Games to Play at School: Ideas for Teachers

Games are a great way for students to learn in a fun way. The examples below are simple games you can incorporate in your classroom that can be adapted to any grade level.

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Playing Games in the Classroom

Educational games allow students to be able to learn from one another and build cognitive, social and communication skills. When students work as a team, each member can feel a sense of accomplishment. Teamwork may also create a sense of responsibility to accomplish a goal, which may motivate students to learn from one another.

Hold the Apple

Have all the kids sit in a circle. Give one student an apple (or any object) and tell her to name one state in the United States. If she is able to, then she can hand the apple to the person to her right. Then, the person to her right must name a state that has not been previously named. If he is unable to, then he is out for the round. Keep playing until all the states are named. This game can be played with a variety of topics, such as presidents, authors or vocabulary words.

Tick Tock

This game can help kids learn how to tell basic time. Have all the kids stand about 15-20 feet behind you. Tell your students that they are mice and you are the clock. The object of the game is to take steps towards the clock without being tagged by the teacher.

Get a large plastic clock and have the mice ask you what time it is. Have your back turned towards them and move the plastic clock to a time of your choosing. Then, face the kids. The kids must look at the clock and take as many steps as the clock says. For example, if the clock says 8:00, then the kids must take eight steps.

If a child takes too many (or few) steps, he is out for the round. At any point in the game, if you say, 'it is cheese time', you will turn around to chase the kids and tag as many as you can. They must run back to where they started to be safe, if they are tagged, they are out for the round. Keep playing until there is only one student standing.

Older kids can play this game with mathematical flashcards instead of the clock. You can hold a flashcard and the kids must take as many steps as their answer.

Hot Ball

This game is a combination of musical chairs and hot potato. After a lesson, turn on some music and have the kids pass around a ball. Stop the music and whoever is holding the ball has to answer a question about the lesson. For example, if your class just learned about the capitals of the United States, ask him what the capital of Colorado is. If he answers correctly, he can still play. If not, he is out for the round. Play for about ten minutes.

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