Five-minute games help younger kids to stay focused, and the games themselves can be educational. Furthermore, they allow you to provide a variety of activities geared toward different learning styles, attention spans, energy levels and interests. This creates a dynamic classroom environment that helps young minds to stay fresh and eager to learn.
Play this game to practice new vocabulary. As Education World describes, pick two contestants who try to guess the secret password, then have them turn around and hold up a card that says the password so everyone else can see it. Other students can raise their hands to give the contestants clues, and contestants guess until they get it right.
Group kids into a circle to play this classic game and whisper a sentence in one student's ear. Afterward, talk about how a message often changes as people pass it along, relating this to rumors, gossip and misunderstanding each other.
Kids can play relay races even in a classroom, if you have certain rules. They could try to walk with pillows balanced on their heads or while holding a plastic egg in a spoon.
For this game, write a category on the board and tell students to write down one word for each letter of the alphabet, as Education World says. For instance, if the category was "food," they could write "apple," "bread," "carrot" and so on.
Giving kids a mini-mystery helps to draw their focus after recess or gym. Read them a short mystery story, like those on Mystery Net. Then, prompt them to solve it together, using the clues.
Play this game at the beginning of a school year or on the first day of the week. When the music stops, whoever is holding the potato must say one thing they did over the break or something they look forward to doing during the school year.
Prepare several or more paper bags with mystery contents inside such as pine cones, leaves, a bird's nest, seeds, tree bark and other natural objects. Alternatively, create bags with materials that smell strongly like spices, vanilla extract and lemon juice, saturating cotton balls with the liquids and placing a plastic bag at the bottom. Then number the bags. Pass them around the room, telling students to write down their answers but not tell anyone else what they think it is.
As Primary Education Oasis suggests, create a word scramble by printing vocabulary words in large font, then cutting the letters apart. Place each word into a small sack, and have partners or small teams try to put their word together before the other teams.
Melanie J. Martin specializes in environmental issues and sustainable living. Her work has appeared in venues such as the Environmental News Network, "Ocean" magazine and "GREEN Retailer." Martin holds a Master of Arts in English.