Let’s face it…sometimes school can be a little boring. Not every class or lesson is designed to be fun – but they should be! When learning is fun, students are more engaged, more involved, and retain more information about what they learned. Incorporating play into learning is so important that a research group from Harvard, along with support from the LEGO foundation and schools around the world, claim that play should be an integral part of every lesson that is taught in grades K-12. Yes, you read that correctly…play is important for students all the way through high school (and probably wouldn’t hurt in college or the workplace either!). Learn more about this groundbreaking research at Pedagogy of Play.. In this post, we’ll review four ways to make learning fun for all students, regardless of age or grade level.

Let Students Take the Helm

Students love to take charge and guide their own time, so let them! By allowing students to direct the day’s lessons (within the given framework), they will feel more incentive to participate and a stronger connection to creating a positive outcome. Once a student-led day of lessons is complete, give the students time to reflect on what went well, what needs improvement, and what they would like to do again. Allowing younger students to be in charge might feel chaotic at first, but you’ll probably be surprised at how well they do.

Keep it Relevant

Lessons hit harder when students can relate them to their lives, so keep students engaged by connecting ideas and themes learned to real-world events. Use things that are trendy and popular with the students to reinforce lesson concepts…for example, you could relate a lesson about kindness and treating others with respect to their favorite social media platforms, showing real-world examples of times when people treated each other well and times that they didn’t. Follow-up with some YouTube Shorts news stories about the consequences some people face for being unkind, and you’ll have them glued to their seats wanting more.

Encourage Experimentation

Students love to get out there and take risks, experimenting with the world around them. Risk play might sound scary to a teacher who prioritizes student safety above all else, but the benefits of allowing students to try things on their own (and sometimes fail) are monumental. Self-confidence, problem solving, and resilience are all qualities students will gain through risk play much faster than traditional lectures. Some research even suggests that allowing students to take risks during play can reduce their risk of injury!

Incentivize Participation

Students love to be recognized for showing effort, so incentivize them when they participate in learning activities with fun and useful prizes, like writing tools, art supplies, and novelty toys. Set up a classroom prize center with lots of things for them to choose from, then allow them to choose a prize whenever they participate appropriately in the day’s lessons. These small incentives will encourage students to try harder every day, helping them learn more without even realizing it.

Having Fun While Learning is Best

Not only do students gain more when fun and play is incorporated into their daily lessons, but teachers will find it less stressful too. Trying to keep a classroom full of children engaged through an hour-long lecture is brutal, but teachers who add games and other play to their lesson plans get to have fun with their students while also giving them a quality education. By allowing students to have a voice in their daily routines, keeping lessons connected to real-world events, encouraging risky play, and incentivizing appropriate participation, teachers can set their students up for a lifetime of fun and success.


GEDDES makes learning fun with trendy and useful school supplies, novelty toys, and more. Keep students excited about coming to school with prizes and more from GEDDES!