MileStone Academy recognizes that lunchtime break is very important for many students. A break allows students to rest and refuel while socializing with friends and staff. We find this time as wonderful opportunity to add extra excitement to the lunch period and enhance student engagement.
Well-organized lunchtime activities are a wonderful opportunity for students to have fun and interact with peers, including peers from different year levels, who have similar interests and passions. Lunchtime clubs are known to create benefits such as,
Improving social skills.
Promoting peer social acceptance.
Creating feelings of happiness for both the participants on the autism spectrum and their peers.
MileStone encourages students to put down their phones and go old school! Here are 10 games we recommend trying with your students or whoever during your next lunch break:
Allow your students to earn a handsome prize by correctly answering a weekly lunchtime trivia question. At the beginning of each week, place a trivia question on the wall of the lunchroom. Place slips of paper and a box below the question. Encourage students to take a moment out of lunch and read the question, then compose an answer on one of the provided slips of paper. Check all the answers at the end of the week. Present a prize to any student who correctly answered a question.
A good game for the bossy students in your class—students request to take five steps forward, hop forward on one foot, etc. and are granted permission (or not) by one student who calls the shots, until they get tagged.
It may take 5–10 minutes, depending on the age of your students, so plan accordingly. The goal is to have students line up in order of their birthdays—January 1st through December 31st. To do this, they will need to know the order in which the months fall as well as their own birthday. They will also need to talk with one another to figure out who goes in front of whom. To make it super challenging, tell them they must do it without speaking at all, only using hand signals.
This activity is good for encouraging kids to mix it up. Students mill about the room saying, in a quiet voice, “Mingle, mingle, mingle.” Then, you call out a group size, for example, groups of three. Students must break into groups of that size. The goal is to form different groups of individuals every time. If a person tries to join a group with whom they have already partnered, they must find a different group. After three rounds, the process may take a bit of rearranging.
This activity encourages creative problem-solving. Pick four or more different objects, such as a water bottle, a pencil, a backpack, and a book. Split students into even teams. Now present a situation where each team must solve a problem using only those objects. These scenarios can be anything from students are stranded on a desert island and must find a way to get off or survive to students must save the world from Godzilla. Give the teams five minutes to figure out an original solution to the scenario, including ranking each object based on its usefulness. When the five minutes are up, have each team present their solution along with their reasoning to the class. (Tip: Do not make the scenarios so easy that it is obvious which objects will be most useful.)
Form groups of between three and five students. One person from each group (the finder) steps out of the classroom. The rest of the group picks an object (for instance, the pencil sharpener) in the classroom for the finder to find. When the finder comes back in, they begin walking around the classroom in search of the object. The others cannot say anything, but they can give hints by using applause to lead the finder in the right direction. If the finder is far away from the object, the group will clap slowly and softly. When the finder gets close, the group will applaud faster and more loudly until the finder picks the correct object.
This activity helps students negotiate and work together toward a common goal. Make a list of tasks on chart paper, assigning a point value for each job. For example: Do 25 jumping jacks (5 points); make up a nickname for each member of the class (5 points); get every person in the class to sign a piece of paper (15 points); form a conga line and conga from one end of the room to the other (5 points, 10 bonus points if anyone joins you); etc. Make sure you list enough tasks to take up more than 10 minutes. Divide your students into groups of five or six and give them 10 minutes to collect as many points as they can by deciding which tasks from the list to perform.
Group is seated in circle.
First person begins, ‘My name is … If I went to Mars, I would take.(a object beginning with the first letter of their name e.g. “Aaron’s apple”)’
Next person in circle then says, ‘My name is … If I went to Mars, I would take (1st person’s name and object) and (their object).
Third person continues, aiming to remember each previous person and their item before adding his/ her own.
Person is ‘out’ if they either forget name or object or make a mistake in recalling name or object.
Game is over when there is only one person ‘left’ (or you have a set time, say 5 minutes).
Get everyone to stand around the room in random places. Then it is as simple as telling everyone to be quiet!
The game involves the players throwing the ball to each other. A player is eliminated by any of the following rules:
– Drop the ball when trying to catch it
– Do a bad throw
– Talking or making a sound (thus, silent ball)
You can add in your own rules as the game goes on, everyone must stand on one leg, or throw with their left hand, or catch the ball with their mouth (challenging… but not impossible.) Be creative!
Supplies Needed: plastic cups, rubber bands, string.
Attach four 40cm lengths of string to each rubber band (one per team). Set up an even pile of plastic cups on a table for each team. Divide players into teams of four.
Players will need to work together in their teams to stack the cups into a tower by using the rubber band to grab the cups. Each player can hold onto a string attached to the rubber band. They will need to carefully pull their strings to expand and contract the rubber band to pick up and place the cups on top of one another.
The first team to stack all their cups into a stable tower win!