Home » Health & Parenting » Family Health » Primary School Aged

Games To Play at School: Best School Games for Kids

In this article you will learn about the best games to play at school including inside and outside games for kids.

Trying to find the best games to play at school? We’ve compiled a list of games played at school including indoor games and outdoor games for school.

We’ve even included games to play at school online as well as games to play on the school bus. Well what are you waiting for, check out our list of the best games to play at school.

Good games for school don’t have to be complicated or have a lot of equipment. Some of the best games you can play in school don’t need any equipment at all!

Good games to play at school outside

If you are wondering what games to play at school, then you will love our list. There are so many benefits of outdoor games so here are some of the best games to play at school outside. Which one is the BEST game to play at school? We will leave that you for to decide!!

1. Hopscotch

One of our favourite games to play when at school is Hopscotch! Use chalk to draw a hopscotch pattern on the ground or use masking tape on the floor. Create a diagram with eight sections and number them. Each player has a marker such as a stone, bottlecap, shell, button, etc.

For younger children simply hopping across the single versus double squares can provide hours of fun. The first player stands behind the starting line to toss his or her marker in square one. Hop over square one to square two and then continue hopping to square eight, turn around, and hop back again. Pause in square two to pick up the marker, hop in square one, and out.

Then continue by tossing the stone in square two. All hopping is done on one foot unless the hopscotch design is such that two squares are side-by-side. Then two feet can be placed down with one in each square. A player must always hop over any square where a maker has been placed.

Getting out: A player is out if the marker fails to land in the proper square, the hopper steps on a line, the hopper loses balance when bending over to pick up the marker and puts a second hand or foot down, the hopper goes into a square where a marker is, or if a player puts two feet down in a single box.

The player puts the marker in the square where they will resume playing on the next turn, and the next player begins.

This is one of the best games for school!

Need chalk? We hunted around and found the cheapest options here.

2. Itta

A game you probably haven’t heard of before is Itta.  Itta is a really fun game to play at school which combines teamwork, communication and well, just speed.

Here’s how:

Split the kids into two teams, and mark two bases roughly the same size. Pick one person to be known as ‘The Itta’. This person has to try and make it to the enemy’s base before being tagged by the enemy. If ‘The Itta’ is tagged by the enemy, the person who tagged him is now ‘The Itta’. The game then continues until someone makes it into the enemy base. That team will receive one point.  This is one of the fun games to play for school.

3. Handball games that you can play at school

Games To Play For School

Students in schools in Australia play school handball games that may be known as four square or just square.  The court may look like a plus sign (+) with lines around the outside making a perimeter of the shape.  They will usually play handball at school with a high bounce rubber ball or bouncy tennis ball.  

Unlike American handball this game does not involve a wall (unless played by one player). You can also play with two players by drawing one line (-) instead of two. This is one of our favourite fun games at school to play outside.

To find out more about how to play handball here.

Find a handball perfect for school handball here.

4. Golden Child

There are two people in this world, the ones who have heard of Golden Child, and the ones who haven’t. No matter which you are, keep reading to find out how to play.

First, find a basket/netball court, split players into two even teams. Line up one team in front of the basket/netball hoop, and line up the other on one of the lines at the same side of the court. The player who has been chosen the ‘Golden Child’ will stand at the back at the line of the players who are not shooting hoops.

When the game has begun, the team in front of the hoop will start to shoot the ball into the hoop while the first person from the other team will run around the perimeter of the court. If a hoop is shot, the player(s) running must sit down, then a new player will run. If no hoop is shot when the player gets to his/her first change of direction then the next player will start to run.

The game proceeds until only the Golden Child is left. If players are sitting on the court, the Golden Child must tag them to allow them to continue running. If a hoop is shot all player on the court must sit down. Play two rounds. One team will shoot then run and vice versa. The team with the most players standing at the end will win. This is a school favourite to play outside.

Find a basketball here.

5. Tag

This is a great game for school because it is one of the more simple games to play at school. One person is chosen to be “it”, then they have to try and tag another player who is running away from them. If you’re tagged then you become “it”. This game combines speed and agility and can be played with absolutely no equipment. The aim of the game? Don’t be “it”.

6. Ninja

This is one of my favourite games you can play at school outside. Make a circle of players. Each person must put their hand in the middle of the circle. They then yell “NINJA” and take a jump back ward pulling into a ninja pose. One person will start and the game will move in a clockwise direction. The player must make ONE movement to try and tap another player between the elbow and the wrist.

If you move when it’s not your turn, you are out. When a player tries to tag you, you must move your arm so not to be tagged. If you are tagged then you are out. When there are only 7 players left, make the rule that you have to move inward with each attack. Last person standing wins!

7. Crocodile

If you are looking for the best games to play in school, then check out Crocodile.

Mark a rectangle out of cones. Select 2-4 players to be crocodile, they must be given a pool noodle. Select someone to yell out phrases such as ‘If you ate an apple today, cross the river’ the people that this phrase applies to must cross the river (the rectangular shape). The crocodiles must try to tag players whilst they are crossing the river. If you are tagged, then you must go and stand to one side of the rectangle.

You can mix this game up by giving players who have done something good today a ‘free pass’ across the river. Once 4 crosses of the river (back and forth) have been made, two new crocodiles must be selected.

Good games to play at school inside

Looking for some cool games to play at school? Some of the best games to play at school inside are right here! Play these on a really hot day, or when it’s raining.

8. Juggling

Games To Play For School

This is a family favourite for sure. Once you get your juggling balls, simply start to juggle. You can make your own using these materials. You will need:

  • 4 x green balloons
  • 1 x black balloon
  • 1 x purple/blue/orange or red balloon
  • ½ cup of rice
  • 1 x shopping bag
  • Scissors

Find out how to make them here.

9. Hot Potato

This is a great game for kids of all ages. Sit them in a circle and turn up the music. Throw the potato (or a small ball) around and when the music stops, the player with the potato is out. You can spice things up by having to remember who is in or out. If you throw it to someone who is out, then you’re out too.  Another favourite game to play for school!

10. Pen Race

Another one of our favourite school games for kids is possibly one you haven’t heard of – ‘Pen Race’.

Split the players into two teams and have them line up back to back. Put a pen at one end of the line. The rules are simple, players put their hands out to their side. The right hand will be on top of their neighbours left, and the left hand will be under the neighbour’s right hand.

The person at the end of the line that doesn’t have the pen will tap their neighbour’s right hand and then the chain will be passed down the line. When it reaches the player at the other end of the line they must close their eyes and try to find the pen. The first to get the pen will win! Mix it up with your own rules and make this a really fun game to play for school.

11. Spelling Tournament

Another wonderful game to play for school is ‘Spelling Tournament’. One player will say a word, the player to their left will then say the first letter of the word, and the next player will say the second letter of the word and continue until the word is finished. If a player takes longer than three seconds to say a letter, they are out, if a player doesn’t say the correct letter then they are out. If a player to your right is out, you will say what they should have said. Last person standing wins.

12. Chinese Whispers

Games To Play For School

Sit players in a circle, one person will whisper a sentence to the player on their left. The sentence can only be said once, then the player must whisper what was heard to the player to their left, keep going until the sentence reaches the end. The player at the end must say what they heard out loud to the group. How close can you get to the correct sentence? For example, ‘Purple Pokémon pinch pink berries’ could turn into ‘Murple Pokémon synch thick cherries’. How wacky can your sentence get?

13. Musical Chairs

Who hasn’t heard of this classic? This is an old fashioned, one of our favourite school games to play. Set up chairs in a circle with one chair not enough (10 players equals 9 chairs.) Play music and get players to walk around the circle of chairs. When the music stops, players must race to a chair. The one person who doesn’t make it to a chair is out. Then remove another chair. Last person standing is the winner of this fun game to play for school!

14. Simon Says

Sit all players in front of the player selected to be ‘Simon’. Then Simon will say something like ‘Simon says stand up’. Anyone who doesn’t stand up is out. Simon could say ‘Sit down’. Whoever sits down is out because the sentence didn’t start with ‘Simon Says’. Change the game around and do a drawing version. ‘Simon Says draw a cat’, ‘Draw a pig’. Ohhh Charlie you’re out, you started to draw a pig.

15. Two truths and a lie

This game is mostly used for introductions but it doesn’t have to be. Sit kids in a circle and them write down two truths and a lie about themselves. The other players have to guess which statement the lie is. You could also play two lies and a truth and have players try to guess the truth instead of the lie. The possibilities are endless. Customize this game with your own rules to make a better game to play at school inside.

We also love the 5 Second Rule game for kids.

Games to play on the school bus

The school bus, what an experience. A way to make it better would be to play some of these awesome games listed below!

16. I Spy Families Magazine Edition

Probably one of the most common games to play on the school bus would be I spy. Everyone knows this game, so instead of explaining the rules, we’ve compiled a few new rules to add to the game. One thing that could be done to make this classic game more interesting would be to only allow a certain number of guesses before the object is revealed. This would make it harder for players to guess as they wouldn’t have unlimited guesses and would have to use them wisely.

17. Chopsticks

This is a game to play on the school bus or pretty much anywhere. Select an opponent and hold out one finger on each hand. The player going first will have to touch one of his/her fingers to the other player’s hand. The player will then add that many fingers to that hand. Then the other player will touch the opponent with a hand. When a hand cannot hold anymore fingers that hand is out. The first person to loose both hands is out!

18. 10 fingers

This is a fun game to play on the school bus, all players will hold up 10 fingers. One player will start a sentence with, ‘Never have I ever’. Anyone who has done that will put a finger down. When you lose all your fingers, you’re out. Last person standing wins! Even the simplest things can be said such as ‘Never have I ever eaten a banana’. This game can change with your imagination.

Fun games to play at school on the computer

Games To Play For School

The computer is a place where most kids will spend a lot of their lives. Spice it up by playing some of these fun games to play at school on the computer. These games are not blocked on schools computers.

19. Cool Math Games

Cool Math Games is an awesome way to learn whilst having fun. With hundreds of games, boredom isn’t an option. With games dating back to 1997, this site has loads of fun games to play at school on the computer.

20. Google Games

If your school computer has Google on it, then there are heaps of games to be had on this searching site. Google search these keywords and find out what they do. ‘Do a barrel roll’ ‘Atari Breakout’ ‘Google gravity’ ‘Google underwater’ ‘Askew’ & ‘Google space’. These are called ‘Easter Eggs’ so if you search for ‘Google Easter Eggs’ you will find a bunch of fun games here too!

21. Poptropica

Poptropica is a bit like a virtual world, you can play solo, with friends, or even your teachers if you want. It’s never blocked on school computers and can be easily understood for young and old minds alike, and the best part, you don’t always have to be at school to play Poptropica, and you can download the app on your smart device, or play on your home computer. Just don’t forget your login details.

Best school games?

Did we miss your favourite game to play at school? Are these the best games that can be played at school or are there better ones? We would love your input – add a comment below to let us (and other reading our blog) know any other good games to play in school!

This article was featured in Issue 50 of our printed magazine, published Feb/Mar 2022.

Photo of author

Janine Mergler

Janine Mergler is a veteran Queensland teacher, graduating from QUT with a BEd majoring in Social Sciences. After many years in the classroom, Janine moved on to academia. She has proudly trained new generations of teachers in her role as a lecturer at Queensland University of Technology Faculty of Education. She has also worked in the Queensland Government as an education specialist, developing education resources and delivering community awareness programs to help families conserve water. Currently she is the owner and editor of Families Magazine, a publication specifically targeted at parents who value a quality education for children.  Janine leads a team of professionals who write about family lifestyle, early childhood, schools and education information and family-friendly events.

Leave a comment