Sometimes we just need to have fun with our students and what better way than with simple classroom games? Having fun is important for many reasons some of which include: it builds community, it’s a stress reliever, it fosters respect for the teacher (students are much more likely to want to please a teacher they like).
Below you’ll find a round up of my favorite simple games to play with students any time of the year!
This game is so simple and super entertaining. Have two student volunteers come to the front of the class. One starts with a question, the other replies with another question! Who ever gets stumped or answers a question is out! You should definitely have a rule that questions can’t be repeated. You could make it even harder by adding the rule that you can’t start your question with the same who, what, when, where, what, how word the last person started with.
This game is a blast. Have your class get into a circle and close their eyes. Tap one student one time to signal they are the “mafia”, tap a second student two times to signal they are the “detective”, tap a third student to signal they are the “doctor”, the rest of the students are the “townspeople”.
Next say, “mafia awake”, that student points to another student to “take out” and then closes their eyes. Then say, “doctor awake”, that student points to another student to “save” and then closes their eyes.
Now for the fun part. Tell everyone to open their eyes, make up a murder story for the person who was “taken out”. Make sure to explain to the detective that they need to scan the faces of the townspeople to see who looks guilty and can even ask a few people for their opinions about what happened.
Now, tell everyone to close their eyes again. Finally say, “detective” awake and that student will point to a student who they think is the mafia.
Have everyone open their eyes again and announce whether the mafia was caught or not. Continue like this until the mafia is caught! Want to get this game in a set, cards, student directions and all? Check this out…
Your students will love this game! Place four chairs in the front of your classroom. Ask for four volunteers. Three volunteers sit in the chairs and the fourth will pretend to be a hitch hiker.
The three who sit in the chairs pretend to be in a car. Write conversation topics for those in the car to talk about on notecards: the weather, the newest popular show, what happened at school that day, favorite food, the best movie they’ve ever seen, anything is game.
The three should converse normally until a “hitch hiker” sticks his/her thumb out wanting a ride. Before sticking their thumb out though the hitchhiker also needs to pick one notecard from a stack with different emotions: sad, sleepy, sneezy, angry, jealous, nervous, anything is game.
When the hitchhiker gets into the car, the people in the car should slowly take on the emotion of the hitchhiker! Keep playing with different hitchhikers who have chosen different emotion cards. Warning: this game can get a little crazy but is so much fun if students can handle it!
Truth or Dare (Rated G Version)
The only way to make this rated G is by coming up with all the truths and all the dares yourself and writing them on notecards! I also let students pass if they don’t want to do the truth or dare that is on the card:) You can get a few responsible students to help you come up with ideas too. Here are some of my own…
- What is your worst fear?
- What is the scariest or craziest dream you ever had?
- Do you talk in your sleep? If so what are some things you’ve said?
- What is one bad habit you have? Tell us about it…
- What is an embarrassing nickname you have?
- Do you secretly love some really childish tv show, song or toy? Tell us about it…
- Do a cartwheel
- Do a dance for 30 seconds with no music
- Speak in an accent for the next three rounds
- Sell a piece of trash to someone in the group with your best sales tactics
- Pretend to be your favorite animal for the next three rounds
- Call the 3rd contact on your phone and sing them a nursery rhyme
What are you doing?
This game can be tricky but leads to loads of laughs:) Pick two student volunteers. One student starts by acting out an everyday activity such as jumping rope, brushing teeth, walking, shooting hoops, dancing, sleeping, playing video games, anything is game.
The other student then asks, “What are you doing?”. The student who is acting must say something completely unrelated to what they are actually doing. So if the student is pretending to play video games they might say they are doing their homework. Or if the student is jumping rope they might say they are sleeping.
Then, the student who asked the question has to act the new stated activity out. So now they are acting out doing their homework or sleeping and the roles are reversed!
The game continues until one student gets confused and actually says what they are actually doing. It is so much fun!
I hope this post has inspired you to have a little fun with your class! Let me know how it goes in the comments below. What’s your favorite game to play with students?
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Thanks for these awesome ideas. I am a bit confused as how Hitchhiker works. So once the “hitchhiker” has got in the car, and the others have adopted the emotion of the hitchhiker, what happens next?? Is there a winner? Do others from the class get involved?
Hey Nicole! That is a great question! Students line up to participate. So after the emotion has circulated around the car, the hitchhiker makes up an excuse about why they have to go and a new hitchhiker with a new emotion is picked up. It’s a lot of fun:)
for Mafia, as I’ve played this with students before, similar to wink murderer…but more challenging. what happens to the “killed” and “saved”? Do they know? or when Mafia and Detective point to them, they don’t know? If only those two know, how do Townspeople know what kind of story to make up? It would be neat to challenge the detective to figure out who these two were.
Hey Tania, thanks for leaving a comment! I’ve never heard of Wink Murderer so I’ll have to look that one up. The “killed” are out of the game. The “saved” get to keep playing in more rounds. Everyone learns who was killed and who was saved before the murder story is told. The story is made up by you, on the spot, it’s called improv and it’s a lot of fun. I like the idea of changing the game up and trying different things.