Games aren’t just fun for elementary children; they also help them regulate behavior, develop core social skills, and maintain physical and emotional well-being.
That’s why we’re so important to allow students to play safely as schools have reopened following the COVID outbreak.
This dramatic play game is suitable for all ages and requires no social contact.
In this classic game, you take to act out the names of famous books, movies, T.V. shows, or characters. Then, it’s up to the rest of the people to guess the clues and shout out the answer.
To bring this game to life, you could use props and costumes, but make sure they’re sanitized before and after each use.
- Scavenger Hunt
Why not challenge your kids to take part in a socially-distanced scavenger hunt? All you need to get started is a checklist of objects.
- Sidewalk Chalk
With just a single piece of chalk, you have a whole world of fun, COVID-aware games right at your fingertips, including:
- chutes and ladders
- follow the line
- bean bag bullseye
Why not take your regular lessons outside onto the playground and turn them into fun, interactive learning experiences?
Draw the human digestive system on the tarmac, write out sight words for your students to spell out, or set up a multiplication ladder that kids can only climb by solving times tables problems. The choice is yours!
- Hide and Go Seek
Hide and seek has been helping kids keep their distance for years, so it’s the perfect addition to this list. Plus, if you play it outside, there are many more hiding places to choose.
We know you already know the rules for this one, but here’s something you might not know… There is an official hide-and-seek world championship!
It’s held in Bergamo, Italy, annually, and people travel worldwide to compete. So who knows, maybe there’s a future hide-and-seek world champion in your class!
- Field Day
How about setting up a socially-distanced field day?
We all know how good exercise is for our physical health, but did you know that breaking a sweat is also proven to boost kids’ ability to concentrate in class?
On top of that, active games are a great way of helping students break the ice and form lasting friendships – especially at the start of the year.
These field day activities are all suitable for socially-distanced fun:
- water balloon toss
- 100-yard dash
- obstacle course
- sack race
- egg-and-spoon race
- noodle javelin
Footgolf combines the skill of golf with the fun of soccer, and best of all, like golf, it’s a one-player game, so social distancing is built-in.
Not sure how to play it? Don’t worry; it’s easy. The aim is to kick a soccer ball into a “hole” – a circular target like a hula hoop, or a chalk circle will work fine.
First, make a short course of five holes in a safe, outside space. Then, keep a score of how many kicks each child takes to make it around.
- Hula Hoops
Who doesn’t love hula hoops? They are fun and a great way of encouraging kids to get active, which is essential for their physical and emotional well-being. Plus, hula hoops are the perfect makeshift social distancing device!
- I Spy
An oldie but a goodie.
For this game, start by taking your class outside. There’s so much more to spy out there! Arrange them in a wide circle so that they are six feet apart.
Start the game off yourself by saying, “I spy with my little eye something beginning with…” and set a timer for one minute. Then, have your students shout their guesses; whoever gets the correct answer will go next.
If no one answers correctly, move onto the next child. Go around the circle clockwise until every child has had a go.
- Dance Battle
Encourage your children to bust out their best moves in a class dance-off!
Get your kids to make a large circle outside and ask for a volunteer to go in the middle and be the dance master.
The rest of the class must copy whatever move the dance master makes (the sillier, the better). Keep going clockwise around the circle until everyone has had a go.
If any of your students don’t feel comfortable being the center of attention, that’s fine. Let them stay outside the circle and participate in a way that is comfortable for them.
- Simon Says
Simon Says is an old-school recess classic, and it’s perfect for socially distanced fun.
Choose one of your students to be “Simon” and arrange the rest of your class safely in front of them.
Explain to your kids that whenever Simon starts, an instruction with the words “Simon says,” they have to do it. So, for example, Simon could say, “Simon says do ten push-ups,” and your whole class would have to do it. But, sorry, kids, we don’t make the rules.
But watch out because if Simon tells the class to do something without saying “Simon says” first, they should ignore it. They’re out of the game if they follow instructions without hearing the magic words.
This game is an excellent test of children’s ability to concentrate and stay alert. It’s also good old-fashioned fun. Who needs computer games?
- Pool Noodle Tag
Put a social distancing spin on a tag by introducing foam pool noodles. To play, gather your class outside – or in the gymnasium if it’s a bad weather day – and give each student a pool noodle.
Anyone tagged with another player’s pool noodle has to leave the game. The last noodle standing is the winner.
- Jump Rope
A great way of having fun and staying healthy, jump rope is one of those games that’s just as much fun whether you play it on your own or with friends.
Why not challenge your kids to see how long they can jump rope without stopping? Or, have your students get into pairs or small groups and try jump rope tricks, like the skier, scissors, straddle-cross, heel-toe, or forward 180.
Draw an eight-square grid on the ground (use chalk so it washes away easily) and number the boxes from one to eight.
To start, invite one of your students to toss a marker into the first square. Then, making sure they miss out on the first square, have them hop their way up and down the course, remembering to retrieve their marker at the end.
Repeat until all players have completed the course. Perfect for solo or group fun!
Did you know? Hopscotch has been a childhood staple since before the Roman times. That means that kids have been hopscotching for over 2000 years!
- Bubble Blowing
This idea is an excellent way of bringing science learning to life.
Gather your students outside and arrange them in a socially distanced circle. Then pick one student to stand in the middle and be the chief bubble blower.
And everyone else? They have the most crucial role – ensuring the bubbles don’t hit the ground. Encourage these children to blow the bubbles from beneath to keep them from falling to the floor.
- Make Your Own
You don’t need us to tell you that kids can have pretty vivid imaginations, so why not put that creativity to good use and have them invent their social distancing games?
Put your kids into small groups and encourage them to create team games. This way, they can improve their communication and problem-solving skills at the same time!
Your learners will love seeing their ideas come to life outside on the playground.
A timeless classic. Your class will love the thrill of checking the numbers off their bingo board one at a time. Plus, it’s a great way of getting younger kids to practice their number recognition skills.
When the weather’s too bad to play outside, puzzles are a great option. Not only are they fun, but they also help kids develop fine motor, problem-solving, and memorization skills – not to mention their mindful benefits.
Who says math learning can’t be fun? We have a wide range of online math games suitable for all ages. Choose from topics like:
- times tables
- shape recognition
Bring ELA lessons to life with our teacher-made phonics games.
Learning through play is especially important for younger children, and your kindergarten and first-grade kids will love this hands-on digraph roll and read math pack.