Teacher’s Brain

3 Reasons To Use Escape Rooms In First Grade

Imagine turning your classroom into a captivating escape room where first-grade students become code-cracking detectives, working together to unravel mysteries while secretly building essential skills. Sound fun??

That’s where escape rooms for elementary school come in! You can use in person escape rooms or digital escape rooms, they’re all a blast!

escape rooms

What are escape rooms? 

Escape rooms are immersive and interactive adventures where participants are “locked” in a themed room and tasked with solving a series of puzzles, riddles, and challenges to unlock the room’s exit within a set time limit. These puzzles can range from deciphering codes to manipulating objects and finding hidden clues, all while working together as a team. 

Escape rooms offer an exciting way to engage individuals or groups in problem-solving, critical thinking, and collaborative exploration. 

This exciting twist on learning can ignite engagement, foster teamwork, and sneakily enhance critical thinking in the most thrilling way possible!

Using escape rooms in your first-grade lessons can be so much fun and beneficial for your little learners. 

Here are three exciting reasons why you should definitely consider doing an escape room activity with your students:

Super Engaging Learning

Imagine turning your classroom into a mysterious adventure land! Escape rooms are like real-life puzzles where students work together to solve problems and find clues. This hands-on approach keeps their minds active and engaged, making learning a thrilling experience. Your students will be so excited to explore and discover new things while trying to crack the codes.

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

Escape rooms encourage teamwork and collaboration in the most exciting way. Your first-grade students will have to work together, share their ideas, and help each other out to solve the puzzles and unlock the mystery. This not only promotes social skills but also teaches them the value of listening to their friends and working as a team. Plus, seeing their classmates as puzzle-solving pals will create a warm and friendly classroom atmosphere.

Sneaky Skill Building

Shhh, don’t tell the kids, but escape rooms are sneaky little teachers themselves! While your students are having a blast cracking codes and deciphering clues, they’re also practicing essential skills like critical thinking, problem-solving, and logical reasoning. These skills are like superhero powers that will help them tackle all kinds of challenges throughout their learning journey.

So there you have it, my dear teacher friend! Incorporating an escape room activity into your lessons can bring a wave of excitement, teamwork, and skill-building to your classroom. Your first-grade students will adore the adventure, and you’ll love watching them learn and grow in such a creative way. 

Looking for the perfect escape room resources to get started? I have you covered! 

This First Grade Escape Room Bundle is just what you need! 

Use these 9 Escape Rooms to guarantee student engagement while they learn and solve a classroom mystery. With little prep, your students will work as a team to break into a box, which breaks them out of the classroom as they beat the clock!

What’s inside this download?

Get 9 Escape Room Mysteries focusing on sight words, comprehension, numbers, alphabet, Veterans Day, Halloween, ice breakers, word building and addition for a low price. The Escape Rooms range from pre-k to 3rd grade, but all of these hit 1st grade benchmarks.

Check it out here! Looking for more escape room fun? Check out my post!

4 Digital Holiday Centers For Kindergarten And First Grade

The winter holidays are such an exciting time for children, and bringing fun activities into the classroom creates happy students! Center activities are a favorite for teachers throughout the year as they can be completed by small groups of kids independently. Once activities are introduced and demonstrated, teachers can work with a group of students or rotate around the room as groups work.

 They are also exciting for students as they get to interact with peers and move around the room from activity to activity. Winter holidays provide great subject matter for centers and are the perfect addition to your lesson plans!

Read on to learn about four of my favorite holiday centers for the most wonderful time of the year. 

1.The Virtual Art Calendar is a great gift for parents, and is lots of fun for students as well.

holiday centers

This activity allows students to use Google Slides to create a unique 12-month calendar. The editable designs let kids get creative while they learn important calendar skills. Add artwork for each month, staple or bind with a ribbon.

 Since it can be completed digitally or printed out, it is a perfect option for digital learning. When students complete the calendar, they can print it out or even email it to their parents. A learning activity, virtual lesson, and parent gift combination is an awesome fit for 2020- and calendars are updated yearly so you will be able to use this resource every year! 

For more parent gift ideas, check out my post here. 

2. One of the most unique holiday centers idea for the holidays is the Ugly Sweater Writing Activity.

Students will use Google Slides to design their own ugly sweater, then write about it. Once students have completed their designs the slides can be compiled into a presentation for an Ugly Sweater Contest. 

You can add music and let students vote on their favorite designs. Graphic organizers and prompts are also included so students can write about their sweater. This will definitely be the most fun writing activity of the year! All materials are digital or printable, so this activity is great for digital learning.

3.Next up is the Holidays Around the World Escape Room.

holiday centers

Don’t worry- your students will stay safely in your classroom as they solve clues. This activity is great for reading comprehension and problem solving skills.

 Students will learn about winter holidays around the world and practice using the main idea as they attempt to break the spell of a bad elf. This activity could be completed during distance learning as well as it is 100% digital. You can increase the excitement by offering something special if they escape! 

4. Another escape activity is the Balloons Over Broadway Digital Escape activity.

holiday centers

In this lesson, students will learn about the designer of Macy’s holiday windows, parade balloons- the great puppeteer Tony Sarg. Students will listen to a short story, then use their comprehension and problem solving skills to “break the locks”.

This activity is digital so students can work at home, in small groups, or independently in the classroom. The Puppet Parade activity is ideal for first, second, or third grade students but kindergarten students can still enjoy it by doing it as a group with the whole class. 

 I hope your students have a great time working on these holiday centers! 

holiday centers


Teaching Winter Holidays Around The World

Winter is an exciting time for kids of all ages! For teachers of young children, it’s an especially fun time in the classroom. While the students may be a little distracted by all the holiday events, winter provides a perfect opportunity to join learning and celebrations. Children can learn about holidays through listening to stories, reading, music, art, and even food. 

Celebrations from around the world provide an opportunity to discuss geography and culture in a way that gets students excited.

They may see similarities between their own lives and those of children in other countries.  They may even enjoy bringing elements of the winter holidays they learn about into their own celebrations! 

Holiday celebrations in the classroom are another way to teach students about other cultures. For a class party, foods from other countries could be served. Students could participate in art activities using themes they’ve learned about in their world studies. (

Instead of just focusing on the American traditions they are familiar with, kids can experience the ways that other cultures celebrate with their friends and family. While increasing a connection between kids around the world, these activities will keep students learning during the holiday season! 

If you need some inspiration to talk about holidays in your classroom, The Winter Holidays Around the World Journal is a perfect springboard into learning about celebrations.

winter holidays

On each page, students will read a short passage about a winter holiday celebration, trace key words, and draw a picture to demonstrate comprehension. There is a flag to color for each country’s page. They can also locate the country on a map or globe and color the illustrations. Teachers can also facilitate further research into the winter holiday celebrations using the Internet or other media.

winter holidays

Students will have a great time learning about different traditions while practicing their reading and writing skills!

If you want more holiday classroom fun, check out my Christmas freebies here! 

winter holidays

Try the Digital Escape Room 1-3rd, focus is on Main Idea and Holidays Around the World!