My husband and I teach a 3rd-5th grade Sunday School class at our church. Along with the lesson, we try to play a game to reinforce what we have taught. We have found that playing a game to review the lesson helps everyone, especially those children who have trouble concentrating while they are sitting still. It is also a good ice breaker, because it brings together children who only see each other once or twice a week, and gives them something fun they can do together.
One game we play with our class is called Four in a Row. To make this game, you will need: a beanbag or two 3-4 inch squares of fabric, beans or other filler material, needle and thread. You will also need masking tape, 8 black circles of construction paper approximately 3 inches across, 8 red circles of construction paper approximately 3 inches across, and laminating or contact paper to cover the circles. Before you play the game, you will need to make out a list of questions that go along with the lesson you are teaching. Throw in a few review questions from previous lessons, to keep material you have already studied, fresh in the minds of your students.
Make your beanbag, and laminate your construction paper circles. In your classroom, use your masking tape to make a 4×4 grid on the floor, as close as possible to the back wall of the classroom, and away from anything that could be broken by a flying beanbag. I used the tiles on our classroom floor as a guide when I made ours. Five feet in front of your grid, put a line of masking tape to be used as a guide for where students should stand when it is their turn to toss the beanbag.
Divide the class up into a red team and a black team. Give each team eight laminated circles that match their team color. Put the teams in order so that each student gets a chance to toss the bean bag at least once, and so that each student knows when it will be his or her turn to toss.
Decide which team should go first. That team steps up to the line, and player one tosses the beanbag into a square in the grid. If it misses, allow them try until they hit a square. Then they get a question. This question should be quietly discussed between team members until they decide together on a correct answer. No one should shout out an answer until they have come to an agreement. If their answer is correct, they get to replace the beanbag with one of their circles. It is now time for team two to toss.
Play goes back and forth until one team has gotten a row of four circles of their color. You can decide what to do for your class if a team gets an incorrect answer. You could just tell them the correct answer, and allow the next team to take their turn. Or you could allow team two to attempt to answer the question. If they answer correctly, they can place one of their circles in the spot where the beanbag hit, and move on to take their turn to try for a second spot on the grid. It depends upon your preference.
The important thing is that you make it fun for your students. Games like this bring out the competitive spirit in some of the kids. There is always a lot of excitement and noise, and that is a good thing. However, never allow it to turn into negative teasing. Keep your attitude upbeat and encouraging, and in most cases, your students will follow.