Just For Fun: Pupil Activities

Reading time: 2

Lynn How

Lynn is the Editor at Teacher Toolkit. With 20 years of primary teaching and SLT experience, she has been an Assistant Head, Lead Mentor for ITT and SENCO. She loves to write and also has her own SEMH and staff mental health blog: www.positiveyoungmind.com. Lynn...
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Can you inject a bit more fun into your week?

The nights (dare I say it) are drawing in and there’s a bit of a chill in the air. School days seem a little bit longer when you arrive and leave in the dark.

Now is the perfect time to inject more fun into yours and your pupils’ lives. Try these primary pupil activities to make days a little brighter.

1. Random Flash mob!

Task classes or tutor groups or year groups to learn a flash mob dance in secret and reveal it randomly during the term (you might need an actual timetable for teachers to plan ahead!). Teacher’s act surprised when the message comes round to get onto the field. Sadly, this interrupted a 1000-word spelling test you were about to start. What a shame! The children could perform a second time for the rest of the school to join in.

2. Year groups working together?

I’ve always enjoyed mixed year group activities, it is lovely to watch older pupils step up to support and younger pupils getting supported by a peer. Building these relationships also means pupils will look out for each other in the playground. Ideas for fun activities could include:

  1. Whole school chocolate hunt – each bar has a child’s name and is only allowed to take theirs.
  2. Paired games, reading or sports activity – the possibilities are endless with older pupils supporting younger ones.
  3. School projects – does the playground or library need a redesign? Host a whole school competition.

3. House mornings …

Similarly, getting children into house teams (or any teams), which are mixed ages for activity mornings, has always been enjoyable (also because that’s one less morning of planning and marking to think about)! The best learning sometimes comes from the least planned open-ended tasks! Set children’s tasks in teams. Tasks could include mantle of the expert style projects  such as:

  1. You receive a letter about a dinosaur going missing from Jurassic park. Set tasks, such as designing traps and making wanted posters.
  2. A museum has contacted you about putting on an Egyptian display. Create some artwork or craft to display.
  3. A publisher needs a book designed and published about school children’s social and emotional issues.
  4. You are starting a school TikTok channel about mental health and need some content (for older pupils)!

4. Writing for a purpose

Some of the best writing activities that engaged ‘children who enjoyed writing the least’ involved technology.

After completing a film literacy unit about Baboon On The Moon, I set up an email address for him and set the children the homework task of messaging (with parental help). This ‘went down a storm’, and although time-consuming, it was great to reply to all the children’s messages.

I would draft some help for this if you can, and after a few weeks, I set an out-of-office reply to say he got rescued. For secondary, it would be fun to email historical figures or fictional scientists.

Another writing for a purpose exercise is quad blogging. This allows you to collaborate with other schools to comment and write blogs. Four schools are linked together, and you take turns commenting and writing. Very fun and engaging.

When learning and fun meet, children are left will imprints on their memories which they will recall in years to come! A bit of fun also makes the school day go that little bit quicker.

What fun pupil activities can you add to the comments?

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