is set up the game can start.
Step 2: The first child to go picks a color marker and holds it on the golf tee, with their eyes closed they have to try to draw a line from the tee to the hole. The second player repeats this step with their own color. The child who is furthest from the hole starts again from where their line ended. Keep score by counting how many strokes it takes to get in the hole. The lowest amount of points wins. Each golf hole is played on a different piece of paper.
7 Up is an oldie but goody. This is a great game to play with a large group of children. 7 Up can be played with children of all ages and can be played right at their desks. It’s a great game to play to quiet the kids down and the room needs to be quiet to play.
Materials: desk or table and chairs
- Pick 7 kids to be it. (if you have a smaller group pick 4 or 5 kids). Have the children chosen to be it stand in a line in front of the playing area.
- All of the other children sit at the tables/desks with their heads down and thumbs up (one thumb from one hand).
- The children who are it walk around and each press the thumb down of one of the children (make sure the children aren’t peaking).
- After picking the 7children come back to the front of the playing area
- The children who were picked try to guess who picked them. If they get it right they switch places with that person and are now it. If they don’t get it right they sit back down and the person who picks them remains it.
- After everyone guesses, the people who were it reveals who they picked.
Charades is another oldie but goody and is a fun game for children of all ages. It encourages creativity and use of the imagination. Here are the steps for a simple version of charades for children.
Materials: pen, paper or pictures, container
Step 1: Charades can be played in many ways. For younger children, you can put pictures of animals or things in a container. For older children, you can write down names of characters from a story you are reading, or any other words or names that you feel the children can act out.
Step 2: Decide which child is going to go first. Have that child pick from the container
Step 3: That child has to act out that phrase or picture that they picked without speaking. Children in class must try to guess who the children are.
Step 4: Children The child who guesses correctly gets to be it next.
Step 5: Repeat
You can play charades individually, just give points to the student that guess or you can split the class into teams and have them work together as a group.
No Look Artist
This game is played in pairs and involves creativity, listening skills, and teamwork. Students will have to listen to one another to draw a picture. This game is best played with middle school and high school students.
Materials: paper pencil or pen, container
Set up: Place students in groups of two. Fill a container with words or phrases that the children can draw.
Step 1: Place the pairs back-to-back or have them sit on opposite ends of the table turned away from each other. The students cannot face each other during the activity.
Step 2: Have one student pick a word or phrase from the container. Give the opposite student a pen/pencil and paper.
Step 3: The student who picked from the container must give step-by-step directions to the other student. That student will try to draw what they are told. The pair of students who have the drawing closest to the word or phrase on the paper wins.
Chair-less Musical Chairs
Chair-less Musical Chairs is a great game to play with elementary school students and is a fun alternative to regular musical chairs. What makes this a great classroom game is that you don’t have to move chairs all around the room. Instead of chairs have the children stand on pieces of construction paper.
Materials: Construction Paper, music player, or a phone that plays music
Set up: Place pieces of construction paper in a large circle. There should be a piece of construction paper for every student. To start the game have all the children stand on a piece of construction paper.
Step 1: At the start of the game remove one piece of construction paper. Start playing music. Have the children walk in a circle stepping on the pieces of construction paper. When the music stops, the child that does not have a piece of construction paper to stand on is out.
Step 2: At the start of the second round remove another piece of construction paper. Repeat step 1. Continue playing until one child is left standing. The last child standing is the winner.