Organizing Classroom Games {Bright Idea Hop}

Do you love using games in the classroom?  I sure do!  There is nothing more rewarding than having students smiling, laughing, giggling, and having fun while LEARNING!

HOWEVER, it drives me BONKERS when all of the game pieces do not make it back into the game during clean up time.  I want to say, "Do you know how long it took me to laminate, cut out, and organize all of these games??????"

But, of course, they're seven.  And they could care less.  Until they get the game out next time and pieces are missing.  Sigh.  It's a vicious cycle.

So, here are a few of my favorite tips for organizing games in the classroom!

I could not live without number cards and dice in the classroom.  But again, when cards go missing from the set, it causes problems in future games.  I used to just rubberband the sets together and hope for the best! {cringe}

Now, I store the cards in these little soap containers that I found at The Dollar Tree.  PERFECTION!
I also take the time (or have a volunteer) number each card in the set to match the container.  That way, if a card is left out, students can quickly and easily return it to the correct set.
I just toss all of our number card containers into a basket and students can grab them at a moment's notice.  We use them almost every single day for something during math!

 And those dice?  Yeah, I used to keep those in a ziploc baggie to pass out when needed.  No longer!
Meet our dice board.  I found these great little magnetic containers in the Target Dollar Spot at back to school time (I think they were locker organizers).  I covered the insides with felt and added a couple of dice.  They stick to a cookie sheet covered with fabric.  This hangs on the end of a bookshelf and students can go grab dice whenever they need them!  PERFECTION!  I've also seen magnetic spice containers (most recently at World Market) that would serve this same purpose.

The BEST thing about these?  After the kids grab them, they stay IN the containers.  Students just shake the containers to "roll" the dice!  No more dice flying across the classroom!!!!  I lined my containers with felt to make the shaking quiet, but you could also just use foam dice that can be found at the Dollar Tree usually.  Best. Classroom. Addition. Ever!

Just like with number my playing cards, I wised up a few years ago and had a volunteer number and/or color-code all of my game sets.  This is a LIFE SAVER for keeping the pieces of sets together year after year so that you do not have to remake games once pieces go missing.  This was kind of a "slap your forehead...why didn't I think of this sooner" moment!

Another favorite container for classroom games is an empty Pringles container.  These are perfect for holding popsicle sticks.  They are deep enough for no peeking and it's easy to print a direction page and wrap around the container.  You can tell this container has been around for a while! ;)

I also use number cards and matching games for homework instead of worksheets.  I'll be doing another post on this again soon.  Pencil pouches are the perfect spot to keep these!  We just put our pouches in our nightly MONSTER folders and card games and game directions are kept in there at all times.  The perfect little organization spot.
I hope this post gave you a few new ideas about organizing games in the classroom.  What tips/tricks do you have for keeping your games intact and organized?  Leave a comment below....I'd love to learn more "bright ideas!"

And now, for another BRIGHT IDEA hop over to visit Alisha at The Bubbly Blonde!

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  1. I love how you store your dice! I may have to go and find some of those cute containers. :)

  2. This whole post is a treasure!! The magnetic dice containers are perfect.
    Thank you Amanda!
    Whimsy Workshop Teaching

  3. Love your numbering system! I numbered my puzzles, but didn't think about my card games! Great idea! Thanks for sharing!
    Peace, Love, and First Grade

  4. Love your ideas, especially the magnetic dice containers :) I pinned several of your pictures for you! SO cute!

  5. I love the dice containers!! You are so smart!
    Jennifer Ayers

  6. Your ideas are great! It is nice to find these new inventive ideas! Those dice containers are too cool! I always feel like in some classrooms there is so much unused space that teachers could take advantage of like this! :)

  7. Thanks for the ideas about cards - I can sure use those!

  8. Brilliant ideas! These games are great for training brain and intellect.

    Like your work!


  9. I love all your organizational ideas!! I just got those containers at Dollar Tree too- to use for my crayons in centers. Love your blog!!
    Keep Calm and Love First Grade

  10. Love your ideas! Are those monsters from Flapjack Educational Resources? Love them! My name is Mawn so I always have a "Monster" theme going on and her monster set is great!
    Reading and Writing Redhead


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