# 25 Classroom Games Ideas (For Elementary School)

## Classroom Games Ideas for Elementary School

### 1. Spelling Bee

Objective: Improve students’ spelling skills in a fun and competitive manner.

Preparation:

• Prepare a list of grade-appropriate words.
• Arrange students in a line or have them seated in a circle.

Instructions:

1. Introduction: Explain the rules to the students. Each student will be given a word to spell. If they spell it correctly, they stay in the game; if not, they are out.
2. Gameplay: Start with the first student and give them a word. If they spell it correctly, move to the next student. If they spell it incorrectly, they are out of the game.
3. Progression: Continue giving words to students, increasing the difficulty level as the game progresses.
4. Final Round: When two students remain, alternate words until one misspells and the other spells a word correctly to win.
5. Encouragement: Praise all students for their efforts and participation, and consider small rewards for the winner and participants.

### 2. Math Bingo

Objective: Reinforce math skills through a fun and interactive game.

Preparation:

• Create bingo cards with math problems (e.g., addition, subtraction, multiplication) in each square.
• Prepare a list of answers corresponding to the problems on the cards.

Instructions:

1. Introduction: Explain the rules to the students. Each student will receive a bingo card with math problems. When you call out an answer, they mark the corresponding problem if they have it on their card.
2. Distribution: Hand out the bingo cards and provide each student with markers or chips.
3. Gameplay: Call out the answers one by one. Students must solve the problems on their cards to see if they have a matching answer.
4. Winning: The first student to mark a complete row, column, or diagonal shouts “Bingo!” and wins. Check their card to verify.
5. Repeat: Continue playing with new cards or a different set of problems if time allows.

### 3. Scavenger Hunt

Objective: Foster teamwork and observational skills.

Preparation:

• Create a list of items or clues for students to find around the classroom or school.
• Ensure the items are safe and appropriate for the students.

Instructions:

1. Introduction: Explain the rules and objective. Students will work in teams to find items or solve clues.
2. Team Formation: Divide students into small teams, ensuring an even mix of abilities.
3. Distribution: Hand out the list of items or clues to each team.
4. Gameplay: Set a time limit for the hunt. Teams search for items and check them off their list.
5. Completion: The first team to find all items or the team with the most items found at the end of the time limit wins.
6. Debrief: Discuss what they found and the strategies they used, reinforcing teamwork and problem-solving skills.

### 4. Pictionary

Objective: Enhance creativity and communication skills.

Preparation:

• Prepare a list of words or phrases suitable for drawing.
• Provide paper and markers or use a whiteboard.

Instructions:

1. Introduction: Explain the rules. One student will draw a word or phrase without speaking, and their team will guess what it is.
2. Team Formation: Divide the class into two or more teams.
3. Gameplay: A student from the first team picks a word from the list and starts drawing. Their team has a set amount of time (e.g., one minute) to guess the word.
4. Turn Taking: Alternate turns between teams, keeping track of the points each team scores.
5. Winning: The team with the most points at the end of the game wins.
6. Feedback: Encourage all students and highlight creative drawings and good guesses.

### 5. Simon Says

Objective: Improve listening and motor skills through a fun and interactive game.

Preparation:

• No special preparation needed.

Instructions:

1. Introduction: Explain the rules. Students must follow commands that start with “Simon says.” If a command is given without “Simon says,” they should not follow it. Those who do are out.
2. Gameplay: Start by saying “Simon says” followed by an action (e.g., “Simon says touch your nose”). Mix in commands without “Simon says” to catch students off guard.
3. Elimination: Students who follow a command without “Simon says” are out and sit down.
4. Winning: The last student remaining wins.
5. Repeat: Play multiple rounds if time allows.

### 6. Hangman

Objective: Enhance vocabulary and spelling skills in an engaging way.

Preparation:

• Prepare a list of grade-appropriate words or phrases.
• Have a whiteboard or chalkboard and markers or chalk.

Instructions:

1. Introduction: Explain the rules. Students will guess letters to figure out the hidden word. Incorrect guesses result in parts of a stick figure being drawn.
2. Set Up: Draw a series of blank spaces on the board representing the letters of the word or phrase.
3. Gameplay: Invite students to guess one letter at a time. If the letter is correct, fill in the appropriate blanks. If incorrect, draw a part of the hangman figure (e.g., head, body, arms, legs).
4. Winning: The game continues until the word is guessed correctly or the hangman figure is completed. If the figure is completed, the teacher reveals the word.
5. Repeat: Play multiple rounds, giving different students a chance to guess.

### 7. Four Corners

Objective: Promote physical activity and decision-making skills.

Preparation:

• Number the four corners of the room from 1 to 4.

Instructions:

1. Introduction: Explain the rules. One student will be “It” and stand in the middle with their eyes closed while the other students choose a corner.
2. Gameplay: “It” counts to 10 with their eyes closed while the other students quietly move to a corner. After counting, “It” calls out a corner number (1 to 4). Students in that corner are out and must sit down.
3. Repeat: Continue the game until only one student remains. That student becomes the new “It” for the next round.
4. Winning: The last student standing wins.
5. Encouragement: Encourage quiet movement and fair play.

### 8. Musical Chairs

Objective: Enhance coordination and listening skills through a fun and energetic game.

Preparation:

• Arrange chairs in a circle, with one less chair than the number of students.
• Have music ready to play.

Instructions:

1. Introduction: Explain the rules. Students will walk around the chairs while the music plays. When the music stops, they must quickly find a chair to sit in. One student will be left standing and is out.
2. Gameplay: Start the music and have students walk around the chairs. Stop the music unexpectedly, and students must find a chair to sit in.
3. Elimination: The student left standing is out and removes one chair from the circle. The game continues until only one student remains.
4. Winning: The last student remaining wins.
5. Repeat: Play multiple rounds if time allows.

### 9. Hot Potato

Objective: Develop quick reflexes and coordination.

Preparation:

• Use a soft ball or beanbag as the “hot potato.”
• Have music ready to play.

Instructions:

1. Introduction: Explain the rules. Students will pass the “hot potato” around the circle while the music plays. When the music stops, the student holding the potato is out.
2. Gameplay: Start the music and have students pass the potato around the circle quickly.
3. Elimination: Stop the music unexpectedly. The student holding the potato is out and must sit down.
4. Repeat: Continue the game until only one student remains.
5. Winning: The last student standing wins.
6. Encouragement: Emphasize fair play and quick passing.

### 10. Memory Match

Objective: Enhance memory and concentration skills.

Preparation:

• Prepare pairs of matching cards with pictures, words, or numbers.
• Arrange the cards face down in a grid.

Instructions:

1. Introduction: Explain the rules. Students will take turns flipping over two cards, trying to find a matching pair. If they find a match, they keep the pair and take another turn. If not, they flip the cards back over, and the next student takes a turn.
2. Gameplay: Students take turns flipping over two cards at a time, trying to remember the positions of the cards they have seen.
3. Matching: When a student finds a match, they keep the pair and continue their turn.
4. Completion: The game continues until all pairs are found.
5. Winning: The student with the most pairs at the end of the game wins.
6. Encouragement: Praise students for their concentration and memory skills.

### 11. Word Search

Objective: Improve vocabulary and spelling while engaging students in a fun activity.

Preparation:

• Create word search puzzles with a list of vocabulary words hidden in a grid of letters.
• Print copies for each student or group of students.

Instructions:

1. Introduction: Explain the rules. Students will find and circle the hidden words in the word search puzzle. Words can be placed horizontally, vertically, diagonally, and backward.
2. Distribution: Hand out the word search puzzles and provide pencils or markers.
3. Gameplay: Students work individually or in pairs to find and circle the words from the list.
4. Completion: Set a time limit for the activity. Students who finish early can check their work or help their peers.
5. Winning: Recognize all students for their participation, and consider small rewards for those who find all the words within the time limit.
6. Encouragement: Praise students for their attention to detail and effort.

### 12. Charades

Objective: Enhance communication and teamwork skills while having fun.

Preparation:

• Prepare a list of words or phrases suitable for acting out.
• Divide the class into teams.

Instructions:

1. Introduction: Explain the rules. Students will take turns acting out words or phrases without speaking, and their team will guess what they are acting out.
2. Team Formation: Divide the class into two or more teams.
3. Gameplay: A student from the first team picks a word or phrase from the list and acts it out within a set time limit (e.g., one minute). Their team guesses what it is.
4. Turn Taking: Alternate turns between teams, keeping track of the points each team scores.
5. Winning: The team with the most points at the end of the game wins.
6. Encouragement: Highlight creative and expressive performances, and encourage all students to participate actively.

### 13. Red Light, Green Light

Objective: Develop listening skills and self-control through a fun movement game.

Preparation:

• Clear a space for students to move around safely.

Instructions:

1. Introduction: Explain the rules. One student will be “It” and stand at one end of the space. The other students will line up at the opposite end. “It” will call out “Green Light” to move and “Red Light” to stop.
2. Gameplay: “It” turns their back to the students and calls out “Green Light.” Students move toward “It” while “It” has their back turned. When “It” calls “Red Light” and turns around, students must freeze. If “It” sees anyone moving, they must return to the starting line.
3. Winning: The first student to reach and tag “It” wins and becomes the new “It.”
4. Repeat: Play multiple rounds to give different students a chance to be “It.”
5. Encouragement: Praise students for following directions and self-control.

### 14. Duck, Duck, Goose

Objective: Encourage physical activity and social interaction in a fun game.

Preparation:

• Arrange students in a circle, sitting on the floor.

Instructions:

1. Introduction: Explain the rules. One student will walk around the outside of the circle, tapping each seated student on the head and saying “Duck.” When they say “Goose,” the tapped student must get up and chase them around the circle.
2. Gameplay: The student walking around taps heads and says “Duck” until they choose to say “Goose.” The “Goose” chases the tapper around the circle. If the tapper reaches the empty spot and sits down, the “Goose” becomes the new tapper. If the “Goose” tags the tapper, the tapper sits in the middle, and the game continues.
3. Winning: The game is continuous, so there is no definitive winner. Focus on participation and fun.
4. Encouragement: Ensure fair play and safety, and encourage all students to participate.

### 15. Telephone

Objective: Highlight the importance of clear communication and listening skills.

Preparation:

• No special preparation needed.

Instructions:

1. Introduction: Explain the rules. Students will form a line or a circle, and the first student will whisper a message to the next person. The message is passed along until it reaches the last student.
2. Gameplay: The first student thinks of a message and whispers it to the next student. Each student whispers the message to the next, trying to pass it accurately.
3. Completion: The last student says the message out loud. Compare it to the original message to see how it changed.
4. Repeat: Play multiple rounds with different starting messages.
5. Encouragement: Highlight the fun of seeing how the message changes and the importance of listening carefully.

### 16. 20 Questions

Objective: Develop critical thinking and questioning skills.

Preparation:

• No special preparation is needed.

Instructions:

1. Introduction: Explain the rules. One student thinks of an object, person, or animal, and the rest of the class has up to 20 yes/no questions to guess what it is.
2. Gameplay: Select a student to start by thinking of something. The rest of the class takes turns asking yes/no questions.
3. Questioning: Encourage students to ask broad questions first to narrow down the possibilities (e.g., “Is it a living thing?” “Is it something you find indoors?”).
4. Winning: If the class guesses correctly within 20 questions, they win. If not, the student reveals the answer.
5. Repeat: Choose different students to think of something and repeat the game.
6. Encouragement: Praise students for their thoughtful questions and teamwork.

### 17. Name That Tune

Objective: Enhance listening skills and musical knowledge.

Preparation:

• Prepare a playlist of recognizable tunes or songs appropriate for the students’ age group.
• Have a way to play short clips of these tunes (e.g., a speaker connected to a device).

Instructions:

1. Introduction: Explain the rules. Students will listen to short clips of tunes or songs and try to guess the name of the tune or song.
2. Gameplay: Play a short clip of a tune (5-10 seconds). Students can either shout out the answer or write it down, depending on the classroom’s noise level and preference.
3. Turn Taking: If playing in teams, alternate which team gets to guess first.
4. Winning: The student or team with the most correct answers at the end of the game wins.
5. Repeat: Play multiple rounds with different clips.
6. Encouragement: Highlight students’ musical knowledge and quick recognition skills.

### 18. I Spy

Objective: Improve observational skills and descriptive language.

Preparation:

• No special preparation needed.

Instructions:

1. Introduction: Explain the rules. One student picks an object in the classroom and describes it starting with “I spy with my little eye, something that is [color/shape/etc.].”
2. Gameplay: The rest of the class takes turns guessing what the object is based on the description.
3. Hints: If students are having trouble guessing, allow the student who chose the object to give additional hints.
4. Winning: The student who guesses the object correctly gets to be the next one to choose an object.
5. Repeat: Continue playing with different students choosing objects.
6. Encouragement: Praise students for their descriptive skills and keen observations.

### 19. Alphabet Game

Objective: Enhance vocabulary and quick thinking skills.

Preparation:

• No special preparation needed.

Instructions:

1. Introduction: Explain the rules. Students will take turns naming items that start with each letter of the alphabet in sequence.
2. Gameplay: Start with the letter “A” and go around the room, with each student naming an item starting with the next letter. For example, the first student might say “Apple,” the next “Banana,” and so on.
3. Themes: You can set a theme for the items (e.g., animals, foods, places) to make it more challenging.
4. Winning: There is no single winner; the focus is on participation and creativity.
5. Repeat: Continue until all letters are covered, then start a new round with a different theme if desired.
6. Encouragement: Highlight creative answers and encourage students to think quickly.

### 20. Math Relay

Objective: Reinforce math skills through a fun and active competition.

Preparation:

• Prepare a list of math problems suitable for the students’ grade level.
• Arrange the classroom to allow space for relay movement.

Instructions:

1. Introduction: Explain the rules. Students will work in teams to solve math problems in a relay format. Each student solves one problem and then passes the baton (or any object) to the next team member.
2. Team Formation: Divide the class into small teams, ensuring an even mix of abilities.
3. Gameplay: The first student in each team starts at the front of the room. When you say “Go,” they solve the first math problem on a worksheet and then pass the baton to the next team member, who solves the next problem.
4. Turn Taking: Continue until all team members have solved a problem. The first team to complete their worksheet correctly wins.
5. Winning: The team that finishes first with all correct answers wins.
6. Encouragement: Praise students for their math skills and teamwork, and consider small rewards for the winning team.

### 21. Guess the Number

Objective: Develop logical thinking and number sense.

Preparation:

• No special preparation is needed, but you can use a whiteboard to keep track of guesses if desired.

Instructions:

1. Introduction: Explain the rules. One student thinks of a number within a specified range (e.g., 1 to 100). The rest of the class tries to guess the number by asking yes/no questions, such as “Is it greater than 50?” or “Is it an even number?”
2. Gameplay: The student who thought of the number answers the questions. The class uses the answers to narrow down the possibilities.
3. Guessing: After several questions, students start guessing the number directly. The student who guesses correctly wins and gets to choose the next number.
4. Repeat: Play multiple rounds with different students choosing numbers.
5. Encouragement: Praise students for their logical questions and correct guesses.

### 22. Two Truths and a Lie

Objective: Enhance communication skills and build classroom camaraderie.

Preparation:

• No special preparation needed.

Instructions:

1. Introduction: Explain the rules. Each student will come up with three statements about themselves: two that are true and one that is a lie.
2. Gameplay: Each student takes turns presenting their three statements to the class. The class then tries to guess which statement is the lie.
3. Discussion: After the class guesses, the student reveals which statement was the lie and explains the truth behind their true statements.
4. Winning: There is no definitive winner; the focus is on sharing and learning about each other.
5. Repeat: Continue until all students have had a chance to share.
6. Encouragement: Highlight interesting and surprising facts, and encourage students to be creative and honest.

### 23. Story Chain

Objective: Develop creativity and collaborative storytelling skills.

Preparation:

• No special preparation needed.

Instructions:

1. Introduction: Explain the rules. The class will create a story together, with each student adding one sentence at a time.
2. Gameplay: Start with a simple sentence to begin the story. Each student adds one sentence to continue the story, building on what the previous student said.
3. Encouragement: Encourage students to listen carefully to each other and add sentences that make sense in the context of the story.
4. Completion: Continue until the story reaches a natural conclusion or a set number of sentences have been added.
5. Repeat: Start a new story with a different initial sentence.
6. Discussion: After completing the story, discuss the creative elements and highlight funny or interesting parts.

### 24. Around the World

Objective: Reinforce academic skills through a competitive and interactive game.

Preparation:

• Prepare a list of questions related to the subject matter (e.g., math problems, vocabulary words).

Instructions:

1. Introduction: Explain the rules. Two students will stand up and compete to answer a question first. The winner moves on to challenge the next student, and the loser sits down.
2. Gameplay: Start with two students standing. Ask a question. The student who answers first and correctly moves on to the next student, while the other sits down.
3. Progression: Continue the game until one student has traveled “around the world” by answering correctly against all classmates.
4. Winning: The student who stays standing the longest wins.
5. Repeat: Play multiple rounds with different starting students.
6. Encouragement: Praise students for their quick thinking and correct answers.

### 25. Freeze Dance

Objective: Encourage physical activity and listening skills.

Preparation:

• Have music ready to play.

Instructions:

1. Introduction: Explain the rules. Students will dance when the music plays and must freeze when the music stops. Anyone still moving when the music stops is out.
2. Gameplay: Play the music and let students dance. Stop the music unexpectedly, and watch for any students who are still moving. Those students are out and must sit down.
3. Progression: Continue playing and stopping the music until only one student remains.
4. Winning: The last student standing wins.
5. Repeat: Play multiple rounds to give everyone a chance to participate.
6. Encouragement: Highlight good dancing and quick reactions.

Dr. Chris Drew is the founder of the Helpful Professor. He holds a PhD in education and has published over 20 articles in scholarly journals. He is the former editor of the Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education. [Image Descriptor: Photo of Chris]