Engaging your learners is key to creating a successful classroom. Students do not want to participate and learn if they are bored. I bring excitement and engagement into my classroom by using educational kids games. Some are modifications to board games; some require no prep, and some are educational games. I hope you can tweak these ideas to help create engagement in your room.
Kids Games for the Classroom
The following games can be used as a review or to practice concepts. They can be played as a whole class. Most of these involve minimal prep time but come with a ton of student engagement.
Balloon Exchange: For this game you need balloons and paper. To prepare you stick your questions in balloons and blow up the balloons us with the questions inside of them. I use vocabulary terms and their definitions when we play. To play hand each student a balloon and have them pass it along until you tell them to stop. I like to play music at that time. The balloon the student contains the question that student needs to answer. You can have them pop them by jumping on them or if you don’t have to enough balloons you can designate those students as the poppers. Once the balloon is popped, the students need to match the question with the answer by walking around the room and talking to their classmates. The poppers can assist with this too. Once all of the students have paired up have them check their work.
Clue Room: The clue room is based on the Clue Room concept where participants are stuck in a room and have to work together and find clues to get out. My students loved this one! You will need paper, a timer, and tape. On the paper write your questions, vocabulary words, answers, etc. I even hid a few that said, “keep looking.” Fold the papers and hide them around the room. Set a timer and tell the students that you have hidden clues and they have a set amount of time to work together and solve the puzzle.
Fly swatter: This kids game is a fun one! You need two fly swatters. To prepare write sight words, vocabulary terms or numbers on butcher paper or a white board. Divide the class up into two teams. Each team takes a fly swatter, and the teacher asks questions. The first person to swat the correct answer gets the point.
Hopscotch: Great for your kinesthetic learners! You need a hopscotch board. You can do it inside with duct tape, outside with chalk or get a hopscotch rug. Lay out your questions on the board. The student must answer the question they land on.
Board games are fun to use to practice skills. I often play them in small groups or put all of them out for the students to play with each other. This is such a fun time for you and your students. And while these are designed as kids games, I try to make time for it frequently because I love to join my kids and play the games with them. They LOVE trying to beat me.
There are so many great educational board games out there, but it is fun to use some of the kid’s favorite games and make them academic. This school year I used Jenga to practice high-frequency words. I chose the Fry word list for my grade and wrote one on each side of the title. As we play, the students have to read correctly each word before they add it to the stack. You can grab my rules and read more about it here.
Candy Land and Sorry lend themselves to being great kids games for sight words and vocabulary words. The blank spaces on the board can be used to write the words on. When a student lands on those spaces they read the word or define it.
I also have a ton of great board games created for skill review. Here are some great ones on Educents.
Kids can discover the United States with this award-winning geography game answers to all questions are ‘hidden’ on the game board! By studying the colorful USA map, they’ll learn about state capitals, locations and more. But players must find the answer before their time runs out.
Have your students enter the jungle where a hungry tiger prowls! Players must fill their safari boards with base ten units and rods to escape the tiger. To do this, they complete a variety of simple math tasks as they move along the game board. Students will learn about adding and subtracting in tens, the language of exchange, and grouping in tens.
Teacher Created Games
Some of the best kids games to play in the classroom are the ones created by teachers.
This can be used in a younger grade or used in foreign language classes. Shapes and Colors Bingo Game Card sets are available in 3×3, 4×4 and 5×5 grids.Have fun playing bingo with your students while reinforcing the important concepts of colors and shapes. Just print, laminate and you have a great learning game to use for years to come.Each game includes 30 different student bingo pages so a teacher can play with the entire class. It also includes 64 teacher call pieces. Shapes and Color Bingo can also be used in center or workshop time to give you yet another option that is always ready to use! Also, a great game to have on hand for substitute teachers.
Practice the order of letters with these engaging puzzles! With two different versions of each puzzle, you’re sure to find one to meet your student’s or child’s individual needs! There are 12 puzzles included in this bundle download, but since there are two different versions of each puzzle (one with letters around the outside and one without), you’re actually getting 24 puzzles! Each download has students practice what letter comes before, between, or after. The first two puzzles in each download are lowercase letters, and the last two puzzles are uppercase. There are two versions of each puzzle. One does not have letters around the outside (so it’s easier) and the second one does (so it’s more challenging).
Computer Programing Activities
Teach beginning code and programming concepts with hands-on activities, class games, and flash cards. The activities are great for STEM and math centers. Teach code without a computer or tablet! Introducing C-Quince: Kids in Code- a Computer Programming series for K-2nd grade. Follow If/Then statements, learn direction commands, complete the missing code, debug a program, build mazes, learn programming terms, and bring a commonly used algorithm to life through a class game.
This addition & subtraction gives children an opportunity to practice math facts in fun ways. Comes with a complete set of addition and subtraction flash cards for facts 0 – 10, two pages of activities, and a complete game. The Math Facts Rocket Evasion Flash Card Game: Addition & Subtraction gives children an opportunity to practice math facts in a fun way. Each player or team must give the correct answer to a math problem to advance along the game board. At the same time, the rocket is approaching. To win, players must answer all of the flash cards correctly and get to the asteroid before the rocket reaches them.
I hope you find these kids games a way to engage your students! Learning should be fun, and classroom games are a great way to bring fun into the classroom.
About the All-Star Blogger
I am Ashley the voice behind Teaching In Bronco Country. I am a third-grade literacy and social studies teacher. I strive to create engaging lesson and utilize technology in my daily lessons. I am a teacher, a mom, and a Bronco fan!