BreakoutEDU With Kindergarteners

BreakoutEDU is huge in education right now and I was so excited to try it out in my room! If you're unfamiliar with BreakoutEDU it is a "game" that is played that encourages students to use clues given to them to open up locks that are attached to a wooden box. Students have to use a variety of skills (which also depend on the game chosen) to figure out the lock combinations.

We did a game titled, "If You Take a Mouse to School". We read the book the day before by Laura Numeroff so the students were familiar with the mouse. Upon coming back from our special I told the kids that I had something very important to tell them. I shared the news that he mouse had come to our room and taken ALL our crayons! I explained that the mouse left the crayons in this big wooden box and left clues around the room to help us open the locks and get our crayons back.

On the box was a card that said "clue" and little sheets of paper with kids' names. The names were the groups that the "mouse" made to work together and solve clues. (We did this as a whole class, however I had smaller groups do certain tasks.) The clue card on the breakout box was there as an example for what clues to look for.

In their small groups of 4, I called one group at a time to find a clue and bring back to the group. We found all the clues at the beginning before we began. I began by coaching the kiddos through the entire process and guided them to make it successful.

One of the clues we found was a sentence with the missing words. Each group got a key to figuring out which letters belonged where in the sentence. This was helpful because I was able to call on groups to give me the appropriate letter instead of the entire class shouting out. These papers looked like this:

Each time we figured out a clue I opened the lock with the rest of the class sitting around in a circle. The locks would have been too difficult for them to open on their own but they could definitely help figure out the clues!

I also want to mention that I did not use all the locks and materials with this breakout. I chose not to include the Reader's Theater clue and lock as well as the QR code and locks app. I felt that it would have made it harder for my kinders.

Things that I found helpful doing a BreakoutEDU with kindergarteners:
-Label all clues with a "clue card".
-Break the class into smaller groups of 4-5 for certain clues.
-Stay in a whole group, sitting in a circle so everyone can see and stay controlled.


  1. Hello there! I'm working on a blog post about using BreakoutEDU with little learners, and would like to include a link to this blog post as a great sample walk-though. Would you be okay with that? Thank you :)

    Susan Stewart

  2. Hi Susan! Absolutely! I look forward to seeing the post when your finished!

  3. This is awesome! I am really intrigued with using BreakoutEDU boxes in Kindergarten as Kinders really can do it if you believe in them. =) Did you get the instructions on BreakoutEDU or did you make your own? If you made your own, would you mind sharing? Thanks!

  4. Hi Breeana! BreakoutEDU is so fun! For this particular one I took a lesson that was on the BreakoutEDU website and altered certain parts to cater to my kinders' needs. It was the beginning of the year so there were parts that I did not include (locks app and reader's theater). I also added the labels to each clue. Other than a few alterations I followed the instructions from the lesson. Good luck with your first Breakout!