Skip to main content

6 easy improv games for your 7-year-old

Adults may know improvisational or improv games as icebreakers prior to workshops or meetings. Improv games are used a great deal in the theater, but it turns out improvisational exercises are actually pretty fun and a great teaching tool at home or in school for kids. Early-childhood educators already use a lot of improv games for kids during circle times, but playing improvisational games is something parents can do at home, too, especially in the car, at parties, or on inclement-weather days when the kiddos are bored.

Improv games are a wonderful teaching tool because they help younger children hone their communication, language, and listening skills along with cooperation and problem-solving skills. There are a lot of fun, easy improv games you can play with your 7-year-old and the whole family. Here are some to get you started.

group of kids outside playing an improv game with an adult
Image used with permission by copyright holder

One word at a time

This improv game is a classic preschool and early-elementary game. It can be played with an entire class of kids or just two, making it a perfect family game or something you can play one-on-one with your 7-year-old. Basically, the players create a story together, with each participant adding one word. It’s best to have the adult begin, but it’s not a hard and fast rule. You can play until an entire story takes shape or just do a quick round of five or 10 minutes and pick it up the next time you’re in the car.

Once upon a time

Just like one word at a time, this improv game sparks creativity with the participants telling a story together. The game begins with the first person tossing out the initial line of a story like, “It was a dark and stormy night.” Each player adds another line to the story until you have a conclusion. This is a fun game to play in the car on a long road trip.

Popcorn

If you’re having a party, popcorn is a sizzling game for a group of five to eight kids. It’s a quick game that’s often used in classrooms as a warm-up to an activity that requires sitting. Kids begin on the floor as a kernel of corn in a pan. An adult or older child serves as the narrator. The kernels are supposed to react to what the narrator is telling them. For example, the pan is heating up, or the pan is being shaken. The improv exercise culminates when the kernels pop into popcorn.

Same circle

This improv game sounds simple, but it’s actually more difficult than you think and requires concentration. It’s ideal for five or more players, but it can be played with two. The participants sit or stand in a circle. An adult or child can begin the game by making a small gesture. The next person must repeat the gesture, and it goes around the circle until the last person duplicates the gesture. Each gesture must be completely identical. You can continue the game by having someone else start off with a new gesture. The game can also be played with sounds.

Animal scenes

Seven-year-olds will really like this improv-acting exercise, which also makes for a cool game. It can be played with three or more players. One person serves as the leader, while the rest of the participants pair off. The leader gives the players different animal scenarios, like a monkey sitting in a tree. Each pair must act out the scenario. For example, one person would be the branch, and the other would be the monkey sitting on his or her partner.

kids having fun playing an improv game outside
Iakov Filimonov/Shutterstock

Yes! Let’s _________!

Like popcorn, Yes! Let’s ___! is a great warm-up game or time-killer if you are waiting to go somewhere and the kids have a lot of energy. This game is perfect for groups, but it can be played with smaller numbers. It starts off with one person calling out an activity to do. For example, “Let’s jump.” Everyone answers, “Yes, let’s jump,” and begins to jump. After a few moments, another player calls out a different activity like “Let’s clap.” All the players respond with “Yes, let’s clap” and begin to clap. The game continues until each player has had the opportunity to call out an activity.

Just like adults, not all kids are going to be comfortable with improv games, and that’s okay. Even though kids may be a little hesitant at first, encourage them to participate. Improvisational games are considered icebreakers for a reason. They challenge people to come out of their comfort zones and interact in a way they normally wouldn’t. Improv games show kids it is all right and even a great idea to be silly sometimes or pretend to be someone or something else.

In addition to being fun, improv games are an outside-of-the-box educational tool, and they help children and teens develop their listening, language, communication, and problem-solving skills. If you’re hosting a party for your 7-year-old, these games are perfect for groups and keep kids busy during those long wait times.

Editors' Recommendations

Dawn Miller
Dawn Miller began her professional life as an elementary school teacher before returning to her first love, writing. In…
Heads up, 7 up: What’s the game and how to play it
Learn the ins and outs of this classic kids' game
Five kids each giving a thumb-up

Seven up is another classic kids' game that has definitely stood the test of time. This game has been played in countless classrooms throughout the U.S. since the 1950s. No one is actually sure who invented this popular game, but most people have played at some point. Seven up is also known by other names like heads up, heads down, thumbs down or thumbs up. Its name variations point toward the basic aspects of the hands-on game.

A majority of elementary school teacher has led several rounds of 7 up during their teaching careers. New teachers may want to add it to their menu of classroom games because it's a perfect pick to fill time when waiting for a specialty teacher or transitioning to another subject.

Read more
The best outdoor games for kids – try these fun, classic activities
Cool activities to play outside with kids
Kids playing games outside

When the nice weather rolls around, there's nothing better than getting the kiddos outside to run and play. It can be difficult these days because getting kids off the devices is always a challenge. Another obstacle is often the dreaded announcement of being bored or there isn't anything to do outside. Well, as parents, we know that's certainly not true, especially when there are a whole host of outdoor games for kids.

Having an array of fun and engaging outdoor games is always a perfect pick for the whole family, whenever you're hosting a party or when the kiddos have friends over for a playdate. The wonderful thing about outside games is that they are timeless. They take adults back to their childhood, and even teens enjoy taking a page from their elementary school gym class days.

Read more
Liven up family game night with these crowd-pleasing board games
Grab any of these board games for your next no-screen night
Parents with children playing a board game

Other than everyone staring at their personal screens or staring together at the largest screen in the home, what else are you going to do to get the family together? While cleaning the house might be a tempting answer for the parents, having a collection of family board games on hand is the right answer. Make memories, have a few laughs, and see who will come out on top in a battle of kids versus parents when you have a family board game night.
Classics never go out of style
Let's start with old-school options, which will stick around for the foreseeable future and beyond.

Guess Who?
There is no age limit to Guess Who?, which is great if you have an age range in your family. While only two people can play at a time, you could turn it into a tournament to rotate everyone in. This is a great thinking game, as parents need to break the questions down for a small child to understand but have to work to ask more difficult questions to their older kids.

Read more