5 Fun Ways to Use Animal Crossing in Your Classroom

Looking for a new classroom theme that students will love? Animal Crossing is designed for players of all ages, which is why it’s a huge hit amongst kids. Think of it as their version of The Sims, but even better. Kids love the cute characters in the game, along with the ability to create their world – parent-free.

Incorporating Animal Crossing into your physical or virtual classroom is an easy way to keep students engaged and have some fun. Here’s some background on the game – and five ways to make it come alive in your classroom!

What is Animal Crossing?

We remember it like it was yesterday, everyone stuck at home awaiting the release of the highly anticipated Animal Crossing: New Horizons on the Nintendo Switch. The most recent installment of the 20-year-old game sold a record-breaking 11 million copies in its first month. Besides previous fans, most of us had no idea what to expect. For the rest of us noobs, the game was met with excitement and a much-needed urge to escape into virtual worlds.

Animal Crossing, also known to gamers as AC, is a game that allows players to create an island they can design to their liking. Players interact with animals on the island who talk and have unique personalities. AC also allows you to invite friends to your island and visit their islands.

Players are completely customizable, meaning you can change their clothes and hair, with options appealing to a diverse range of skin tones and hair textures (shoutout to the game creators for this one!).

The head honcho, also known as Tom Nook, is sort of an overseer of the island. He’s a raccoon who manages all business dealings – giving out loans, helping you buy property, and announcing fun island tasks. Other characters also guide your journey throughout the game.

Animal Crossing allows you to play at your own pace, so you don’t feel rushed to get to a certain point. That is unless you’re comparing your island with your friends. A cool aspect of AC is that it changes time and day with your real life’s time setting. So if its night time for you, it’s night time in the game, stars and all.

Even better, holidays in AC rock! With themed furniture, you can purchase games to play and fun island activities centered around major holidays. The more you play, the game rewards you with Nook Miles, points earned when you complete a task, and when you sign on to play.

Using Animal Crossing in your classroom

1. Zoom backgrounds

Create a Zoom background on Animal Crossing for distance learning
Source: Jessicardzr

If you’re managing a virtual classroom, you know how hard it is to keep kids motivated. But the one thing kids love is changing their Zoom backgrounds. Students can find cool Zoom background on Pinterest (with parent supervision), and if you’re an AC player, you can create your in-game classroom. Just take a screenshot and use it as your Zoom background.

We love this quick YouTube guide and this elementary teacher’s classroom!

2. Floating City field trips

Take your students on an international field trip by joining Animal Crossing‘s “Special Lessons in ACNH,” The Floating City virtual floating island, which launched December 8, 2020. The virtual island was created under the supervision of Blue Frontiers, a company aiming to build a sustainable floating island in the near future. The in-game field trip teaches students about environmental issues. This a great way to host a field trip with students who haven’t been able to go on an in-person field trip because of the pandemic.

Learn more about the program here and register for your class.

3. Daily check-in form

Virtual learning makes it difficult to check-in with your students. Because teachers cannot see their students face-to-face, picking up on emotional cues while virtually learning might be challenging. This teacher-created resource uses Google Forms as a quick daily check-in with kids, and it’s Animal Crossing themed! Use this as an exit ticket or behavior management tool.

4. Animal Crossing Tic-Tac-Toe

Want to give your students a quick brain break or need a fun way to pair them up for classroom activities? Animal Crossing Tic-Tac-Toe is a fun online and printable game with easy setup. The game is fun to play, like traditional Tic-Tac-Toe, each player picks a character, and the first person with three matches in a row wins. This game is great for younger grade-levels like kinder and 1st graders who benefit from easy, fun transition activities.

5. Themed behavior chart

Spice up those behavioral charts with an Animal Crossing themed reward chart. Students can print their charts, or you can create a digital version for your online-classroom. Use the chart to reinforce positive behavior for preschool, kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th-grade students. For remote learning, consider digital rewards like an Animal Crossing expansion pack!

Animal Crossing isn’t just for us adults looking for an escape, it allows kids to show off their creativity. But AC is more than just open-ended gameplay with adorable animals. It’s a chance for kids to control their world – especially when real life isn’t as whimsical. Animal crossing offers students valuable lessons in money management, communication, art, and friendship.

Adding small touches to your classroom with activities and themes is an easy way to reinforce at home play (yes, this is a game you want students to keep playing) and classroom engagement.

Also Check Out:

5 Fun Ways to Use Animal Crossing in Your Classroom

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Charmaine Griffin

Charmaine is a full-time copywriter and the part-time business owner of natural hair brand Kollective Koils. She loves naps, nature, Netflix, eating, and Nintendo Switch. She's a plant mama, and in her downtime, she's meditating and burning sage.

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