20 Fun Classroom Games You Can Try (Plus Their Benefits)

Looking for great ways to help students learn to work together, listen carefully, communicate clearly, and think creatively? Try some of these team-building games and activities. They’re a super way to give your students the chance to get to know one another, build trust as a community, and, best of all, have fun! Below we’ve gathered 38 team-building games and activities for the classroom. And if you’re looking for online team-building activities, we have those too!

For this activity, you’ll place a colored sticker dot (blue, red, green, or yellow) on each student’s forehead without them knowing what color it is. When the game begins, each “team” of students (with the same color) must find each other—without speaking. This is a wonderful team-building activity because it encourages non-verbal communication and cooperation.

Divide students into groups of four and have them sit together in these small groups. Give each group five minutes to chat among themselves and find something they all have in common. It could be that they all play soccer, or pizza is their favorite dinner, or they each have a kitten. Whatever the common thread, the conversation will help them get to know one another better. Check in with the groups after five minutes to see if they need more time. After each group has come up with their common element, have them work together to create a flag that represents it.

This classic outdoor activity is double the fun of the traditional tug-of-war. Tie two long jump ropes together at their center points, creating an X shape. Tie a bandanna around the center point. Next, use cones to form a circle that fits around the X. Form four equal teams, and have each team stand at one of the four ends of the ropes. At your signal, each team begins pulling. The objective is to be the first team to pull the others in their direction far enough for the bandanna to cross to the outside of the circle of cones. Students who feel nervous about participating can serve as referees who make sure everyone is safe.

For this activity, prepare a tray with 20 unrelated items—for instance, a spool of thread, an eraser, a juice box, etc. Alternatively, create a document with 20 s of items to put up on the screen. Divide your class into even groups. Set a timer and have each group divide the 20 items into four categories that make sense to them. For example, they may put an earring, a glove, a headset, a sock, and a smile into the category “things you wear.” Have groups work quietly so that their ideas are kept secret. When each group is finished, give each one time to present their categories and their rationale behind each category.

Lay out two long ropes parallel to each other and have students line up in the middle. Call out a set of opposites like sweet or sour, day or night, cat or dog. Students will jump over the left rope if they prefer the first one or over the right rope if they prefer the second one. Give them a minute to look around, then have everyone return to the middle. This activity is a good way to get to know classmates better and to see who they have preferences in common with.

This fun game is a lot like the game show Password. Split your class into two teams and have them sit together in teams facing the whiteboard or chalkboard. Then take an empty chair—one for each team—and put it at the front of the class, facing the team members. These chairs are the “hot seats.” Choose one volunteer from each team to come up and sit in the “hot seat,” facing their teammates with their back to the board.

Prepare a list of vocabulary words to use for the game. Choose one and write it clearly on the board. Each team will take turns trying to get their teammate in the hot seat to guess the word, using synonyms, antonyms, definitions, etc. Make sure team members work together so that each member has a chance to provide clues.

The student in the hot seat listens to their teammates and tries to guess the word. The first hot seat student to say the word wins a point for their team. Once the word is successfully guessed, a new student from each team sits in the hot seat, and a new round begins with a different word.

Did you know there are team-building games and activities that can help teach students how to line up? It may take 5 to 10 minutes, depending on the age of your students, so plan accordingly. The objective is to have students line up in order of their birthdays—January 1 through December 31. To do this, they will need to know the order in which the months fall as well as their own birthday. They will also need to talk with one another in order to figure out who goes in front of whom. To make it super challenging, tell them they must do it without speaking at all, only using hand signals. Other ways to line up include by height, alphabetically, or by foot size.

Review Games Students LOVE | Elementary, Middle, and High School

Benefits of classroom games

Here are some benefits of using classroom games in your lesson plans:

What are classroom games?

Classroom games are activities teachers use to supplement academic assignments or encourage students to practice new skills. Depending on your preferences and your students needs, you can play classroom games using technical equipment, physical exercise or an art-based medium. Some teachers use classroom games to encourage teamwork and provide opportunities for personal development.

20 ideas for classroom games

Consider these 20 ideas for classroom games:

1. Charades

In the game of charades, students can study vocabulary words and learn public speaking skills by doing physical exercise. One student performs actions or movements associated with a word while their classmates guess it out loud. The person who guesses the correct option receives the next word to perform.

For instance, if the word is “debate,” then a student might simulate an exchange with another person. You can add a teamwork element by dividing the class into groups and directing them to only guess the words for other members of their team.

2. Studying contest

This game can help students study lesson content and quickly analyze information, making it beneficial for reviewing test material. You draw two circles on a board or projector screen and label one “Yes” and the other “No.” Separate students into two teams and call one representative from each to listen to a statement and decide if its true or false. The first student who taps the circle with the correct answer wins the round for their team.

3. Secret investigator

You can use this game to teach deductive reasoning skills between academic lessons. You write a word on the board and select one student to be the investigator and leave the room while you select another to be the secret leader. This student coordinates the others in an action like clapping or chanting words, which they change every 30 seconds. When the investigator returns to the room, their task is to determine who the secret leader is.

4. Stacking competition

In this contest, students can learn teamwork and practice problem-solving. Separate students into groups and give them plastic cups, a rubber band and string. The students tie pieces of string to the rubber band, one for each team member, then wrap the rubber band around the first cup. Their goal is to figure out a way to lift the cups using the strings as a team and stack them in a specific shape like a pyramid.

5. Find the clues

During this timed game, students can practice their concentration and communication skills while studying lesson material. You provide several terms or names on small pieces of paper and assign a certain amount of points to each one. Working in teams, one student picks a word and gives their teammates clues without saying it. Their goal is to identify as many words as they can. The team that has the most after 60 seconds wins the round.

6. Jeopardy

In this contest, students can learn teamwork and review lesson content by earning points. You write questions or mathematical equations on index cards and list points on the other side of the card based on content difficulty. Separate the cards into categories and place them on a screen or board for teams to select and attempt to answer. For instance, one category might be quadratic equations and its 500-point card has multiple steps while a 100-point card has very few.

7. Find the object or image

In this physical activity, students can learn research skills while learning the components of a classroom. You provide a list of objects or images in the classroom and set a timer for three minutes while students search for them. You can also hide mathematical equations around the room and instruct students to solve them within the timeframe. It may be helpful to provide additional guidelines for finding objects to encourage teamwork and constructive exploration.

8. Category contest

During this game, students use their base of knowledge to learn how to connect separate concepts. You provide topics and related categories, then direct student teams to think of words associated with it that begin with a randomly selected letter. For instance, one topic could be “outer space” and a related category could be “planets.” If the assigned letter is “M,” the planet might be Mars. It might be helpful to design a point system based on different parameters like the complexity of the word.

9. Bingo

You can use this game to review lesson content and help students study for exams, particularly when teaching complicated vocabulary words or multiplication tables. You prepare a grid for each student with different questions or mathematical expressions. Then, they read items from a corresponding list and students listen for their options, marking the grid when they hear an answer. The student who marks their entire grid with the most correct answers wins the round.

10. Pass the object

In this game, students can exercise while reviewing important terms and numerical expressions. You separate students into groups and give them each a soft object or small ball to toss a few feet. Then, you reveal a question, which the student has to answer before tossing the ball to someone else, who answers the next question. When each student in a group finishes passing the object, they win the round.

11. Invent a solution

Students can play this game during breaks to practice problem-solving in teams and learn how to create original ideas. You announce a problem students can solve using only three provided objects. You can use creative examples like saving the world from an imaginary creature or a situation from everyday life like how to help a friend make an important decision. After a certain timeframe, each group presents the solution to the class, then answers questions about it.

12. Guess a classmate

You can use this game to help students restore their concentration and practice their deduction skills after a break. Students close their eyes and place their hands on a table in front of them. You select some students to walk around the classroom and gently tap other students hands. Afterward, these students guess which classmate tapped their hand and switch roles if their answer is correct.

13. Walk to four corners

If you have a bigger classroom, you can try this game to help students work off some energy. Instructors assign names to four corners of the room and direct students to pick a corner to stand in during a certain timeframe. Afterward, you announce one of the four corners and the students standing there must step out of the game until the next round. The last student standing in a corner is the winner.

14. Word definition

In this game, students can deepen their understanding of relevant vocabulary words, particularly high-level options. You choose a word and direct students to write what they think the meaning is on a piece of paper. You read the definitions out loud and have students vote on which option is most likely correct. It may be helpful to give students tips during this game like how to identify familiar words within the vocabulary thats more complex.

15. Finish the sentence

You can use this game to teach students memorization and concentration skills, particularly if theyre at a middle school grade level. You write half of a sentence on a board like “Im leaving on a vacation and bringing,” followed by a blank space for the second half. The first student adds an item to a list such as “Im leaving on a vacation and bringing my dog.” Afterward, each student repeats all previous additions before including their own.

16. Collaborative drawing

In this activity, students can learn teamwork skills and express their creativity. You provide each student with a sheet of paper and writing implement, then direct them to draw a picture within a set timeframe. Afterward, the student passes their drawing to another classmate and continues the drawing of someone else. This continues until the student receives their original artwork, which they describe to the rest of the class.

17. Replace the number

During this game, students can practice concentration skills and learn important number sets. You pick one number and replace it with a sound or word like “zing” or “buzz.” Then, students read the numbers out loud and use the replacement instead of the selected number. If the student says the number instead of the replacement, they step out of the game until the next round starts.

18. Memorize objects

This game can be an engaging way to introduce a new subject with a lot of relevant tools and materials like chemistry. You place at least 15 different objects on a classroom table and students study them within a certain timeframe. Afterward, you cover the objects and ask students to recall certain details about them and explain what purpose they might fulfill. You can also have the students view images on a projector screen instead.

19. Connect through stories

You can use this game to encourage students to bond with each other and reflect on their conduct, particularly if theyre in high school. You can pick up a ball of yarn and share a personal anecdote of a situation where you solved an issue and learned something new. Then, you hold the end of the yarn string and give the ball to a student, who shares a situation of their own. When theyre finished, they hold on to the yarn string and pass the ball again, creating a physical representation of connecting with other people.

20. Freeze-dance

You can use this game to help students get ready for an academic lesson after recess or to end the school day on a positive note. The students move all tables and chairs to one side of the room while you set up a speaker to play fun music. You direct the students to stop moving their bodies when you pause the music at random moments. If a student continues to move, they step out of the game for the current round.


What is a fun game to play in class?


In the game of charades, students can study vocabulary words and learn public speaking skills by doing physical exercise. One student performs actions or movements associated with a word while their classmates guess it out loud. The person who guesses the correct option receives the next word to perform.

What activities do you perform inside the classroom?

Teaching Strategies to Make Your Class More Fun
  1. Incorporate Mystery Into Your Lessons.
  2. Don’t Repeat Classroom Material.
  3. Create Classroom Games.
  4. Give Your Students Choices.
  5. Use Technology.
  6. Don’t Take Teaching so Seriously.
  7. Make Your Lessons Interactive.
  8. Relate Material to Your Students’ Lives.

What games can we play on Teachers Day virtually?

Interactive Classroom Activities
  • Entry/Exit Tickets. …
  • Free Writing/Minute Paper/Question of the Day Exercise. …
  • Ice Breakers. …
  • Think–Pair–Share. …
  • Case Studies and Problem-Based Learning. …
  • Debate. …
  • Interview or Role Play. …
  • Interactive Demonstrations.

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