Having a few go-to time filler activities is a must for any teacher. No matter how carefully you plan a lesson, sometimes you’re left with extra time in class. Here are 10 fun time filler activities for you to use when there’s extra time in class.
10 Fun Time Filler Activities
1. Count Up Stand Up
This activity is a super fun time filler for the whole class. To play, first, choose a number that the class is going to count up to. The bigger the number, the more difficult the task. A good number to start with is around 5. Next, tell students that their challenge is to count to 5. To do so, one student must stand up and say the number 1. Then, another student must stand up and say the number 2, and so on up to five. Any student can stand up at any time and say the next number, but if 2 students stand up at the same time, then they lose. If the class is able to get to five without 2 students standing up at the same time, they win. Next, make it harder by changing the number to a higher number.
2. Would You Rather
‘Would You Rather’ is a great activity for when you have extra time in class. Not only is it a lot of fun, but it is a great way to get students talking and expressing themselves in English. If you’re not familiar with the ‘Would You Rather’ activity, it is a simple game in which you ask a hypothetical question, and students should choose which outcome they would prefer. For example, “Would you rather eat nothing but ice cream or nothing but pizza for a year?” After asking students their opinion, ask them to justify why they choose that option. Their answers may surprise you and you may even learn some interesting things about how your students think. Check out our 30 funny would you rather questions for inspiration.
3. Save The Teacher (Hangman)
You probably already know how to play hangman, and this is a great no-prep time filler activity. A fun alternative to hangman is our ‘Save The Teacher’ game. The rules are exactly the same as hangman, but if students guess incorrectly, rather than drawing the ‘hangman’ picture, press play on the video and the fuse to the rocket will get closer. If students guess wrong too many times, the teacher will blast off into space.
4. Eye Spy
To play this next time filler activity, simply look around and pick an object from the classroom but don’t tell the students what it is. Once you have chosen the object, give students a hint by telling them the first letter of the word using the rhyme “I spy with my little eye something beginning with (b)”. Next, the students should look around the classroom for objects beginning with that letter and then guess what word you are thinking of. This activity is great for when you have extra time in class as it requires no preparation whatsoever and works with all ages of students. If you are teaching young students or want to review colors, a great alternative to this is to say “I see something (green)” and then have students guess what green object from the classroom you are thinking of.
5. Last One Out
This timer filler game can be used with any passage from the textbook/story you are reading. To play, pick a passage from a book (one with at least 30 words) and tell students they will take turns reading a few words from the passage. Next, Show students the order in which they will take turns. When it’s their turn, students can choose to read one word, two words, or a maximum of three words. The student who reads the last word in the passage is out. Alternatively, the student who reads the last word in the passage must do a forfeit, like a silly dance or do ten starjumps, etc.
This game can be played with a passage from a book, or you can simply write numbers on the board up to 30 and ask students to say one, two, or three numbers. Or you can use our Let’s Dance PPT Game Template to create this game.
6. Hot Seat
Hot seat is a great classroom game you can play when you have extra time in class. To play, place one student in the ‘hot seat’ at the front of the class facing away from the board/TV. Then display a word on the board/TV and ask the rest of the class to describe the word without saying the actual word. The student in the ‘hot seat’ should guess what it is. To make this activity more fun, you can put students into teams and then give each team 30 seconds to guess as many words as they can. The above video shows how to play this game and can be used to explain the rules to students.
Pictionary is a great time filler activity you can use to review key vocabulary from the lesson. To play, invite a student up to the front of the class and show them a word from the lesson. This can be from a vocabulary list or you can even just point to a word or picture in the textbook. Next, give the student 30 seconds or so to draw and the rest of the class should try to guess what it is. When a student guesses correctly, then that student gets to come to the front and draw the next word. To make it more competitive, you can divide the class into teams and give each team a minute or so to guess as many words as they can. If you need some pictures for this game, then check out our free printable flashcards on many topics.
8. Bowl Of Fun
This time filler activity includes 3 rounds and is great for reviewing vocabulary from the lesson. To play, you’ll need 10~20 words from the lesson. Write the words on small pieces of paper, fold them up, and place them in the ‘bowl of fun’ (or any container). Then, divide the class into 2/3 teams and the game can begin.
There are 3 rounds. The first round is Pictionary, the second round is charades, and the third round is ‘Read My Lips’. In the first round (Pictionary) one student from each team will have 30 seconds to choose words from the bowl and then draw them on the board for their teammates to guess. In the second round (charades), one student from each team will have 30 seconds to act out the words for their teammates to guess. And, in the third round (Read My Lips), one student from each team will have 30 seconds to ‘silently say the words‘ while their teammates try to read their lips and guess the words. Each time they guess correctly, that team gets a point, and the team with the most points at the end is the winner. This time filler game takes about 15 or 20 minutes so it is a great activity if you have a lot of extra time in class.
9. Pass The Ball
This time filler game for kids is a lot of fun and a great way to warm up or wrap up a lesson. To play, all you need is a small soft ball and some pass the ball music (see video above). The rules are simple. Pass the ball when the music is playing, and when the music stops, the student with the ball must answer a question from the teacher. To ensure the game runs smoothly, be sure to tell students to pass the ball and not to throw the ball.
10. 20 Questions
Last on our list of time filler activities is the classic game 20 questions. In this game, you should think of an object or a person and then students will have a maximum of 20 questions to guess what you are thinking of. Each question should be a ‘yes/no’ question. As students need to ask questions strategically to narrow down the possible answers, it is probably best to give students some tips at the start of the activity. For example, you might tell them to start off with questions like “Is it a man?”, “Is it a famous person.”, etc.
BONUS – Games4esl’s Online Quizzes
Got extra time in class and need a fun, ready to use activity? Check out our free online quizzes.
Thanks for reading. I hope you found some useful time filler activity ideas. Before you go, be sure to check out our free resources for teaching English, including activity videos, PowerPoint games, Worksheets, printables, and more.