The best part about improv games is that they require no special supplies or preparation. If you and your students bring your imagination and creativity, you can turn a few minutes into an improvisational brain break anytime and anywhere. Use these ideas for improv games to try with your students.
Beat Spring Fever with Improvisational Games
Get students laughing and engaging with one another using improv games and activities. Spring fever often leaves students wishing they were anywhere but the classroom. Improv games can serve as a skill-building activity that requires almost no preparation and may offer as an outlet for pent up energy.
Not only do improv games require students to think outside the box, but it means they’ll be learning to open up and practice courage while participating in front of an audience.
Participants in improv have the opportunity to roleplay, practice social skills, and step outside of their comfort zone. Many of the activities can incorporate some form of physical activity as well, making improv games and excellent option for some outdoor education time.
3 Improv Games Kids Love
Choose any of these improv games to get students moving, engaged, and having fun. Here is an even more extensive list of ideas to try.
1. Captain’s Orders
This active game is similar to Simon Says, but with a crew and captain. One person plays the captain and all the other people are the crew. They must practice listening and teamwork to follow the captain’s orders. The captain can call out any of the following orders and the group must complete the associated action. (For added fun, have students come up with their own idea for an order or two.)
Captain’s Coming: the crew has to line up and salute their captain
Starboard: the crew runs to the right side of the activity space and pretends to look overboard
Port: the crew runs to the left side of the activity space and pretends to look overboard
Mermaid: each member of the crew stands on a single foot, smiles, and waves to the captain
Swab the Deck: the crew pretends to mop the floor
Man Overboard: The crew gets into groups of 3 or 4, and sits on the ground single file “in a lifeboat”. One person pretends to search for the man overboard, while the other crew members pretend to row the lifeboat.
2. What Are You Doing?
This imaginative game takes a little practice. One student stands in the middle, while the rest of the class makes a large circle around them. The person in the middle begins to act something out.
One person from the outer circle comes to the middle and taps the person on the shoulder and says “___, what are you doing?” The person who had been acting then answers their question with any action different from what they were performing. The person who asked the question then begins to act out the activity from the answer and the original action returns to the outer circle.
Here is an example interaction:
- Jeff stands in the middle of the circle and begins to act out eating a sandwich.
- Hannah enters the circle, taps Jeff on the shoulder, and asks,
“Jeff, what are you doing?”
- Jeff responds, “I am jumping rope.”
- Hannah then begins to act out jumping rope and Jeff joins the outer circle.
The game continues on until each student has had a chance to enter the center of the circle. Encourage students to be creative with their actions and answers, but not to say or do anything that might purposely embarrass a fellow classmate.
3. Cross the Circle
Have all the students make a circle and number them off as a 1, 2, or 3. When you call a number, all the students who were assigned that number must cross the circle to find a new open spot. However, you must first tell them HOW to cross the circle. Choose to give them a role to play as they cross such as: a fashion model, stuck in the mud, very sleepy, grocery shopping, a monkey, etc.
Use your imagination to think of new roles for them to play as they cross, but be sure to remind students to consider their space and the safety of others as they play their role and try to find a new spot to stand.
More Outdoor Education Ideas & Activities to Try
Looking for more creative and fun ways to bring learning outdoors? Stop by the Outdoor Education tag page to find more suggestions and visit the online store to get all the tools and supplies you need to make any project or activity come to life.