If you need a fast, low-prep game you can play with your whole class, you're in the right place! These 30+ quick games to play in the classroom are fast, easy, and so much fun!
30 Quick Games to Play in the Classroom
The best classroom games require little set-up or equipment and are a great way to test your students' knowledge or help them bond as a community.
They're great for quick brain breaks when everyone needs to let off some steam!
1. This or That
This is one of the simplest games, but kids absolutely love it! Announce two categories or opinions. Students will go to one side or the other, depending on their preference. Such a good conversation starter!
2. Four Corners
Like This or That, you'll assign each of the four corners in your classroom an answer. After you read off the prompt or question, students must run to a corner to make a choice.
This could be the best season, favourite snacks, the best classes, etc. It's quick and the best way to get some energy out while learning!
3. Copy Cats
The whole class stands in a large circle. As one student waits out of sight, another student silently leads the class to move in a certain way (clapping, stomping, swaying, etc.).
The student waiting out of sight returns to figure out who the leader is. As the leader changes the movement, the rest of the class must follow along discretely without giving them away.
This is a great, quiet game that really helps younger children become aware of body language and get the wiggles out!
4. Connect Four
I love using this popular game to practice identifying CVC words, long vowels, and other literacy skills! Students can play alone or with a partner to see who can get four words in a row.
5. Simon Says
Kids still love this classic game, and it's quick! Whether you're stuck in a long line or need to kill 5 minutes, pull out this old stand-by.
Although this one may take a little more prep on your part, you can easily create your own Jeopardy game and come back to it again and again!
It's great for a quick review game before a big test or to rehearse classroom norms and expectations.
You could play with the students against the teacher instead of dividing the students into teams, especially if you're still working on building positive student relationships.
7. My take on Uno
This classic card game is a great way to teach specific literacy skills, like identifying long vowel sounds and more!
The goal is to have just one card remaining in your hand and you can't help but get into it!
Bingo is still such a fun classroom activity! You can play endless varieties of Bingo, and I love incorporating math skills whenever possible!
Depending on the age of your students, you can go for four corners, blackout, and more variations.
You can use Bingo to help your kindergarten students practice their phonological awareness skills in this fun game!
This two-digit number bingo game is great for small groups, too.
Charades is always such a riot, especially in primary grades! Have a bowl of ideas to choose from to keep the game moving quickly.
The first kid to get the correct answer gets to go next, and you can play just one round or stretch it out during indoor recess days!
10. Tic Tac Toe
All you need is a simple sheet of paper for this simple game! Play it with your whole class by pitting the students against the teacher. This builds camaraderie among your students as they all work together to reach a shared goal
Make this game educational by hunting for CVC or CVCC CCVC words!
11. Heads Up Seven Up
There's a good chance you grew up with this fun game! Seven students will try to secretly choose seven students, who will try to guess who selected them and take their place.
12. Snakes & Ladders
I've adapted this game to practice key phonics skills like identifying digraphs and more! If students land on a square with a snake, they go back one square, and if they land on a ladder, they follow it up the game board.
Once they reach the finish line, the game ends!
If you ever have a random 5-10 minute and need something to fill the time, this is a good way to do it! The concept is a little dark, so feel free to adapt it into something else (maybe decorating a gingerbread man or building a teddy bear).
I usually play this with the teacher as the one running the game to ensure the words are all appropriate and correctly spelled.
14. Duck Duck Goose
Younger students love Duck Duck Goose, and it's a fun way to get some energy out.
All students sit in a circle, with one student walking around the group, tapping each person on the head and saying, "duck." They'll choose one person to call, "goose," who will get up and chase the picker around the circle, trying to return to their seat.
The first person to return to the goose's spot stays seated, and the person standing becomes the picker.
15. I Spy
This is the best game for the lower grades! The leader says, "I spy something..." and states a colour or texture. The rest of the class tries to guess what they're looking at. The person who gets it right first gets to be the leader.
I've also created printable versions of I Spy you can use to reinforce phonics skills, like this one that requires students to identify CVC, CVCC, and CCVC words!
16. Higher or Lower
Have a little fun while building number sense! In this game, one student waits outside the classroom while the rest of the class solves a math problem. After you go over the problem to find the answer, you'll bring in the guesser, who will need to figure out which number was the answer.
As the guesser comes back in to stand in the front of the class, tell them the class has chosen a number between 0 and 100 (adapt as needed), but the only way they can help them find the right answer is to say "higher" or "lower!"
Once the student reaches the number, the class cheers, and the guesser picks their replacement.
If you're looking for more math games, look at these differentiated elementary math games for K-2!
17. Where the Wind Blows
This is a great option for building positive student relationships!
The entire class stands in a large circle. The leader says, "The window blows for people who like _____." Any student who likes what they mentioned moves to a different point across the circle.
Students will naturally erupt in conversation about what they like or don't like, and they'll quickly see which people have the same interests.
Make your own custom IKEA spinner to determine who gets to be the leader first -- or to play some other fun number or phonics warm up games!
18. Human Knot
There are several different ways to play this game, but you tie all your bodies into a big knot!
This is one of the best team-building games since you must work together to get everyone untangled!
19. Musical Chairs
For this classic game, turn on some fun music and have students walk in a circle around a row of chairs that is one short.
As the music stops, everyone scrambles to a chair. The last person left standing is out. Take out another chair each round until the group gets smaller and smaller.
The last one in a chair wins!
20. Silent Ball
This is one of the best classroom games because it's quiet, and everyone likes to play!
The goal is for students to toss the ball to each other silently. If they talk or drop the ball, they're out.
20. Two Truths and Lie
This classic ice-breaker can be a fun way to fill a gap in your lesson plans! Invite a few students to share two truths and lie, and try to figure out which is which.
As students sit in a circle, one person whispers a message to their neighbour, who then whispers it to the next neighbour, and so on, until it travels around the circle.
At the end, the last student reveals the message they heard.
The message almost always becomes distorted as it travels around the room. To help teach your students to listen more closely to each other, challenge them to pass the message accurately the whole way around!
22. Scavenger Hunt
Hide things around the classroom or school and have students track them down! This is a great way to change up your math routine, too.
Blow up the problems on your math assignment, print them out, and spread them around the room. Have your students work on their answers on a separate piece of paper.
They'll love moving around and working with others, which is excellent for a late-afternoon math class.
23. Freeze Dance
You can play this game with or without music, but the goal is to get your students moving and dancing as much as possible until you shout freeze!
There are even YouTube videos that guide your class through this game.
24. Hot Potato
This is a simple game, but it works! As you play music, students toss a ball or toy around the circle like a hot potato.
When the music stops, whoever has the bean bag is out!
This dice game is a little noisy but so much fun! It's also great for teaching pattern recognition and practicing multi-digit addition! Learn how to play Farkle here.
You can order a set of 6 cups on Amazon and have six groups playing at once! It's a wonderful treat for Fun Friday or a special occasion!
This is one of the best classroom math games for kids! Basically, you'll ask your kids to count by one. If someone reaches a multiple of 7, they say "buzz!"
If they don't say buzz or take too long, they're out, and the group keeps going.
This is perfect for teaching multiples, and you can adapt the number to make it easier or harder.
Want to help your kids learn their math facts? These no-prep digital interactive math warm-up games will get your kids playing right away!
Although the actual game has rules and guidelines, keep it simple. Have one student draw a picture, then have the rest of the class guess what it is.
I prefer to do this within a category like food or animals to make it easier. Whoever gets it right first becomes the new artist.
This one is great on Zoom if you ever do remote learning!
28. Marco Polo
If it's a nice day outside, divide students into partners, and take your whole class outside. Ask each pair to come up with a unique two-word phrase.
Once everyone has a phrase, send them all to opposite ends of the space. Have them close their eyes and carefully try to find each other, with one partner saying the first part of the phrase and the other person saying the second part.
This is a great way to practice social skills and careful listening. Plus, it's active, creative, and just plain fun!
Like Scrabble, kids use tiles to build words but don't need a gameboard!
The goal is to use all of your tiles to create words, building off of other words as needed.
You can play as a whole class or have students work with partners or small groups. Students will practice quick thinking and spelling words!
30. Would You Rather
This is a great game to learn more about your students! Ask silly questions for fun, like "Would you rather lick a slug or eat a raw egg?"
You can also use it to dip into deeper conversations and ask questions, like "Would you rather be five years younger or ten years older?"Need more quick games to play in the classroom? I have tons of games on my site to help you teach your students through play! Be sure to check out my Resources page to see my phonics games, math games, and more.