Games to Establish Classroom Rules

Games to Establish Classroom Rules

Managing children’s behavior is a major challenge for teachers. It is vital for a well-functioning class and the peaceful coexistence of its members. However, despite introducing class rules at the beginning of the academic year, some children tend to disregard them. To ensure that the rules are followed, it is important to involve students in the creation of the rules and consequences of breaking them. Below are three games that teachers can play to help introduce the rules from the beginning of the year.

Game 1

During this game, all children sit in a circle except for one child who stands in the center without a chair. This child must say a sentence about how they would like their classmates to treat them at school. For example, “I would like my classmates to play with me” or “I would like them to listen to me when I speak.” Then, as many children sitting in the circle would like the same, they get up and change their chairs while the child in the center sits in an empty chair. Whoever doesn’t make it stays in the center and says the following sentence,, which must differ from the previous ones. Suggestions should be about specific behaviors and not vague feelings, such as to be respected. If they mention a vague feeling, the teacher asks them what the person who respects the other does, and they come up with specific behaviors. The teacher records the sentences, and when they have no more ideas, the game ends; the teacher reads everything they have registered and asks if they agree.

Game 2

The children sit in a circle, facing the back of the person in front of them. They write their name on the back of the person in front of them, then turn their chair around and report on the person behind them. They discuss how it felt to be touched, how they touched others, and how people tend to behave as they are treated.

Game 3

The teacher blindfolds one child, and the others move their chairs around. The blindfolded child is a ship trying to reach a designated port without hitting the “rocks,” represented by the other children. The child must clap their hands to change direction when approaching a “rock,” only the closest child to the ship should clap. All the “rocks” must clap if the ship comes across an object. After playing, the children discuss the importance of following rules for fun.


The teacher leads a discussion with the children about the consequences of breaking group rules. Together, they decide on fair consequences and create a group contract listing desirable and undesirable behaviors and outcomes for not following them.

Scroll to Top