Four Fun Children's Games for Your Students September 29 2011
A class full of energetic students can sometimes feel like an accident waiting to happen. If you were dealing with your vehicle, you would purchase car insurance. Unfortunately when dealing with young children, there is no auto insurance to protect you in case of a future disaster. However, you can protect your sanity by having some fun activities prepared to keep the kids engaged. Try one of these four, fun games for some fun with your students!
Heads Up, Seven-Up!
This classic game won't fail to quiet the classroom down, for at least a few minutes. It is perfect for rainy days. Pick seven students and have them come to the front of the class. Tell the remaining seated children, "heads up, thumbs down." The seated students lay their heads on the desk, close their eyes, and stick one thumb up in the air.
The seven students at the front of the class walk around as quietly as possible, each choosing one thumb to put down. When they are finished, call out "heads up, seven-up!" The seven students whose thumbs were put down stand up and must guess which of the seven from the front of the room put their thumb down. If they guess correctly, they replace their classmate at the front of the room. If they guess incorrectly, they sit down and the person who put their thumb down remains at the front of the room. The game can continue for as long as you like.
Chain Reaction can be a great way to reinforce recent lessons. Choose a topic that goes along with what the class is learning, such as plants, foods, cities, or things in nature. You can tailor the topic to suit the age group. Have students write a letter of the alphabet, A through Z, on each line of a piece of paper. If the topic is cities, for example, the students have five minutes to list cities alphabetically using the letters on their paper.
When the time is up, ask a student to name a city. Then go around the room, asking the next student to name a city that begins with the last letter of the previous student's city. For example, student one may say New York. Student two could then say, Kabul. Student three may suggest Lisbon, and so on. If the child gets the answer wrong, or cannot come up with a city, they are eliminated. Continue to go around the room until one child remains and wins the game.
Silence is another game that can be an excellent and fun way to reinforce a lesson. Topics can range from United States capitals to fractions. Choose something related to what the students are currently studying. If you are using fractions, for example, give each child a sticky note to place on their chest that has a fraction written on it. Then silently, the students have to arrange themselves in ascending order based on their fractions. For capitals, or word related topics, the students arrange themselves in alphabetical order. To further engage students, you can have them write their own sticky notes.
Stranded is perfect for teaching cooperation and team building. Pair students off in groups of five or six and tell them that they are to be stranded on a deserted island. They can each bring one item with them. The students must tell their group members what item they are bringing, why they are bringing it, what makes the item special to them, and how they will use it on the island. When each student has shared his or her item they must work together to create ways to combine all of their items for survival. Allow them to brainstorm and then have the groups present their ideas to the rest of the class. Remember, no idea is too silly as long as the children are creative and put thought into it.
With a little preparation you can use fun, easy children's games in the classroom. They can be useful for bolstering what the children have learned in lessons or as a way to let them relax after a long week. Keeping it simple and lighthearted will ensure that the children are engaged and enjoying themselves.