Creating Digital Review Games

by | Oct 5, 2021 | BalloonPop, Teaching Resources | 0 comments

“Play is not frivolous; it is brain building.” – American Academy of Pediatrics

I’ve never met a student who didn’t like to play. 

In fact, I would say that one thing that all students have in common is the inherent desire to play. We should encourage our students to play, but we also need to guide them towards the appropriate time to play and the appropriate things to play. 

Some types of play are better in specific situations, while other play activities may be better at different times.

Even though we know kids love to play, why should we incorporate games and play in the classroom?

Why You Should Use Games

Games are great learning tools. Here are some reasons why:

Games engage students in learning.

We’ve all seen the look. 

The blank stare. The glossy eyes. The students are bored and have checked out. How do we re-engage them and refocus them on the learning goals?

Use review games!

Review games get students to do “fun” work without realizing they are working. 

Games allow students to practice what they have learned.

When you use review games in your classroom you can give your students the chance to practice their new skills in a non-threatening environment. 

Review games are not as intimidating as a practice assessment, so it is less likely that students will feel pressure playing the games. Students can risk an answer without feeling stupid, as they aren’t graded on how they do.

Games provide meaningful practice.

Seeing your students use their new skills is the best way to gauge their understanding. 

Use review games that will clearly show you what your students have learned and what they need to practice. 

Students learn 21st century and non-cognitive skills through play

We tend to assume that all of our students know how to use technology, but that is not always the case. Students learn how to cooperate, wait, and converse during game play.

Also, using digital review games in the classroom can help students practice how to use the technology you have available. 

When You Can Use Games

We know review games are beneficial, but when do you use those games? 

You don’t want games to become the focal point of your time in the classroom with students. Any strategy – no matter how fun – can be overused and become routine. So when are games the most effective? Here are some ideas for integrating games into your classroom:

  • Morning Work/Warm Up
  • Early Finisher Activities
  • Practice (After a Lesson)
  • Centers
  • Rewards
  • Homework/Enrichment

Where You Can Find Digital Games

Especially over the last few years, digital review games have exploded in popularity.

Because of this, you can find a variety of games all over the place. Check out this graphic for a list of my favorite places to grab digital games based on the subject. 


How You Can Make Digital Games


With some time and patience, you can make your own digital games! 

Here is the method I use. 

1. Select an objective for the game

What is the purpose of this game? What am I trying to achieve? 

2. Select a game format

Am I creating a game on Google Slides™? Am I making a set of cards on Boom Learning?

3. Write the game questions

Once you’ve finished the previous two steps, you can write out your game questions. Look at your assessments and create your questions around that. 

4. Create the game

Take a few uninterrupted hours and make your game! 


Digital review games are an easy way to incorporate play into your classroom, but making games takes time and energy, two things that teachers are hard-pressed to find.

That is why I took the time to create my BalloonPop™ games!

BalloonPop™ games can be used by individuals or as a group. 

You can utilize them during centers, during test review, or any of the other ways you can use digital review games. 

I created BalloonPop™ for 2nd – 6th grade in a variety of subjects, including things like irregular verbs, multiplication, and grammar and spelling. 

Click on the photo to learn more about BalloonPop™ games!


Would You Like To Make A Game In Google Slides?

Want to try your hand at making digital games but not sure where to start?

Let me help!

I created a step by step process that will help you through the process of making a simple review game.

Click on the photo to sign up for my weekly(ish) emails to get your copy of Increasing Student Learning Through Digital Games.


Digital review games are the perfect way to re-engage your students and get them involved in the process of reviewing, explaining, or working through content. 

Do you use digital review games? 

Let me know in the comments.

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Over twenty plus years, my educational career has spanned four continents and two states, as well as eight grade levels!

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