Over the course of a busy school day, sometimes you just need a little break. But there’s no reason that the learning has to stop. For a fun and educational activity, try these quick 15-minute games from Blue Apple’s Timely Topics: Games, Games, Games. They’re simple, require little to no prep, and work for grades 3 through 8. We love these for whole-class play, but they also make for a great “may-do” activity. Do one or do them all … the choice is up to you!
Game: Fact or Funny?
What it teaches: This game sparks students’ curiosity and leads them to investigate the world’s wonders … from bear pilots to levitating Slinkies to Pepsi’s incredible navy.
How it works: Students choose a topic from the chart (or spin the Wheel of Fate!) to get a random question. They’ll see the first line of a fun fact or a joke and guess which one it is. More fun knowledge awaits them on the other side.
Our favorite part: Your host is Marcia the Marshmallow, and you get to launch her through a basketball hoop. It’s pretty awesome!
Twin to Win
What it teaches: Solving pentomino puzzles builds visual-spatial skills. This game is all about healthy mental exercise.
How it works: Print the pentominoes and puzzle cards. To solve a puzzle, students will need to rearrange the pairs of pentominoes so they match perfectly. Pentominoes may be rotated or flipped in order to solve the puzzle. The first person to solve the puzzle wins the point!
Our favorite part: The Tetris nostalgia.
What it teaches: This vocabulary-building game gets students to create connections between words.
How it works: Students make connections between words to form a Winding Word chain with ready-to-print cards. For example, if a student lays “abhor” so that it’s touching “bashful,” they can explain that people are bashful if they abhor many social situations. When they finish a chain, students can collaborate to re-create it from memory.
Our favorite part: It really cements rich vocabulary in students’ minds.
What it teaches: This lateral-thinking challenge boosts creativity as students think outside the box.
How it works: Players come up with interesting uses for everyday objects using item cards and answer blanks. For example, an ankle sock could be frozen and used as a boomerang. Or, unfrozen, it could be used as a boomerang holder. Pliers could become a toy alligator. A bobby pin could hold nails so you don’t pound your finger. Similar to Apples to Apples, a rotating judge picks the winner.
Our favorite part: You can submit winning ideas to the Incredible Ideas forum and see what students all over the country are coming up with!