There are times in class where you have a few spare minutes and it’s hard to find something to avoid the class descending into chaos. Don’t waste this time, use it as ‘sponge time’. Time that soaks up a few minutes, but keeps the kids engaged and learning.
Here are our favourite classic whole class games to fill that gap.
Four Corners — This is so simple and super fun, the perfect rainy-day game to fill some time. All you’ll need is your class and the four corners of your room. One player is ‘it’ and keeps their eyes closed whilst the rest choose a corner to stand in as quietly as possible. The person that is ‘it’ has to get the maximum number of people out by choosing the corner with the most people in based on what they can hear. So participants need to make little or no noise, great for when you need some quiet time!
Seven up — There are many variations of this game, but this one works well with large class groups. Seven children stand at the front of the room and say “Heads down, thumbs up, it’s time to play seven up!” the rest of the class place their heads down on their desks with their thumbs up. The seven children then walk around the room and choose one person each to put their thumbs down before returning to the front. These people then stand up and have to guess which of the seven did it. Great for encouraging their detective skills!
Graffiti Wall — This is a great activity to use to fill a few minutes and review topic work at the same time. Place large pieces of paper on the wall and a selection of coloured pens around the room. Give the class the topic and have them think of any word they can relate to that topic. They can then ‘graffiti’ their chosen word on the paper around the room. The kids love this and you’re left with a cool and colourful review of your topic!
Splat — This is a mega fun circle game, starting with one person in the middle. They throw an imaginary pie at one person in the circle, who must duck to avoid it. The two people either side of them must throw an imaginary pie at each other and shout ‘SPLAT!’ The last person to do so is out and play continues until there are only two left to have a splat duel!
Around the world — This is hugely popular game is played in many classrooms, usually for maths practice, but it can also be adapted for phonics, vocabulary or spelling practice too. You could even adapt with questions based around your topic or general knowledge. Capital cities for example. The aim of the game is to get around the classroom and back to your original seat by answering a series of questions. One child begins by standing behind another child’s chair. They are both asked the same question and the quickest person to answer continues by moving to behind the next persons chair, the other sits back down. They must continue for as long as possible to try and get right around the classroom.
Sparkle — A fun spelling game to fill a gap! The children stand in a line and are given a word to spell. In turn, they go down the line giving each letter of the word until they’ve spelt the whole word correctly. If someone makes a mistake they are out and must sit down. At the end of the word, the next person in the line must say Sparkle and the person next to them must then sit down. Play continues until there is only one person standing.