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Using Traditional Games in Untraditional Ways

Ideas for using traditional board games in untraditional ways in the classroom

I am a big fan of repurposing things for the classroom, especially things I can find for free or very cheaply.  I keep an eye out for games at places like Salvation Army, rummage sales, and Dollar Tree and bring them into the classroom.  Of course there are many games that already pretty simple at tying into education (Battleship works on the coordinate grid, Chutes and Ladders can also easily be used to work on addition and subtraction, and Boggle helps practice phonics skills) but there are many others that can be easily adapted for classroom use by just changing things up a bit.

Last summer I posted about buying Checkers sets from Dollar Tree.  While they are cheap and not so sturdy, they’re great for fact practice.

Use checkers to practice math facts. Checkers can be purchased from thrift or dollar stores.

With a metallic Sharpie you can write on the black squares, so if you wanted to have two different types of games on the same board you could.  One color might be addition practice while the other might be subtraction practice.  Or, you could do math on one set of squares and sight words on another.  Because they’re so affordable, you can buy many different boards and then just change them out throughout the year.

Another great game to use in the classroom is Twister.  It really brings in the kinesthetic component, which is much needed by this point in the year.  This is also great with RtI and other intervention groups!

Use Twister to keep movement and fun in your classroom. Just like with Checkers boards, you can use the Twister mat to practice a variety of skills!   You can put words or facts on each dot and then when students move to that one they have to say it.  You could also write directly on the dots, though then the mat would be used for that skill only.  I’ve also seen it used multiplication and division with the products on the dots and students giving a fact that results in that product.

Checkers can be used in the classroom to review phonics skills or math facts. Connect 4 is another great game for practicing math facts and sight words.  Just place small stickers on the chips and students must read the chip aloud as they play.

Candyland can be used in the classroom with any topics. Just create your own colored cards!
By making cards with the desired skill on them and then putting corresponding colored squares on the card, you can also make Candyland educational!  Just remember to throw in the special cards as well!

I’d love to hear ways you incorporate traditional games in your room.  Is there a different game that you use?

To see more great Bright Ideas posts, browse through the linky below!

 

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6 Comments

  • Oh so smart Tessa!!! I never thought of using those games in this way–THANKS!!! 🙂 🙂

    Reply
  • Thanks for the ideas for these games. I have 3 Guess Who games. I'm going to make cards with shapes, math facts, and sight words. 🙂

    Reply
  • I am a big fan of repurposing things for the classroom, especially things I can find for free or very cheaply. I keep an eye out for games at places like Salvation Army, rummage sales, and Dollar Tree and bring them into the classroom. Of course there are many games that already pretty simple at tying into education.Thanks for sharing.
    Fog Games

    Reply
  • Love this! I'm looking to add some more games to my third grade class this year. Some others my kids love are Jenga for fact practice. I write facts on the blocks and before they can knock it out, they have to say the answer. They also love Parts of Speech 'Don't Break the Ice'. I write different words on the ice blocks. Then have cards that have the different parts of speech on them (noun, verb, adj, etc.). They pick a card then have to knock out a block with a word that is the example of that part of speech. They love it! So glad other people are using games in this way too!

    Reply
  • We use the Cootie game. Middle schoolers think it's hilarious. They work in groups for the game. Basically, they get a question, discuss with their group and formulate a strong answer (with evidence, I always say), and bring their answer to me. If they are correct, I give them a cootie piece and a new question. If incorrect, students go back to their groups and try again. The first group with their cootie fully assembled wins the game.

    Reply

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