Fun Activities for the Classroom


Konnichi wa.

A teacher has asked for some fun activities for end of therm in the classroom. Here are some replies from some wonderful and dedicated teachers;

Wiggi: I did kirigami today with a class of 32 10-15 year olds and they loved it. We make the kirigami and stuck it on photocopier paper or origami paper, and the kids write their names on in katakana. They also love origami, calligraphy, daruma (we use daruma otoshi games) etc. You could do taiikusai with mukade races and oonawatobi. Dances are another one – things like Óni no pantsu’or ‘Yokai Watch’ are cute, fun and easy. Depending on how many kids, the ‘hashi de choko’ game is always fun (small groups, each has a bowl of small candies (I use a mix of M&M’s and skittles), a set of chopsticks, and a dice. Roll a 6 and you have until the next person rolls a 6 to transfer (one at a time) the candies to a small origami box in front of you (have the kids make them first). If they are too strong with their dominant hand, move them to their weaker one. if they are strong with both, blindfold them with a hachimaki. Brilliant fun.

Wigg also recommends Kirigami. Here are some colourful ones that were made.

Shingo: If you want to do something active, try fruit basket, かごめ、かごめ、だるまさんが転んだ. I have done those with my 7-9s and they loved it.

Soccer with numbered pairs so you call the number and those two students compete to kick the ball – or two numbers for 4 students, or any other word/phrase you want them to practice

Venning: Sock sumo? Chalk out a dojo, kids in pairs with socks pushed down just off heel. In pairs they enter dojo, bow, do sumo stretches, then ON KNEES battle it out to steal the other person’s sock. If go out of the ring, they lose. Can get physical, and only recommend if you trust the students not to get too rough. Can be tough on the knees…

Jaydei: If you have the Hiragana in 48 min flashcards you could play around the world. Students vs each other 2 at a time and the winner moves on to the next person. Also dominoes in any vocab you’ve done are quick & easy to make on card (laminating takes longer)

Some of the things I like to do are: Kendama, daruma otoshi, koma are all fun. Setting up different activities for students to rotate around. You can add origami and anime drawing.

Maru batsu quiz is another good one. Orienteering is another activity. Chopstick relays. Cooking too, doesn’t need to be elaborate…..onigiri is a starting point.

Chavasse: Shodo? Kamifuusen games, YouTube clips of sumo, Disney songs in Japanese….chopstick relays 4

Mac: Karuta is fun – vocab cards. I like doing Trivia – give kids half A4 sheet of paper, fold into quarters and cut, they write 2 language questions + 2 culture questions with answers one on each card (from anything in their books to date), fold over and put into a box, each row/seating group makes a Japanese inspired name of the scoreboard (Kawaii Kitties, Sugoi Sumos, Noisy Ninjas etc) , make one kid a “compare/host”, another a scorer and they run it – you just spot the quickest team to answer/funny bonus points/ways to wait for a question to be answered (one hand on the table with other hand on your head). Students love it.

Bretherto: Playdough, mini whiteboards, chalk outside, sand etc for Hiragana, katakana, kanji.