Playing games is a great way to make connections with students. Not only is it fun, but you are building social skills, such as taking turns, eye contact, communication, and patience. Some of this might seem lost as we go through this school year virtually learning. However, there are plenty of ways to play games and build connections and social skills. We have learned the ins and out of Zoom, using the share screen feature and much more to benefit our students. Not only have we learned all about Zoom, but we learned about Google Classroom. If students are using Google Classroom they will also be able to click through the games, which will allow the student to really feel a part of the game. If we can learn all about Zoom and Google classroom, we can easily make connections with students virtually.
Here are 5 games your kiddos will LOVE!
1) Cover and Connect – Social Emotional Learning games build connections with our students. The concept of Cover and Connect is to cover a certain skill. Some of the skills to cover are getting to know me, coping skills, conflict resolution and identifying emotions. The expectation is to plan for one of the skills mentioned above and review what it means with your students then play the game!
Once, you and your students understand the concept, you can schedule for weekly sessions with different Cover and Connect topics which you can find in the SEL Cover and Connect Bundle linked below.
You can find a bundle of Cover and Connect over on my TPT store: SEL Cover & Connect Bundle
2) Digital Dentist Games – The Digital Dentist games focus on Social Emotional Learning topics such as empathy, impulse control and gratitude. Similar to Cover and Connect, you review what the topic is, then you get into the game!
You can find the Digital Dentist Bundle on my TPT store: Digital Dentist Bundle
You can even try the FREE Sample Digital Dentist game to see how it’s played.
3) Scavenger Hunt – You have the ability to make this very entertaining, with students at home, they are most likely to bring you some of their favorite things! You can do a mindfulness scavenger hunt and ask for items that help them calm down like a writing journal, a ball (that they use to calm down with), something soft, etc. Or you can turn it into a 5 sense scavenger hunt (sight, sound, smell, taste and touch).
4) Would You Rather– (Or, really ANY type of conversation starter) You can make a PowerPoint with different “Would You Rather” questions and your share screen with your students. Some of the expressions and answers you get from kids are hilarious! I also love just using Icebreaker Cards in general.
On the PowerPoint some questions could be, would you rather:
- Wash dishes OR clean the toilet?
- Use a stress ball OR get a drink of water?
- Eat Ice cream OR Eat Cheese Fries?
- Take a walk OR take 10 deep breathes?
These would you rather cards are a part of my Chit Chat Conversation Starters.
5) Simon Says – Take turns as Simon! See how long you can be playing as Simon before someone messes up. Time it! Make it fun! This is also great as a brain break when you can see that your little loves are starting to lose their focus. Just a quick round, usually is all it takes to get them back on track.
With these resources your students will be able to learn important skills and have fun playing games virtually. You will be able to build rapport with your students and find that the more interactive the games are, the more engaging your students will be. Plus… students love to see their school counselor getting involved in the games!
Let me know how your students liked the games and how they put their skills to the test after playing these 5 Awesome Games!
What are some games you are playing virtually to make connections with your students? Comment below!