We’ve come up with 10 physical yet fun educational classroom games for children to get their muscles working, hearts pumping and brains working to solve problems while being active and entertained at the same time.
1. Bunny Words: Get all your students to stand to the left-hand side of their desks and place a ruler or pencil on the floor and another ruler about a foot in front of the first. You will call out a word as a class spelling activity and they must bunny hop from one pencil over the other and then turn round and bunny hop back over the first pencil before writing down the word and standing back up again. Once you have called out ten words, collect the worksheets to mark and grade.
2. Walky Wally: Tape a large worksheet on each wall of the classroom – one for each discipline. So on one wall you can have five sums, one wall has five drawings they must complete, one wall has five sentences where they must write down the missing word, and another has maps of five countries and the children must identify the name of the country; all written in large text. With a pen and individual worksheet in their hands, they must visit each of the walls and complete their worksheet, which you prepared earlier to have four sections; on for each wall’s worksheet.
3. Scattermates: Create a worksheet with lots of sums on it and print it off. You only need enough copies for a quarter of your students. Cut the worksheets into four and write on the back of each quadrant 1, 2, 3 and 4. Randomly distribute a quadrant to each student so they have a quarter of a worksheet each. Their task is to find three other classmates with the rest of their worksheet to fit all the pieces together. Once four students have come together to join four pieces successfully, they then work as a team to complete the sums on the worksheet. The great thing about this mathematics classroom game is that you can play many times and never get the same teams twice.
4. Race and Write: This is not your typical question and answer session! When reviewing material from a recent lesson, ask your class to stand beside their desk and run on the spot. Raise your hand to signal the children to stop running and listen to your question. Once you finish the question, the children must sit in their seats, write down the answer and then hold it up in the air. When all children have an answer, select one student to shout it out and correct if necessary. Then tell them to get up again to run on the spot and repeat the drill until all questions are finished.
5. Pick a Side: It’s the basic true or false question format with a difference. The difference being that the children must decide to get up and run over to the left side and state that they believe the answer to your question is false or run over to the right and say that it’s true. Of course, you’ll get the people followers and students not listening to the question but the idea is to get the kids up and moving.
6. Tag Team Trivia: In an empty space or outside, split the class into teams of four and ask each team to line up in single file in race formation. Place four bean bags at the end of the race track of each team. Ask a trivia question and let the team confer before putting their hand up to reveal their answer. First hand up gets to answer and the other teams get a chance if answered incorrectly. If correct, a team member runs to collect one of their bean bags and runs back to stand with their team. This member can still confer on questions but cannot answer future questions or collect another bean bag. The winning team is the first team to have collected all of their bean bags.
7. Stretch and Write: Similar to Race and Write, ask your young students to stand behind their desk to play trivia based on a recent lesson. Ask the class a question and the children must write down the answer and then hold it up. But the twist is that they have to stretch out their arms in a different direction each time. So after you ask, point to the direction you want them to stretch out to and hold their answer. If it’s up in the air then make sure they stretch as high as they can and stand on their tip toes.
8. Jumper Number: Split the class into two teams. This math class activity involves acting out or jumping the numbers after you say an equation and the children must sit back down to solve it. So for example, you say “6 plus 5”, then the left half of the class collectively jumps on the spot 6 times, then the right half jump 5 times. On the fifth and final jump, the whole class sits back down to solve the equation and hold up their answer for you to check.
9. Connecto Cards: A bit like Scattermates, this educational game is for finding a single classmate and can be played as a mathematics or language activity. With a pile of small blank cards, write a sum on one card and the answer on another. Or write a word on one card and the definition on another. Then hand out a single card to every student in the class and when you say “Go!”, everyone has to get up and go find the person holding the other card to complete the pair. The kids might need a helping hand as there may be disputes as to which answer goes with which question. You may wish to mix up the subjects for each pair to prevent any arguments.
10. Secret Mission: Before class, write out a worksheet which has the sequence of review question such as a math, English, science or geography puzzle followed by an exercise like get up and jump on the spot five times or run to the wall and do 3 wall push ups. On the back, write “Secret Mission” to get the kids excited and eager to turn the sheet over and start their mission…should they choose to accept it of course. The last part of their mission should be to find the mystery box and inside there is a treat waiting for them.