We’re living in a technology-focused world - which can mean both good and bad things. Many people think that kids spend too much time online but on the other hand, can offer incredible learning benefits, both inside and outside the physical classroom.
If you’re a teacher or if you plan lessons in any capacity, you might be wondering whether to incorporate interactive games into the classroom. Here are some incredible benefits of them - and some examples of fun interactive games for the classroom that you can play without any elaborate software!
There’s a reason why kids all over the world are a bit addicted to screens - it’s hard to put devices down sometimes! Interactive games - whether they be about Spyro the Dragon or Crash Bandicoot, the lovable Tasmanian devil - are incredibly engaging.
While lots of children may think that learning is boring, plenty of incredible game designers have put together the concept of playing games with education, creating games that are so fun that children won’t even realise that they’re learning as they go!
When these games are about educational topics, like ABC Mouse which teaches kids ages 2-8 about mathematics, reading, writing and basic science, or Adventure Academy which focuses on teaching kids ages 8-13, they can draw children into the wonderful world of learning!
One of the main perks of using interactive games in the classroom is they usually have multiple different levels, making them accessible for children of all capabilities. Of course, if you’re creating and instructing the game yourself, you could make sure that it has difficulty tiers!
With downloadable games, you can usually choose the level, so you could tailor the game for lesser experienced kids first, gradually making it tougher and appropriate for higher-level kids.
The fact that this is inclusive and can constantly be changed is great for mixed-ability classes - giving lower-ability children the confidence boost that they may need and enabling them to improve, while still challenging the higher-level kids. In this way, they’re suitable for everyone!
Popular interactive classroom games are generally hosted on an interactive display, like those that we sell at Avocor.
These interactive whiteboard alternatives are popular in both classrooms and workplaces (particularly in meeting rooms) across the world. Learning how to use technology like this at a young age can help children become accustomed to it as they grow, offering essential subconscious skills to help them excel in the workplace.
By using an interactive display at school, kids will work out how to annotate web pages using a stylus or their finger, open different applications and use voice-activated functions. If they’re learning how to do this through a game rather than classes, they may be more likely to remember it, as it’s a repeated action and is something their brain will connect with fun.
This means that, far off in the future when they’re interviewing for a job, they’ll be able to say that they’re proficient at using an interactive display even if they aren’t sure how!
Long gone are the days when receiting from textbooks was the only way to learn. Nowadays, social learning is an incredibly important part of any classroom.
Social learning is the act of learning from somebody’s peers. We do this at all ages, but it’s particularly impactful at a young age; usually when a child replicates their classmates. This isn’t always a good thing, of course, but playing games in a controlled classroom environment can ensure that social learning happens in the best way!
For example, if one child excels at mathematics games and answers all the questions correctly, the laws of social learning might demonstrate that other children in the class try to replicate them.
Interactive games can really help with this because they are communal activities that the whole class participates in. Throughout these games, children will witness their peer’s aptitudes for different subjects - whether they be mathematics, English or science - and could be inspired to work harder to improve their own abilities.
Some games, such as multiple choice quizzes, can teach children to take risks. Many children are scared of taking risks, but it’s important to help them overcome this.
Risk-taking skills can help people make calculated decisions throughout their life, assessing which risks are sensible to take and which are best avoided. It’s best to teach risk-taking in a safe and controlled environment This is where interactive games can come in!
Through interactive games, children can learn which risks are worth taking and which have consequences, without actually feeling the consequences themselves (for example, they may run out of lives in a game, but not be actually affected). Being in a controlled environment can give kids room to explore what risks are worth taking and what are not.
Some games are downloadable from the internet and have clear instructions on how to play (and even what benefits they can offer classrooms!). If you don’t have access to any downloadable games, here are some ideas for interactive classroom games for kids.
This is a timeless classic and can help kids memorise and expand their vocabulary. The idea is that one person thinks of a word and writes a dash for each word on the screen.
When somebody guesses a letter correctly, they replace any dashes that represent the letter with the letter itself. If they guess wrong, they gradually add lines to a drawing.
The drawing is traditionally a person hanging, but this might not be appropriate for a school classroom. If you’re concerned about whether it could upset children, another alternative could be “spaceman”, where you gradually draw a spaceship that eventually takes flight if the right word isn’t guessed.
Noughts and Crosses is a popular game that gives children essential cognitive skills, and it’s really simple to play on any interactive display for education. In the game, you begin with a grid of nine or sixteen squares.
People take turns - you could have a “noughts” team and a “crosses” team, and ultimately each side tries to be the first to create a row of their icon.
This is one of the easiest interactive games for students in the classroom, and it can help children memorise words and concepts. Simply ask one student to sit on a chair, facing away from the board, and write a word, name or concept above their head. They will then take turns asking their students about the word, aiming to discover it in as little questions as possible.
For example, if you’re learning about Ancient Egyptians, you could write “Tutankhamun” above the student’s head. Their questions could be as follows: “was I an ancient king?”, “was I buried in a pyramid?” etc.
This helps students to memorise facts about people and concepts they’ve been learning about.
You can either download this game from various platforms, or make it yourself as part of a PowerPoint display! It follows the popular format of the game show “Who Wants to Be a Millionare?”.
In the game, students will take it in turn to be tested on their knowledge of a topic - questions typically start off easy and get harder. Of course, you won’t be offering students a million pounds, but you could provide glittery stickers or another reward to any team that makes it to the final question!
This is a great end-of-year game if you’re looking for interactive Christmas games for the classroom. You could make the questions all about the festive season to test children’s knowledge!
Pictionary is another great game that will get all kids involved. Students take turns to draw an image on the interactive display.
This image could represent a common phrase or word which is related to a concept you’ve been learning about (you may find it easiest if you tell the student which phrase to use).
For example, if you’ve been learning about photosynthesis in science, a student might draw a flower and the sun.
The remaining students take turns to guess the phrase, and the student that guesses correctly then takes a turn to draw on the board.
As you can see, benefits of interactive games in the classroom are countless and they can help children to learn effectively and comprehensively.
Not only do games help children remember important facts and concepts and draw on their mathematics and language capabilities, but they can also teach them to take risks and utilize social skills.
Some of these games are downloadable, but there are plenty of free games that you can try with just an interactive display and a splash of imagination!