17 Fun Games To Play At School – What is a game you can play in class?

Let’s face it, school can sometimes be a bit…well, let’s just say it’s not always a non-stop party. But that doesn’t mean you and your classmates can’t inject some serious fun into your day with a few awesome games! I’m here to help make those less-than-exciting moments a blast with my top picks for games to play at school. Whether you’re looking for quick icebreakers, brain teasers, or team-building activities, I’ve got you covered.

17 Fun and Engaging Games to Play at School

1. Charades

  • How to Play: Divide your classmates into teams. One person from each team picks a word or phrase (from a book, hat, or whispered by another player) and acts it out without speaking. Their teammates have a set time limit (usually 1-2 minutes) to guess the word or phrase correctly. Teams score a point for each correct guess.
  • Where to Play: Charades is a super versatile game, perfect for classrooms, hallways, libraries, or even outside on a sunny day. All you need is a space for the actor to perform and a way to keep track of time (watch, phone timer).
  • Variations: For a challenge, try acting out movie titles, proverbs, or famous quotes. If you have a large class, you can play multiple rounds simultaneously with different teams acting out words at the same time.

2. Hangman

  • How to Play: Choose a word or phrase secretly. Draw a series of blank spaces representing the letters in the word. Players take turns guessing letters. If the letter is in the word, fill in the corresponding blank spaces. If the letter is not in the word, draw a part of a hangman (usually starting with the head and ending with the whole body). The game continues until the players guess the word correctly (they win) or the hangman is complete (they lose).
  • Where to Play: Hangman is another fantastic classroom game. All you need is a pen, paper, and some imagination for the hangman.
  • Variations: Use online hangman generators (https://www.arkadium.com/) that pick random words and keep track of the hangman image. Play in teams, taking turns guessing letters.

3. 20 Questions

  • How to Play: Think of a person, place, or thing. Your classmates have 20 yes-or-no questions to guess what it is. The person answering can only answer “yes” or “no”.
  • Where to Play: This brain-teasing game is perfect for car rides on school trips, waiting in line for lunch, or during quiet moments in class.
  • Variations: Set a time limit for guessing the mystery item. Play in teams, taking turns thinking of objects and asking questions.

4. Telephone (or Whisper Down the Lane)

  • How to Play: Sit in a circle. One person whispers a phrase or sentence to the ear of the next person in the line. Each person whispers what they heard to the next person, and so on, until the message reaches the last person. The last person then announces what they heard out loud. Hilarity often ensues as the message becomes distorted through multiple whisperings.
  • Where to Play: This side-splitting game is perfect for small groups in quiet corners of the classroom or during breaks.
  • Variations: Play with a longer or more complex sentence to see how much it gets twisted. Instead of a sentence, try whispering a song lyric or a famous quote. Write down the original message and the final version to compare the transformation.

5. Pictionary

  • How to Play: Divide into teams. One person from each team picks a word or phrase (from a deck of cards, random selection, or chosen by another player) without letting their teammates see it. The chosen player then has to draw clues on a whiteboard or chalkboard for their team to guess the word or phrase within a time limit (usually 1-2 minutes). Teams score a point for each correct guess.
  • Where to Play: Pictionary is a fantastic classroom game, perfect for larger groups. You’ll need a whiteboard, chalkboard, or a large sheet of paper for drawing, and a way to keep track of time (watch, phone timer).
  • Variations: Play with a limited number of colors (think: red, yellow, blue) to make the drawing challenge even more interesting. For a team-building twist, have one person draw and another person from their team guess the word.

6. Heads Up!

  • How to Play: This game needs the Heads Up! App (available on most phones) and is a modern, hilarious twist on Charades. One player holds the phone to their forehead, facing the screen outwards. Their teammates act out, describe, or give sound clues to the word or phrase displayed on the screen. The person holding the phone has to guess what the word is before the time runs out. Points are awarded for correct guesses.
  • Where to Play: Heads Up! is fantastic for groups in a classroom setting or even on a field trip bus ride. Just be sure you have enough room for teammates to act out or give descriptive clues without bumping into each other.
  • Variations: The app has different themed decks (animals, celebrities, etc.), making it adaptable to any subject you’re studying. For a homemade version, use sticky notes with words on them instead of the app.
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7. Trivia

  • How to Play: Come up with a list of trivia questions based on specific subjects (history, science, film, music, etc.), or use online resources like Kahoot! and Quizlet. Divide into teams or play as individuals. Ask the questions and award points for correct answers. The team or player with the most points at the end wins.
  • Where to Play: Trivia is super flexible! Play in the classroom, during after-school programs, or even online with classmates outside of school.
  • Variations: Play “Jeopardy” style by having players choose categories and question difficulty levels. Use lifelines like “ask the audience” or “50/50” to add excitement.

8. Four Corners

  • How to Play: Number the corners of the room (1-4). One person is the “caller” and stands in the middle facing away from the corners. The caller counts out loud (with their eyes closed) to ten. While counting, other players choose a corner to stand in. When the caller reaches ten, they call out a number (1-4). If the corner they called out is your corner, you’re out! The last person left in a corner wins.
  • Where to Play: This game needs a bit of space, so a classroom with desks cleared or gym would be the ideal spot for Four Corners.
  • Variations: Incorporate educational elements by labeling the corners with colors, shapes, vocabulary words, or math problems. Instead of calling out numbers, the caller can ask questions and players move to the answer they think is correct.

9. Mafia (or Werewolf)

  • How to Play: Assign roles secretly to players: most will be villagers, some will be mafia (or werewolves), and some have special roles (doctor, detective, etc.). During “night”, the mafia “kill” a villager; during “day” everyone discusses who they think is the mafia and vote to eliminate them. The goal is for the villagers to eliminate all the mafia, or for the mafia to outnumber the villagers. There are many variations of this game, but the main focus is on deduction and trust.
  • Where to Play: Best for a comfortable classroom setting or a hangout space where everyone can sit and focus on discussions and voting rounds.
  • Variations: Find a free online card set for roles or play with a store-bought set of game cards. Add or remove specific roles to change the dynamics of the game.

10. Categories (or Scattergories)

  • How to Play: Choose a letter. Each player or team has a sheet of paper with pre-determined categories (e.g., animals, countries, food). Set a time limit (1-2 minutes). For each category, everyone must come up with a word that starts with the chosen letter. Points are awarded for unique words (no repeats across the players!).
  • Where to Play: A classroom desk, table, or any writing surface is perfect for this fast-paced, brain-boosting game.
  • Variations: Tailor categories to specific subjects you’re studying. Play with homemade category lists for more creative fun!

11. Rock, Paper, Scissors Tournament

  • How to Play: This classic game needs no introduction, but a tournament adds a thrilling element. Start with everyone standing. On the count of three, players simultaneously make a hand gesture representing “rock” (fist), “paper” (flat hand), or “scissors” (two fingers extended). Remember: rock beats scissors, scissors beats paper, and paper beats rock. If there’s a tie, play again. After each round, the losers sit down, and the winners pair off for a new round until one champion remains!
  • Where to Play: Anywhere you have room to stand and throw those iconic hand gestures – classrooms, hallways, even outside.
  • Variations: Play “best of three” for each match to add more suspense. Create a tournament bracket for a visually engaging record of the competition.
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12. Would You Rather

  • How to Play: Come up with a series of ridiculous or thought-provoking “Would You Rather” questions. Ask them to your classmates and have them choose a scenario. The key here is to make the options equally appealing (or equally unappealing!), sparking discussion and laughter.
  • Where to Play: Perfect for breaks, waiting in line, or any time you want to get to know your classmates better.
  • Variations: Play in larger groups, with players explaining the reasoning behind their choices. Find pre-written “Would You Rather” questions online for inspiration.

13. Hot Potato

  • How to Play: Gather in a circle. Play some upbeat music and pass a ball (or other object) around the circle quickly. When the music stops, the person holding the “hot potato” is out! Start the music again and continue until there’s one winner left.
  • Where to Play: A classroom with some space to move or even a gym is perfect for this fast-paced and energetic game.
  • Variations: Change up the object you pass around – try using a stuffed animal, a bean bag, or anything else that’s easily passed. Speed up or slow down the music for added chaos.

14. The Minister’s Cat

  • How to Play: One person starts by saying, “The Minister’s cat is a/an _________ cat” (filling the blank with an adjective). The next person adds another adjective, and so on, creating a longer and sillier description. The catch? Each adjective must start with the next letter of the alphabet. (e.g., The minister’s cat is an adorable, bouncy, curious…)
  • Where to Play: Great for car rides on a field trip, during breaks, or any time you need a little laughter and wordplay fun.
  • Variations: Play with two teams taking turns adding adjectives. Limit the number of adjectives to make the sentence even wackier.

15. Sentence Builder

  • How to Play: One person starts by writing or saying one word. The next person adds another word, and so on, building a collaborative sentence together. Aim for a funny, weird, or surprisingly insightful sentence!
  • Where to Play: Any place you can write or speak comfortably. Perfect for desks, tables, or even during a walk together.
  • Variations: Set a goal for the final sentence length (e.g., build a 10-word or 20-word sentence). Start the game with an even sillier first word for unpredictable creations.

16. Never Have I Ever

  • How to Play: Gather in a circle, each person holds up ten fingers. Go around the circle, taking turns stating something you’ve never done (e.g., “Never have I ever eaten a cricket”). If someone HAS done that thing, they put a finger down. The last person with fingers left wins!
  • Where to Play: This game is perfect for getting to know classmates better, so a comfortable spot where everyone can sit and listen is ideal.
  • Variations: Keep it school-appropriate, focusing on funny or surprising situations. Play with food items, where everyone starts with a piece of candy and loses it if they HAVE done the thing stated.

17. I Spy

  • How to Play: One person chooses an object they can see within the room, but keeps it a secret. They start by saying, “I spy with my little eye, something that is…” and then provide a clue about the object (e.g., color, shape, purpose). The other players take turns guessing the object until someone gets it right!
  • Where to Play: Anywhere with a variety of objects in view – classrooms, libraries, waiting rooms, or even at home.
  • Variations: Limit clues to one category only (living things, objects made of wood, etc.). Use clues about the object’s use rather than its appearance.

What is a game you can play in class?

You have so many options! From traditional favorites like Charades and Hangman to brain-busting trivia and active games like Hot Potato, there’s truly a game for every mood and energy level at school.

Tips for Choosing the Right Game

Consider the Time:

  • Quick Breaks: For short breaks between classes or to refocus after a lesson, opt for fast-paced games like “Hot Potato,” “Would You Rather,” or “Rock, Paper, Scissors Tournament.”
  • Longer Sessions: If you have more time, like during a rainy day recess indoors or a designated game period, explore games like Charades, Pictionary, Trivia, or Mafia (for larger groups).

Think About the Group Size:

  • Small Groups: Games like “20 Questions,” “The Minister’s Cat,” or “Sentence Builder” work well for smaller groups huddled around a table or desk.
  • Large Groups: Liven up bigger groups with active games like “Four Corners,” “Hot Potato,” or charades with multiple teams. Trivia is also a great option for larger groups, as everyone can participate.
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Align with the Subject (Optional):

  • Sneak in Learning: Want to make learning a little more fun? Choose games that subtly reinforce concepts you’re studying. Play “Categories” with vocabulary words from a recent lesson, do historical figure charades, or create a trivia game based on science facts.

Additional Tips:

  • Match the Energy Level: After a high-energy activity, choose a calmer game like “Never Have I Ever” or “I Spy” to bring things down a notch. For a pick-me-up, opt for an energetic game like “Four Corners.”
  • Consider the Materials: Some games like Charades or “Would You Rather” need no materials, making them perfect for on-the-spot fun. Others might require a ball, paper, whiteboard, or a phone app. Be sure you have what you need before starting the game.
  • Get Student Input: Let students suggest or vote on games they’d like to play. This fosters a sense of ownership over their playtime and increases their engagement.

By following these tips, you can choose the perfect game to fit any situation at school, turning playtime into a joyful and enriching experience for everyone!

Benefits of Playing Games at School

Games aren’t just a way to pass the time. Here’s why injecting some play into your school day is a smart idea:

  • Stress Relief: Games provide a much-needed mental break, helping you relax and recharge.
  • Boost Engagement: Learning is way more fun when it’s interactive and playful.
  • Team Building: Collaborating on games strengthens bonds between classmates.
  • Skill Development: From critical thinking and strategy to communication and creativity.
  • Brain Power: Games keep your mind active, improving memory and problem-solving abilities.

Tips for Teachers

As a teacher, you might be reading this and thinking, “Games in MY classroom?” Trust me, it can be done! Here’s how:

  • Start Small: Short game breaks during transitions or at the end of a lesson are a safe starting point.
  • Learning Links: Tie the game to your curriculum to maximize the benefits.
  • Clear Rules: Explain the game thoroughly beforehand to avoid any chaos later.
  • Manage Energy: Balance exciting games with calmer options to keep the class focused.
  • Student Choice: Giving students a say in game selection boosts their ownership over their fun.

FAQs (People Also Ask)

Can I play games during a break?

Absolutely! Games are a fantastic way to relax and recharge for your next class.

What if my teacher doesn’t like games?

Respectfully talk to your teacher about why you think games are beneficial and have some well-organized ideas ready.

Can games help with learning?

Definitely! Games can make learning fun, reinforce concepts, and build problem-solving skills.

What are some educational games?

So many choices! Trivia can cover subjects like history or science, charades and Pictionary are great for vocabulary, and games like “20 Questions” improve logic skills.

What games can I play with no materials?

Charades, Heads Up!, “Would You Rather”, and “Never Have I Ever” are all fantastic options.

Can we play games outside?

Yes! Try classics like tag, capture the flag, or kickball for fresh air and exercise.

Are online games okay?

Many great educational websites and apps have fun, learning-focused games. Just be sure you have permission if needed


Don’t let boredom rule your school days! My hope is that these 17 fun games have sparked your imagination and inspired you to inject some serious joy into your time at school. Whether you have five minutes or a whole period, there’s always a game to fit the bill.

Remember, learning should be an adventure, and games are a fantastic way for everyone to make the journey brighter. So, what are you waiting for? Gather your friends, pick a game, and get playing! And along the way, feel free to drop comments on techsngames for your own game ideas, or to share how game-playing has made a difference for you.

Let the games begin!