Planning a Breakout EDU Game

Whether you are creating your own game or using a game from the Breakout EDU website, there are still important steps to complete before the game begins.




Notes/ Tips

Find a Traditional Breakout EDU Game

There are over 300 games created by educators around the world that use a variety of content focuses and difficulty levels.  Search the main website or the “more games” link to find the one that best suits your classroom.

Breakout EDU Games

Breakout EDU More Games

Breakout EDU Search All Games

Some of the games in the Search window are still being tested for bugs, so check it out ahead of time.

If you need the password to access these games and their resources, you first need to fill out this form (Step 2) to be a beta tester

The Breakout EDU kit

The creators of Breakout EDU created a wooden and plastic kit that can  be purchased through the website. But, they also shared an open source supply list if you want to create your own kit.

Purchase an official Breakout EDU kit

Open source Breakout EDU supply list

How To Reset Your Locks

Breakout EDU Box Checkout sheet

Each middle school will have 3 Breakout EDU boxes. 

We also have some boxes available for checkout with an ITRT at Central Office

Find a Digital Breakout EDU Game

For facilitators who want an easier prep for a Breakout EDU game, educators created digital variations to be played online, with digital resources and Google Form locks.

Breakout EDU Digital Games

Breakout EDU Digital Games Sandbox

Some of the games in the Search window are still being tested for bugs, so check it out ahead of time.

Create Your Own Breakout EDU game

Whether you are looking to create your own traditional game, a digital game, or a hybrid of the two, here are some proven resources to help get you started.

Official Breakout EDU Planning Template

RCPS-created Breakout EDU Planning Template

Build your own Digital Breakout EDU tutorials

Facebook Group: Breakout EDU

Pinterest Boards: Breakout EDU 

Playing a variety of games and connecting with other Breakout EDU educators on social media is the best way to brainstorm new games.

Breakout EDU’s official LOCKS app

An interesting variation to the game is to use the iOS app called LOCKS, made specifically for Breakout EDU games.

Watch this video overview

Download the LOCKS app

The app can be used for a single locked clue or for a full game.  I highly recommend watching this overview video first.

Facilitating a Breakout EDU Game

The role of facilitator requires some preparation and foresight to make sure your players are prepared for the game and the hurdles they might face.

Here are some resources to help your game run as smoothly as possible.




Notes/ Tips

Create the perfect gaming environment

Breakout EDU players need to know the purpose of the game before it begins.  It is extremely important to build a mentally and physically safe space for the players to “fail forward”.

Facilitator’s Presentation

Tips & Tricks for Setting up a Breakout EDU game

Creating a safe learning environment is always a critical component to the classroom, but find the right balance of distractors and offering support is the first step to a successful game.

Philosophy of the
HINT cards

The Hint Cards are a way to protect your participants by offering assistance, while still reinforcing that the problem-solving will still need to come from them.

The Role of the Hint Cards - Sanders explains

Printable Hint Cards

The standard offering is two Hint Cards per game, but use your expertise with your group to determine if they need more or less.  The key is to help the participants get back on the path, not to do the work for them.

Present the game and objectives to your players

The storytelling aspect of the game is crucial, as it sets the stage for purpose and buy-in. This is your chance to set the tone and objectives for the game.  Remember, the goal is to collaborate and problem-solve, not to “win”.

Watch creator James Sanders demonstrate an introduction to a Breakout EDU game

 Take this introductory moment to explain your role as a facilitator, the use of hint cards, and the functionality of each type of lock used in the game.

Use a visible timer

Most of the traditional games are set to a 45-minute timer.  Feel free to change the time allotment, but frustrated gamers appreciate knowing a definitive time limit to the game.

Official Breakout EDU Timer #1

Official Breakout EDU Timer #2

Official Breakout EDU Timer #3 (no audio)

Digital Breakout EDU games typically do not use a timer.  You can also go to and type “XX minute timer” into the search bar to create a convenient timer on your own.

Debriefing a Breakout EDU Game

The most important part of a Breakout EDU game is the debriefing that follows the game.  This is a great time to explain confusing puzzles, but it is also the time for players to reflect on their leadership, collaboration, and problem-solving skills.




Notes/ Tips

Debrief the game

It is not uncommon for players to get frustrated during the process, and it’s important to discuss the strategies and the coping mechanisms used.

Debrief Questions to Share

The goal here is for everyone to have a chance to “cool down” from lingering frustration.  But it’s also a great opportunity to highlight leadership and collaboration skills.

Exit Pass Activities

Before or after the official debrief, these writing activities will give players an opportunity to privately work through the emotions of the game.

Official Breakout EDU Exit Pass

Emoji Exit Pass

Regardless of your choice to use an exit pass for a Breakout EDU game, the debriefing questions are a crucial piece to the game.

Celebrate the Outcome

Some groups will unlock all of the locks, and some groups will not.  But the game is about the journey, not the destination. It is important to make sure everyone celebrates the hard work!!

Official Breakout EDU Signs

Admittedly, there’s a lot of debate about allowing students to fail.  Feel free to do what’s best for you and your students.