Escape games for kids are one of the best ways I know of for students to have so much fun that they don’t even realize they are learning. Yes, I am kind of tricky like that. . . In all seriousness, though, escape room challenges are the perfect way to promote learning, reinforce and review important skills, and increase communication and collaborative opportunities in the classroom.
The number one thing that stops most teachers from trying escape games for kids is the perceived complexity of the activities. Here’s the thing. Escape rooms do NOT need to be complicated. I say the less complicated the better. To find out more about setting up an escape room in the classroom check out this post. Most teachers don’t have the time to set up elaborate escape room activities, nor do they have the money to buy fancy locks and keys. KEEP IT SIMPLE.
In my escape room challenges, students just have to solve certain tasks in order to receive an item and the next task from the teacher. There are no hidden clues or locks and keys, but the students LOVE the entire process.
Here is how my “Create a Magic Potion” Challenge works:
- First, make copies of the task sheets for each group. Also make copies of the 5 potion ingredients and potion ingredient collection sheet for each group.
- At the start of the activity, give each group their potion ingredient collection sheet and Task #1.
- When a group finishes Task #1, they bring the sheet to you to quickly check it. If it is 100% correct, they earn potion ingredient #1 and they tape it to their collection sheet. Then you give them the Task #2 sheet. (If there are errors, they have to fix them before they can collect the ingredient and move on.)
- As groups complete each task, they continue to earn ingredients and receive the next task.
- Once all 5 tasks are completed and students have earned all 5 magic potion ingredients, they have won the challenge!
- Groups completing the challenge win an award certificate for being a “Magic Potion Master” and a “Magic Potion” juice box.
See how easy that is? It’s not complicated at all. Students just complete problems and worksheets before they get to move onto the next set of problems. They look at it as being a fun challenge, and they are always ready to rise to the occasion.
It’s even more fun if you add in some of these Escape Games for Kids elements:
- Play spooky music the morning of the event as students come into the classroom.
- Give clues about a special upcoming activity all week leading up the challenge.
- Hand out invitations the day before the activity.
- Let students dress up in a fun theme on the day of the challenge.
- Add mood lighting with orange and white lights.
- Decorate an area of the classroom to pique interest and curiosity beforehand.
In other words, feel free to dress up the event with some fun ideas!
You can certainly create your own Escape Room Challenge, but if you prefer all the work to be done for you, I’ve got you covered!
You may also be interested in these fun escape rooms for kids challenges: