6 Ways to Make E-I-E-I-GO! A Game That Students Run By Themselves

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E-I-E-I-GO! Your Student’s New Favorite
Indoor Recess Game (and Yours Too!)

By Guest Blogger: Kim G. 

At first glance, E-I-E-I-GO! looked like the perfect game for my super active kindergarten students. I was a bit skeptical that my first graders would say they were too old for this game, but I was totally wrong. With most games requiring players to work on the essential skill of sitting and waiting for their turn, E-I-E-I-GO! allows every player to actively participate at the same time. It is engaging right from the start, and students never bored after playing 3-4 complete games in my 45 minute class period. Students pick up how to play very easily and with a few modifications they can play this game on their own with just teacher monitoring. It is the perfect indoor recess game and/or a super fun addition to your family’s home board game collection.

6 Ways to Make E-I-E-I-GO! a Game that Students Can Play Independently:

  1. Add a position of student/child in charge. We called the position “the farmer.” He/she was in charge of shaking the Silo to reveal the animal everyone was going to be rolling for. They were the ones who were looking for fair play and listening to see who made the animal sound first. The students LOVED this position, and it was highly coveted.
  2. Make sure there is a cue for everyone to start rolling at the same time. I had the student in charge, say “E-I-E-I-GO!,” before players starting rolling. If a player consistently rolled early, the student in charge would warn them that the next time would be a five second penalty. It was not usually a problem. Out of 15 classes for several class periods each, the five second penalty was used only a handful of times when first playing the game.
  3. Have an established way to settle a tie breaker for the student in charge to use. Ties didn’t happen very often, but when they did it was important for the student in charge to feel like they knew how to handle it. I taught my students how to do “Rock, paper, scissors.” It worked great for my first graders. However, I found with my Kindergarteners it was challenging for some, so I had the person in charge put the silo die behind their back in one of their hands. They had one of the individuals guess a hand. If the dice was in that hand, then that person won that round of rolling. If it wasn’t, the other person won that round.
  4. Contain the dice if students can play at tables. This is a great floor game, but if you are like me, I’d prefer for students to play at tables. I used shoe boxes without lids and Kleenex boxes cut open with a larger opening to contain the rolled dice so they can play at a table. To “jazz” up the boxes, I applied colorful duct tape so they were bright and vibrant.
  5. Take the frustration out of not being “lucky.” Despite our best “Maybe next time!” words and attitude, students will get disappointed and frustrated when winning is out of their control. To make a positive out of unfortunate luck, we made the person with the fewest animals be the next person in charge (“the farmer” see #1).
  6. Minimize set up and clean up by keeping the farm animals in their grass stands. E-I-E-I Go is made well and is durable. However, when I first introduced the game to my students, I had them set up and take apart the animals in their stands with each game. A few got bent in the process, but I easily fixed them with tape. I found that it worked better for my students and for the game if I just had the students just keep the animals in their stands.


E-I-E-I-GO! is the most requested game for my Kindergarten and First Graders. They have picked it over and over out of all of the games we played….a total must-have classroom indoor recess game.


Kids playing E-I-E-I-Go!

Kids playing E-I-E-I-Go!

Kids playing E-I-E-I-Go!


About Kim:

Kim is nine year veteran elementary and middle school educator as well as a mom to two elementary-aged boys. Currently, she is teaching a class at an elementary school called LOGIC where students work on life skills, collaboration, communication, and critical thinking through games and hands-on activities. She works the entire Kindergarten through 5th grade student body.


What are your favorite games and activities for indoor recess? Share with us in the comments below, and at @MindWareToys on FacebookTwitter and Instagram

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