Classroom Game Ideas

child raising hand

Welcome to our listing of classroom games. Hope you can find some ideas to add some fun to your classroom!!

Listening Skills


This game is intended for a large group of 15 or more. Have the group sit in a large circle. The kids should be spaced about an arm's length apart. Have one child or the teacher be the "originator". The originator will think of a message or statement and whisper it into the ear of the person sitting to the right of her. Tongue twister are really fun to try! The message is whispered once. The new messenger then whispers the message into the ear to ear of the child to his right, and so on and so on. When the message reaches the person sitting to the left of the originator the message is said out loud. Seldom does the message arrive in its original form. The person to the right gets to be the next originator.

Simon Says

One child is chosen to be "Simon", and the others stand in a strait line in front of Simon. Simon then calls out a direction for the children to follow in this way, " Simon Says touch your nose, Simon Says stand on one foot", etc. When giving a direction, Simon can simply state her command without saying "Simon Says". For example, she might say, "Touch your nose". Any child who follows the command without Simon saying "Simon Says" is out. The game continues in this way until there is only one child left standing. That child is the winner of the round and can then be Simon for the next round.

Ten Questions

One child is "it" and leaves the group while the other players choose an object in the classroom. The child who is "it" returns and tries to guess the object. She can ask a maximum of 10 questions of the group members, all of which must be answered by yes or no. Have the "it" child call on children and ask one question of each person until she has asked 10 questions. Depending on your group size, the "it" child may ask more than one question of some members. If your group is comprised of more than 10 children, you may increase the number of yes/no questions so each child has a chance to answer a question. The "it" child may take a guess at any point, but after 10 questions, the "it" child must take a guess. Whether she is right or wrong, another child takes a turn at guessing.

Who Am I?

Have the children sit in a circle. The player designated as "it" leaves the room. While he is away, the others decide what he should be when he returns. If they decide on an Astronaut, for example, they call him back, and he has to ask each child in the circle what he has to buy for himself to be the character the group has decided on. One child may say a rocket ship, another a helmet, another some oxygen and so on. If the "it" child goes all the way around the circle without guessing what he is, then the group tells him and another child takes a turn. If you only have a few children playing, then you can do many rounds. Another option is to have the "it" child continue to be "it" until he finally makes a correct guess. This can lengthen the game quite a bit if you have lots of children playing.

Name that Word

Choose two students to be guessers. Have the two students go out of the classroom for a few seconds while you show the rest of the class a secret word. When the students come back into the classroom, have them stand at the front of the room facing the class. The rest of the students can give the guessers one-word clues to help them figure out the secret word. Have the guessers take turns calling on children until one of the guessers correctly names the secret word. The guesser who figures out the secret word remains at the front of the class while the student who gave the final clue replaces the other guesser.

What Am I?

The teacher starts out by saying, "I was in the forest and I heard this sound _____." (i.e. chirp like a bird) Then say, "I turned around and saw a _____." Students need to guess what you saw. Continue playing, making new sounds. After a few rounds, pick students to lead the game. A variation of this game is to change the location (try sounds in the zoo; at school; in the city).

Last Letter, First Letter

Have the class sit in a circle, including the teacher. The teacher starts the game by saying a word. The student to the right of the teacher must make a word starting with the last letter of the teacher's word (for example, teacher: fish, student: hat) Keep going until someone makes a mistake. At this point, either the student is out or the game keeps going with all the students. The game stops when the teacher ends it!

Just for Fun

Heads Up Seven Up

Have seven students stand in front of the class. The rest of the students lay their heads on their desks. Have the seven students each touch a person. That person sticks his or her thumb up. Then the seven students say "heads up seven up". The "touched" students get one chance to guess which of the seven touched them. If a student guesses correctly, she changes places with the student who touched her. If a student does guess correctly, the same person remains with the seven. Or...

All students put their heads down on their desks and extend one thumb. The teacher chooses one person as "It." It goes around touching the thumbs of six people. If a student's thumb is touched, he goes to the front of the room. When this has been accomplished, "It" yells, "Seven up!" Everyone raises their heads and has to guess which of the seven people is "It."

Balls To Beanbags

Supplies: one small ball (squishy balls work well), one beanbag, paper, pencil, container, and music

Print out slips of paper that you will pull out of a container. Each slip will be labeled differently as follows: "before the ball", "the ball", "after the ball", "before the beanbag", "the beanbag", and "after the beanbag" . Place the slips in a container and mix them up. Have the students stand in a circle. Give the ball to one person and the beanbag to another student across the circle, then start the music. The students need to pass the ball and beanbag clockwise until the music stops. When the music stops, pull out a slip of paper and read it. If the paper states "before the ball" or "before the beanbag" that student is out. If the slip states "after the ball or beanbag" that student is out. If it just states "ball or beanbag" the student holding the ball or beanbag is out. You can also try to substitute different objects. Anything safe, small, and easy to pass will do!

Four Corners

Number the corners of the classroom from 1 to 4. Select one student to be "It." It closes his eyes while the rest of the students go to one of the four corners in the classroom. When all the students are situated in a corner, It calls out a number. All the kids standing in the corner with that number are out and must go back to their seats and sit down. It closes his eyes again, calls out a number, and more students sit down. When the game gets down to four people or fewer, each must choose a different corner. If It calls out a corner where nobody is standing, It must choose again. The game continues until only one student is left. That student becomes It.


Toss The Smile

Children can sit in circle or throughout the room as long as everyone can see each other. Identify one child as the "smile tosser". All children are to keep a straight, serious face while the smile tosser smiles. The smile tosser will smile at all players trying to get them to crack a smile or laugh. If anyone smiles or laughs, they are out of the game. Those out of the game must be absolutely quiet during the rest of the game. The smile tosser can wipe off his smile with his hand and throw it to another player if he wishes. The receiving player will put on the smile and be the new smile tosser. You can even set a time limit on how long your smile tosser is allowed to keep his role.

Who Are You?

This game is great to use at the beginning of the school year to help the students get to know each other. Have the students go around the room searching for other students to fit into the appropriate categories on the "Who Are You?" game sheet. When they find a match, they can have the student initial the game sheet. (printable game sheet)

Math Skills

Math Baseball

Have a long list of math problems ready. Divide the classroom into 2 teams. At this point it’s fun to have the teams break up and decide on a team name. Draw a big baseball diamond on the board. Choose which team is to be first up by tossing a coin, picking a number, etc. Have the team "up to bat" first line up and get ready to answer problems.

The pitching team begins by "pitching" a math problem to the "batting" team. You can either have the children from the “pitching” team takes turns pitching the problems, or you can have one child designated each inning as the “pitcher” of problems. The first child "up to bat" tries to answer the problem. If the child is correct, it’s a base hit and the teacher can mark that the baseball diamond. If the child misses the problem, it’s an "out". When the batting team gets three outs, the teams switch places. Play until the designated score is reached.

Exchange Change

Supplies: one die for each group of kids and change coins.

A learning game that will children in early grades learn money combinations. Have each group of 2-3 students start out with 10 dimes, 6 nickels, and 15 pennies. The first player rolls the die. Depending on the number that comes up, from 1-6, he will take that many coins. If he rolls a six, for example, he can take six pennies, but then he has to exchange 5 pennies for a nickel. After a few exchanges, the student will learn to pick a nickel and one penny. The next player will do the same and take the allotted amount. On the player's next turn, she takes the allotted coins, but if she ends up with five pennies, she should exchange them for a nickel. If she has two nickels, she has to exchange them for one dime. When all the dimes are gone, the game is over and all players count out their change. The person with the highest number wins. For the next level of learning money combinations add 10 quarters and then add dollar bills.

Number Scramble

Write the alphabet on the blackboard in scrambled form, low enough that the students can reach. Divide the class into 2 teams and have the teams line up. Call out a letter. Have the first person in each team try to find the letter on the board and circle it. The first person done is the winner, and that team gets a point. To make things harder mix capitol and small letters. For an even harder game, break the class into four teams and have them all looking for the same letter. This game can be played with letters also! See our additional page of Math Games.

Other Games


Supplies: Have cards made up (one for each player) with the names of nearby towns/cities in your area. Have a paper handy listing all the town/cities used in the game

Have the children sit in a circle and give each a card with a town name. Have one child be the "station master". She will stand in the middle of the circle holding a paper with all the town/city names. The station master then calls out town names at random. For example, she might say, "Springfield, Holbrook". The two children holding cards that say Springfield and Holbrook then have to get up and exchange seats. In the meantime, the station master has to try to jump into one of these seats. More than two destinations can be called out and the ultimate "All Change" when everyone has to change seats is a great laugh. The child left standing then takes over the roll as station master.

Silent Ball

You need a nerf ball or very soft ball. Have students sit on desks and toss the ball around. If any students talk, they are "out" and must sit down. If any students drop the ball, throw it so it is uncatchable, or interfere with a throw or a catch, they are out and must sit down. If any students drop a catchable ball, they are also out. Soon, all but 1 student is left as the winner.

Who is Missing?

Pick one student to be "it." Have that student sit in a chair and face away from the class, closing his eyes. You need a closet, cabinet, or wall that a student can "hide" behind and not be seen by the person in the chair. You quietly point to a student to "hide." While she is hiding, you count to 10. The rest of the students change desks. At 10, all must sit down. Ask the person who is "it" to turn around and guess who is missing. If he guesses right, he can continue to be the "guesser". The person who was hidden picks the next hider. If he guesses wrong, he picks the next student to hide then sits down. You can decide on a maximum number of right guesses allowed so a good guesser does not remain guesser for too long.


Form groups of about five to ten students and give the following instructions: "You will be stranded on a deserted island for an indefinite amount of time. You may only bring one item to the island, and you only have a few minutes notice. What will you bring? Share with your group your object, why you chose it, and what you plan to do with it." Have each child briefly share her item, why it is important to her, and what she plans to do with it. After everyone has shared, have the groups figure out how they can improve their chances of survival by combining each student's items in creative ways. Allow ten to fifteen minutes of group brainstorming, and then have each group present their ideas.

The Alphabet Card Game

Materials Needed: Alphabet Flash Cards

Hand out a different alphabet card to each student. Call upon one student to begin the game. If you have a class of more than 26 students, have the additional students become the audience. When students get to "Z" the letter coming after will be considered "A". Have the first student come to the front of the room and hold up her alphabet card. That student says, "I’m "T" (naming her letter), who comes after me?" The student with the letter that should follow comes up to the front of the class and stands to the right of the first student saying, "I do…I’m a U... who comes after me?" The game continues until all the letters are in proper order around the room. Then, have all the students say their letters in order while displaying their alphabet cards.

Variation: Have a student say, "Who comes before me?" or have the student decide which question to ask ("who comes before me?" or "who comes after me?")

Word Relay

Divide the board in two and write a word on each side. Then, split the class into two teams and have a player from each team come to the board. The players begin the game by writing a word with the last letter of the previous word (i.e. paper.. robin.. name). The players pass the marker to the next students and the word relay begins.

Basketball Lesson Review

Materials Needed: Nerf basketball and some type of basket (garbage can, plastic tub, etc.)

Before you begin: Draw one line on the floor with an erasable marker some distance from the basket. This will be the line the kids have to stand behind before shooting.

Divide the class into two groups and begin by choosing a player from each team and asking each player a question from the lesson. After the players answer their questions have them take a shot. Give a point for each basket and the team with the most points at the end of the game wins