7 March 2023 As we move into 2023, it’s essential for educators to find new and innovative ways to engage students in the classroom. The traditional lecture style of teaching is no longer effective in today’s fast-paced and technology-driven world. To keep up with this change, it’s crucial to incorporate fun and interactive training games into the classroom. In this blog article, we’ll be exploring three such games that will boost classroom engagement and make learning fun. Whether you’re a teacher, trainer, or facilitator, these games will provide a quick and effective way to check comprehension, review content, and ignite creativity. Whether you’re working with students in a traditional classroom setting, online or in a remote environment, these games are versatile and can be easily adapted to suit the needs of your learners. So, let’s dive in and discover how to bring some excitement into the classroom in 2023. What is this? This training game is a great way to engage your students and get their creative juices flowing. By asking “what is this?” and requiring responses that are not the actual name or function of an object, students are encouraged to think outside of the box and come up with new and innovative ideas. This simple activity can be used to enhance creativity and challenge the students to reimagine problems they may be facing. Whether used as a warm-up exercise or as a standalone activity, this game is sure to be a hit in the classroom. Objective To ignite the brain to think of new and creative ideas needed to reimagine current obstacles. Time 5-10 minutes Materials Random items from around the room. Description This is a mental stimulator designed to wake up the brain and allow fresh ideas to come out. Each person takes everyday objects from around the room and asks the others in the group “what is this?” The trick is the respondents cannot answer using the actual name or function of the object. Process Explain that you are going to select an object from the room and ask the audience “what is this?”.Inform the audience that they can respond to the question in any way they see fit, although they cannot use the actual name of the item or its normal function. For example, if the trainer was to show the audience a pencil and ask, ‘what is this?’, the audience would not be allowed to say it is a pencil or a writing implement. However, they could say ‘It’s a miniature telephone pole,’ or ‘a javelin for Smurfs.’Other examples could include:A power cable could be a lion tamer’s whipA sticky note pad could be eye patches for aspiring piratesA coffee cup could be a miniature hot tubA stapler could be a crocodile in disguiseEncourage the audience to be as creative as possibleAfter a few guesses have been made, invite a member of the audience to choose a different item from around the room and repeat the process.Continue for a few rounds. Debrief The trainer should invite the participants to discuss how this activity could be used to enhance creativity and reimagine problems they may be facing in their own lives. Variations Instead of alternating items, select one item in the room and have each participant provide a creative suggestion for “what is this?” Bucket of Questions “Bucket of Questions” is an interactive and engaging training game designed to review topics covered throughout the session. The activity provides a quick way to assess learners’ information retention and encourages active participation. Participants are asked to write questions about the covered material, and these questions are later randomly drawn and answered during the session. This game can be adapted in different ways to suit the needs of the learners and the trainer, such as having learners reflect on the questions at home or using the questions as a basis for discussions and brainstorming sessions. This game is a fun and effective way to review key topics and keep learners engaged in the learning process. Objective To review topics covered throughout the session. Time Completed at different times throughout the session. Materials Bucket, post-it notes or index cards and pens. Description This activity provides a quick way to review the topics covered in your training on an on-going basis during the session. Process Whenever you finish a segment/key topic, pass out post-it notes or index cards and ask participants to write questions about the covered material. Add a few questions of your own to keep them on their toes and to ensure full coverage of the content. Add all questions to a bucket or box and throughout the session, pass this container around and ask participants to pull out a random question and answer it. Since they don’t know what kind of question they will be getting, this is one way to ensure they’re paying attention and also provides a way for you to review the content and test their information retention. Debrief The trainer should thank the learners for their participation and invite them to ask any other questions that were left unanswered during the day. Variations Instead of having the learners respond to the unanswered questions during the day, the trainer could ask them to take the questions home and reflect upon them and provide their answers as part of an opening activity in the following session.Alternatively, instead of asking the learners to write questions, the trainer could write the key topics on cards and have students select the cards from the bucket at random during the day. Rename the activity ICE bucket and invite the learners to explain what they would Introduce, Change or Extend (ICE) in their work or life, based on the topic selected from the bucket. Deck It! Deck It! is a fun and interactive training game that improves classroom engagement by revisiting jargon and definitions critical to the content. Participants play a simple card game like Go Fish, Poker, or Hearts and as part of their winning hand, they need to define course terms or answer content-related questions. The game is a quick and effective way to check comprehension and helps learners retain information in a fun and engaging way. The debrief provides an opportunity to discuss the definitions and ensure they are clear to all parties. With its flexible variations and quick playing time, Deck It! is an excellent tool for improving classroom engagement and knowledge retention. Objective To check comprehension and revisit jargon and definitions critical to the training content in a fun and quick way. Time 5-10 minutes. Materials One deck of playing cards [whichever game the trainer deems appropriate to the content] per person with terminology from the course/training written on the back of each card in the deck with a black permanent ink pen. Description This closer asks the participant to play a simple card game like Go Fish, Poker or Hearts and as part of their winning hand, define course terms or answer some content-related questions. Process 1. Play the chosen card game according to the normal rules. 2. Stop when someone thinks they have a winning hand. The participant can only win by defining the terminology on the back of each card in their hand. If the learner cannot do that, the game continues. 3. Play as many games as you would like in the time allocated! Debrief When the game is over, those cards that couldn’t be accurately defined need to be discussed until the definitions are clear and agreed on by all parties. Variations • Change the card game. • Add “wildcards” with bonus questions for bonus points. • Have the learners answer the questions as they are handed the card and if they are unable to, the card goes back into the deck and they have to select a new card. Incorporating fun and interactive training games into the classroom is a great way to boost engagement and make learning an enjoyable experience. The three games discussed in this article provide different ways to check comprehension, review content, and ignite creativity. Whether you’re working with students in a traditional classroom setting, online or in a remote environment, these games are versatile and can be easily adapted to suit the needs of your learners. Whether you’re a teacher, trainer, or facilitator, these games will provide a quick and effective way to keep learners engaged and make learning an enjoyable experience. So, why not give them a try in 2023 and see the difference they can make in your classroom.