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Quick games to occupy a class

(25 Posts)
MadameFod Wed 15-Jun-16 18:36:04

I am a TA working in a year 3 and 4 class.

Occasionally if the class teacher is called away I can end up having to fill for a few minutes.

Can anyone suggest any quick games that would fill time and help keep the children interested? I have tried things like Countdown, hangman and fizzbuzz but I need some more ideas up my sleeve.


OP’s posts: |
LottieDoubtie Wed 15-Jun-16 18:38:33

Disclaimer: not a primary specialist.

But this is a heads down thumbs up moment if ever I heard one!

hellocornflakegirl Wed 15-Jun-16 18:41:09

Agreed: Heads down thumbs up!

TheTroubleWithAngels Wed 15-Jun-16 18:52:43

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TheTroubleWithAngels Wed 15-Jun-16 18:53:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

hamabeads Wed 15-Jun-16 18:54:29

Tomato Ketchup

TheSultanofPingu Wed 15-Jun-16 18:55:29

Apple pie?

Choose a child to come to the front and turn their back to the class. Point to another child who says 'apple pie' in a funny voice. Child has 3 guesses as to who said 'apple pie'. If they don't guess correctly, the child who did say 'apple pie' gets a turn.

AnnaMarlowe Wed 15-Jun-16 18:59:50

Name an animal for each letter in the alphabet.

I went to the shops and I bought a.... Each person names a thing and the next person in the line has to repeat the whole list. To make it easier you can make each thing alphabetical eg:

Person 1: Apple
P2: Apple and a BBQ
P3: Apple, BBQ and a cow

It can get very very funny.

cosmicglittergirl Wed 15-Jun-16 19:07:21

If they won't lose control then these two are great.
Corners. Four corners in the room numbered 1-4. There is one child 'on' who has their eyes covered. All the children stand in one corner, when they're still the child who is on says a number between 1 and 4. If it's 3 all the children standing in 3 have to sit down. The last child left wins and is it.

Detective. One child stands in the corridor, they are the detective. Whilst they are outside one child hides somewhere out of sight, then all the children who are left move seats. The detective comes back in and has 30 seconds to spot who is missing and they get one guess. If they are correct they get another go, if not the child hiding becomes the detective. It's actually very hard.

Or heads down thumbs up!

booklooker Wed 15-Jun-16 21:59:25

I don't know 'heads down, thumbs up', but I have always enjoyed playing 'How low can you go'

Each member of the class thinks of a number between 1 and 20.

The winner is the pupil who chooses the lowest number... provided noone else has selected that number.

I have always played this by counting down from 20 and getting the 'current ruler' to stand up until they are beaten by a new low.

(hope that makes sense)

HesMyLobster Wed 15-Jun-16 22:12:09

Dropping counters into a tin/bowl/box:

Take a handful of counters. Drop one at a time. Kids have to listen and count in their heads. When the last counter falls they put their hands up if they think they know which number it got to.

Advantages are: easy to differentiate - for yr 1 I'd say count in 1s forward or back starting from 1 or 20 or 48 etc, or for yr 2's I might say count in 2's from given start, for yr 3/4 count in 3s or 4s or 7s etc, or start from 12,645,253 . . .

Biggest advantage - absolute silence as they can't play if they don't listen (and they really want to play, particularly if there are house points etc up for grabs)

My class are at the point where silence falls as soon as they see me pick up the counter box.

Another advantage is it requires zero preparation or clean up and can be played for anything from 30 seconds to 30 minutes with increasing difficulty level, so very good if you have no idea how long you need to fill for.

Otherwise I'm another vote for heads down thumbs up!

mushroomsontoast Wed 15-Jun-16 22:18:02

Clap stamp click. You think of a number and clap the hundreds, stamp the tens with your foot and click for the units. Whoever guesses the number has the next turn.

Or 21- stand in a circle, count to 21, everyone saying either one, two or three numbers, if that makes sense? Whoever says 21 has to sit down. The winner is the last one standing. For a quicker game, do it to 11 instead.

fourcorneredcircle Wed 15-Jun-16 22:44:02

What on earth is heads down thumbs up?! Sometimes when I have a couple of minutes to fill (secondary) and mention "pooh, let's play a game" thinking hangman, countdown etc. The kids ask to play this ... Saying that they haven't played for years!

fourcorneredcircle Wed 15-Jun-16 22:44:21

"Ooh" not pooh, I try not to talk about pooh.

TheTroubleWithAngels Wed 15-Jun-16 23:03:42

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Gingernut81 Wed 15-Jun-16 23:18:03

I've got one of these books and kids in my classes have always enjoyed them if we've had a bit of extra time

fourcorneredcircle Wed 15-Jun-16 23:18:40

Oh, ok. Seems simple enough... Perhaps one for form time at end of term rather than my lessons though!

Snazarooney Wed 15-Jun-16 23:26:54

Heads down thumbs up is the best game in the world! If you didn't play it at primary school you missed out!

elephantoverthehill Wed 15-Jun-16 23:27:24

Secondary teacher here, with a very challenging year 7 group for Textiles. Thank you I am going to adapt the counter drop game to a pin drop game. I hope it works.

KimmySchmidtsSmile Wed 15-Jun-16 23:38:33


traditionally would have been City, country, river...but for that age would do:
girl's name
boy's name
something you can eat
something you can drink
game, sport or hobby

Kids choose six words starting with letter you gave them
eg L
lion Lucy Liam lettuce lemonade lego
10 points per word if noone else used it (eg Leonard, ludo etc)
otherwise five points if ''common'' and many chose it

LavenderSugar Wed 15-Jun-16 23:45:44

Everyone has left some lovely suggestions, and some great games for the last 10 minutes of the day, but you shouldn't need to 'fill time'.

If your T is called away, they be leaving clear instructions first of what they want the kids to do, that you can supervise.

If I am asked to pop out and am in the middle of a carpet activity, I'll go 'excellent! 2 minutes to discuss x- then you can feed back to Miss TA, who will record our ideas to go up on our working wall' or a maths problem that can similarly be discussed.

You've got some great ideas here, but you shouldn't be in this position!

CharleyDavidson Wed 15-Jun-16 23:59:33

Heads down, thumbs up is called 7 up by my class as there are 7 children on at a time. My choosers then go back to the front of the class once they've been round choosing a child each, then stand with their back to the class. THe children who have been chosen go and stand behind the child they think chose them. Then the choosers turn back round and confirm if they chose the child who thought they did, or not. If they did, they swap places. If they didn't they stay in to play another round.

I also love...

20 questions - pick an animal and the children ask yes or no questions to quess.

Guess who. 1 child is on and picks someone. All children stand. Children take it in turns to ask questions - is it a boy? etc until they have knocked out all but the child who was chosen.

Secret conductor - good for in a circle. One child goes out, another child is chosen to be the conductor. Child comes back in and has to guess who the conductor is. The conductor does actions - clap hands, click fingers and the class copy while the guesser tries to find who is leading the actions.

Who's missing? Child goes out, another is chosen to hide and the other children move places. The child who is on has three chances to guess who's missing.

Apple pie - as mentioned above.

Chinese whispers.

Alphabet game.

The minute game. My class love this a ridiculous amount! They all stand. You say go. When they think one minute has passed they sit down. The winner is the child closest to one minute.

Around the world. Children stand in a circle. A child is chosen to be on and stands in the circle, in front of one of the children, facing them. Teacher gives a question - this is good for quick fire topic questions or maths - if the child in the middle answers first then they move on one place to the next child. If the child in the circle gets it first, they swap with the child in the centre and they are now on.

Golden people. Another favourite of my class. 2 children are chosen to be 'golden'. The class all stand. If they aren't in a circle then set what order they are going to count around the room. The rule is that you are knocked out on the count of 5. If you say 5 you are out. You cannot knock out the golden children. Each child says one number and they take it in turns going round the circle. To knock out their choice of friend and to avoid knocking out the golden children they can modify the counting by carefully choosing the number. 1,2,4,5. 1,3,5. 1,5. Anything. smile Some of the children who prefer to watch will just say 5 to knock themselves out. It's a good game for children who don't like being eliminated from a game as that's the whole point that they know that they are supposed to be eliminated if they aren't one of the golden children.

How high can we count? All children cover eyes and try to count as high as you can go. If 2 children speak at the same time I call out 'One' and it goes back to the beginning. It usually descends into laughter as I end up repeatedly saying 'one' to reset the game as lots of children try counting at the same time. Only one time did my class rumble it and one child just counted on and on. They'd agreed before hand to all keep quiet and let him do it. smile


There are more. I have had a rather immature class this year with a few children who initially just couldn't cope if they weren't chosen or didn't win so we've played lots of these in 2 or 5 mins at the end of most days if time allows to help develop social skills, and we always end circle time with a game.

leccybill Thu 16-Jun-16 00:11:01

Good old 'how many smaller words can you make out of this word? Breakfast, porcupine, incredible,wonderful.

Hangman/Ladybird. I always do Spongebob Squarepants...they never get it <evil>

Momtothree Thu 16-Jun-16 00:18:12

I love asking question

What would you take into space
What's your second favorite sport
If you could grant one person a wish

Or Mrs Capers cat is a (C) curious cat clever cat creative cat - they can't use the same word

TestCardF Thu 16-Jun-16 20:51:56

Most of the games I use have already been mentioned, but this one hasn't. Silent judge. Get four children to stand at the front of the class. Then, one at a time, pick a child to stand up and say or do something to try and make them laugh. If one of the 'judges' laugh, then whoever made them laugh takes their place.

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