What if we made learning fun again?
And not like the “Yay it’s over, now we can go home!” kinda fun, but the kind when you hear a kid ask for more time in the classroom!
“What activity could possibly lead to that miracle,” you ask?
Have you ever tried using an escape room game in your lessons?
Printable escape room games (like this one) excite kids. They drag them into the lesson (not kicking and screaming). Kids actively participate in the lesson here, not because they have to, but because they want to!
In addition to being fun, escape games are totally screen-free. Yep, for once your kids are going to enjoy being ripped away from the iPad. And you have to actually talk to each other! Scary, but absolutely necessary to success!
They’ll learn class material and valuable life lessons such as teamwork, problem-solving, and critical thinking.
So, What Is This Whole ‘Escape Room Game’ Thing About?
You’ve hopefully played an escape room game, or two, or three, already. If you haven’t, shame on you! Grab your adventurous friends and go (leave the overthinkers behind)!
For those few who have yet to hear of a escape room game, it goes something like this:
A traditional escape room activity locks you and a few friends in a room for an hour. You must solve a series of clues and puzzles to escape. Clues require solving cryptic questions, decoding letters, and other logic-based skills. Computing fractions may even be required! In most games, one clue leads to the next, requiring the team to move through the room in an organized manner.
Failure to escape means that you fall prey to the fictional serial killer, the zombie, Ozzy Osbourne, or whichever other sinister creature now owns your soul. If you have more questions, check out our fabulous guide to all things escape rooms!
Sounds like a great time, you say. But I want to escape the post-lunch zombies in my class and motivate those kids to learn. Can an escape room game really work as a kids educational activity?
You betcha. We’ll show you the way.
How Do I Run An Escape Game In MY OWN Classroom?
We are not talking about spending 5 hours adding trap doors, smoke machines, or humongous amounts of sand to set up the perfect escape room. No one has time for that, no matter how much you love your students! (The principal probably would not appreciate a robotic mummy terrorizing the campus anyways.)
No- these printable escape room kits come premade!
So don’t worry about the special effects you see in commercial escape rooms. To give your students an unforgettable time, you simply need to know how to use Microsoft Word and a pair of scissors. That’s classroom 101!
Pretty much all classroom escape room games are paper-based, and so are these ones. They rely more on imagination and a little guidance from you, rather than any super-fancy tech. Fortunately, your kids have imagination in spades – welcome to the single best screen-free way to push your students to their peak!
You’ve got two options:
THE CREATIVE WAY– Build your own escape room experience from scratch. This one is time-consuming, but it’s the best way to make sure that your game achieves exactly what you need it to. It’s the ultimate control-freak option. Just grab your designer’s pen, and follow this step-by-step guide, which walks you through how to make the escape room experience you’re looking for.
THE FAST ROUTE– Grab a ready-for-the-classroom printable escape room game. We’ve designed Our DIY educational escape games to have two goals in mind. Enrich the students’ lives and preserve the sanity of teachers and parents. Our downloadable kits allow you to set up an escape in-game in 30 minutes!
If you want a more elaborate setup for either of these options, by all means, go for it! Include different rooms, decorations, spooky noises, and fake spiders as you see fit. However, the educational benefits of the escape game remain the same whether you build an intricate lair or simply print it out and go.
You can edit our games to suit your needs. We include everything you need in the kit. Our teaching assistants eagerly await your questions on Facebook and via email. We want to ensure that you have the best possible experience.
You can also reuse our games. Forget licensing fees or annual subscriptions. Once you purchase a game, print it out as many times as you like.
Just warn your current students on pain of permanent iPhone malfunction, not to spoil the game for next year’s students! (Or, you could just change the answers each year to throw them off…)
How escape games help your students learn?
1. Escape Games cover all learning styles: The game’s design can serve visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learners.
2. Critical thinking: Escaping requires critical thinking to solve puzzles. Regardless of the subject of the escape game, it will enhance students’ ability to think logically.
3. Focus: With the timer running, students feel a sense of urgency. This needs to happen now! This encourages a much stronger focus than does normal classroom activities.
4. Patience: Kids quickly learn that rushing down dead-end streets ends in head-first collisions with brick walls. When they apply this newfound skill, their patience is rewarded with escapes (and maybe extra recess).
5. Engaging and Exciting – Kids love escape games (spoiler, adults love them too). Escape games provide the closest analog activity to kids’ beloved video games. With the backstory and role-playing involved in the game, kids quickly immerse themselves into the game’s setting.
6. Teamwork: Escape games require students to band together. They have to find and solve difficult clues. Only by interacting and working with others will they escape. This will strengthen their teamwork and interpersonal relationship skills.
7. Forces Kids To Create: Puzzles require kids to move out of their comfort zone to attack a problem. This promotes more creativity and agile thinking.
8. Blooms Taxonomy: Escape games require students to move from rote memorization into the application, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy.
9. Game Theory: Escape games promote a better understanding of game theory, one of the principal methods of investigating logical decision-making. Understanding game theory can help students into more exciting and lucrative fields.
10. Problem Solving: Escape games force students to apply a wide variety of logic-based thinking to win. This develops skills needed in every area of their lives.
How can you use an escape game as a kids educational activity? The possibilities are endless.
- Replace your end-of-module worksheet with a creative escape game to test their retention;
- Introduce an exciting new concept by designing the escape game to build on foundational material;
- Spice up “dry” subjects like history by moving students out of mere facts and into the relevant time period;
- Just give students a “fun” day without detracting from the educational mission!
The final bonus — welcome to your new status as the “cool” teacher. Kids will love your class and will pester you for more escape games. And when your students go home happy and excited, you know their parents notice. Just make sure you can weather the jealousy coming from other, “less cool,” teachers.
But Will it Work For MY Students?
Without a doubt. 100%. Totally.
You know that kids love escaping from school whenever they can, both literally and figuratively. An escape room activity transports them from school to another realm of learning without actually leaving campus.
When did you last hear a kid ask for more time in the classroom? Watch what happens when they have only five minutes left to escape. You’ve never seen kids dread a bell this much!
Wait…. Playing games? At school?
Why not? They play all the time at school. From dodgeball to recess tag games, kids play whenever and wherever they can.
Now, you can turn that playing into learning. They’ll have so much fun playing that they won’t know and won’t care that they are also learning.
You know that they can learn. Johnny can tell you the last 20 Super Bowl Champions, in order. Jane knows the name of every actor or actress who ever played Wonder Woman or Batman (Lynda Carter and Michael Keaton for us, but we won’t judge if you prefer others). Neither of those pieces of knowledge offers much practical application. It does show that they can learn when they see learning as fun.
An escape game is a kids educational activity that harnesses the “we’ll learn if it is fun” gene. Kids start learning things that matter, like history, math, and language skills. They learn logic skills. Then they can figure out not just who won the last 20 Super Bowls, but why they won them.
And they’ll never realize that schoolwork was involved.
Will my students participate?
Is water wet? Is the sky blue? Is the moon made of Swiss cheese? Not only will they participate, they will enthusiastically participate.
Why? Because the escape game activity is new and fun. It’s not a traditional lesson. They aren’t seat-belted to their desk. They can take the toothpicks out of their eyelids. They can experience a multi-discipline lesson from a different and exciting perspective.
They’re not reading textbooks about ancient Egypt, they’re solving clues to escape the mummy! Textbooks make you think, “Bueller….Bueller.” Escape games race your heart like a Ferrari.
So let’s do this! Let’s make school exciting again!
All teachers worth their salt want to truly inspire their students to learn and encourage them to have fun while doing so. You can lead your kids to enjoy problem solving, critically thinking, and communicating clearly.Whether you chose to go the long route and design a specific game, or grab a classroom-ready kit and have at it, prepare for your students to have a hilariously, unforgettably, educational, kick-ass time in your classroom.