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How to Make an Escape Room for the Classroom

Over the past few years, escape rooms have grown in popularity. Participants are challenged to solve puzzles and riddles within a certain amount of time to “escape” from a themed room. The concept of an escape room doesn’t have to just be for entertainment! Bring an escape room experience to the classroom to engage students in problem solving, critical thinking, and content mastery. Let’s explore how to make an escape room for the classroom.

Start with Learning Objectives

First, it’s important to define your learning objective before starting to design a classroom experience. What concepts do you want your students to learn? Whether it’s reviewing historical events, reinforcing math concepts, or learning about a new science idea, align your escape room activities to your learning objectives.

Design a Theme

This step is optional, depending on how big or small you want your escape room activity to be. If it’s an all day adventure, definitely choose a theme. Create an engaging story line or theme for your escape room. It could be a scientific expedition, a historical mystery, or a reading adventure. Captivate your students’ imagination and provide context for upcoming puzzles.

Develop Challenging Puzzles

Here is the fun part! You get to design a series of puzzles, challenges, and clues that require critical thinking and problem-solving skills to solve. Incorporate a variety of puzzle types: riddles, ciphers, logic puzzles, etc. You can even tie in physical tasks or challenges. Make sure your puzzles are grade-level appropriate (No overly frustrated students here!) and most importantly are aligned to your learning outcomes.

Establish Expectations

Are students working together as a group to complete the escape room tasks? Discuss teamwork and communication expectations. Assign roles and responsibilities if needed. Do students have a time limit for each puzzle? Make sure the rules and details of the activity are discussed or printed. Does each puzzle have to be checked before moving on? Make sure you go over all rules and expectations before beginning.

Time for the Escape Room

Finally its time to set up all of the puzzles, stations, decorations, locks, etc. for the escape room. Give students the directions and let the learning fun begin!


Incorporating escape rooms into the classroom can transform learning into an immersive and engaging experience. Trust me, your students will have a blast while learning!

If the idea of planning out your own escape room seems overwhelming, I’ve got you covered. I have a FREE natural disasters escape room for you to try out! This escape room is super simple to use in your classroom. Simply print and play…no envelopes to stuff or locks to prepare. Students will read the included text about natural disasters and then complete 4 challenge activities using the text. It’s a great intro into the world of classroom escape rooms.

Sign up below to get this natural disasters escape room FREEBIE delivered to your inbox!

Want to take a closer look at some “done for you” classroom escape rooms? Then make sure to read this blog post!

how to make an escape room for the classroom