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Adapting Games For The Classroom

Updated: Jun 25, 2021

I am a huge fan of adapting games for the purpose of extending children's learning. It is important to make learning exciting for students with interactive activities. There are a vast number of learning resource games available to buy, but it's always fun to take a generally well-known game that children may already be familiar with and adapting it to extend their learning. The more active and creative the learning activity, the more engaged the children will be!

Guess who

I have previously adapted the game Guess Who. I replaced the face pictures with numbers. The rules of the game remained the same, ask yes or no questions to determine the card selected by your opponent. This meant the children were having to ask questions around numbers being odd/even, greater than/less than, divisible by, multiplied by, etc. The adapted game encouraged the use of mathematical terminology and developed a deeper understanding of numbers.

Some of the types of questions we used included:

  • Is it an odd/even number?

  • Is it divisible by?

  • Is it greater/less than?

  • Does it have two tens in the number?

  • Can it be multiplied by?


After the huge success of the Guess Who adapted game, I went on to explore how a firm favourite children's game, Twister, could be adapted. Twister is a game that involves lots of gross motor skills development. By using a board pen on the coloured spots I managed to transform it into a times table practice game. The kinaesthetic and active approach to learning times tables was a roaring success! Note - I used a tiny amount of the cleaning product 'The pink stuff' to remove the board pen numbers after which worked brilliantly to restore the original mat.

This could be used in a variety of ways including:

  • Number recognition

  • Letter recognition

  • Times tables

  • Division questions

  • Number bonds

  • CVC words

  • Counting in 2's


My latest venture has been to use the game Dobble to extend learning opportunities for children. Dobble is a fantastic classroom learning tool! It is a visual perception family game. It is a game of speed, observation, and reflexes. The aim of the game is to spot the two matching images on the cards. Dobble is a fantastic learning resource. There is a wide range of Dobble card games created including numbers, shapes, images, Disney characters, and colours. The game encourages the development of language skills, concentration, logical thinking, speed and helps to expose children through playing, to the repetitive images shown on the cards. My latest game adaptation was to create the game using phase 2 and some phase 3 tricky words. It provides lots of exposure to the words in a fun and competitive way!

To create this I used the following algorithm. You need 13 words and 13 cards. Changing the colour of the words increases the difficulty. The first time I used the cards I created all of the same words in the same colours, eg. 'the' was red. To increase the difficulty and challenge, change the colours so that the word 'the' is printed in a different colour on each card.

This could easily be adapted to create cards with:

  • Initial sounds and letters

  • Common exception words

  • CVC words

  • Numbers 1-13

  • Numbers greater than 10

  • Contractions

  • Suffix words

  • Word with unusual graphemes

  • Homophones

  • Colours

  • Shapes

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