The holidays are fun time to be a teacher. Learning can be so hands-on throughout the holiday season but with hands-on activities come messes. Don’t limit your students’ creativity because you are scared of a little mess in your room. Mystery Trash is a great way to get your floor clean in just a minute or two.
To start the game, you walk all around the room looking at the trash on the floor. While you are looking, pick out one piece of trash that isn’t completely obvious. Then keep walking and looking around.
Next, announce that you have selected the Mystery Trash and that the student who picks up that piece of trash will be the winner. If you look around the room while you are going over the directions, the students will think that you are looking at the mystery trash and clean that area first!
Remind your students that there is no fighting over who gets to pick up a certain piece of trash and that the Mystery Trash could be anywhere in the classroom. Also tell them that they don’t need to bring their trash to you because you will be watching the Mystery Trash so you will know who picks it up!
Finally, say, “Go!” and see how fast your floor gets clean.
- Don’t make the trash too obscure because I have played games where the piece of trash wasn’t picked up, and that didn’t go over well.
- Don’t stop the game when the Mystery Trash gets thrown away. Just keep saying, “Where is that Mystery Trash” and the kids will keep playing (a.k.a – cleaning).
- Don’t let the game go on for more than 2 minutes or so.
- If your floor is really messy, pick two pieces of Mystery Trash.
This is also a great way to get your kids moving during the day.
For the prize, I always give away extra copies of books that I collected from my Scholastic Reading Club order but you could use anything that is motivating to your class.