21 Incredibly Fun Growth Mindset Games For Students

Growth mindset activities address the social-emotional learning needs of students. 

In order to have success in school and in life, students must develop both their emotional and academic intelligence. 

One way for teachers to teach growth mindset activities is by using growth mindset games. 

Students of all ages – elementary, middle, and high school – love playing games. 

They are motivated to do so because of the very nature of games which tend to be collaborative, interactive, visually appealing, competitive, and mentally stimulating.

Leverage this knowledge by incorporating a variety of growth mindset games into your instruction.

Whether you’re a classroom teacher or a school counselor, you’ll find a game idea here that appeals to your students and nurtures their social-emotional needs in a fun way.

Growth Mindset Games

Following you will discover some of the best examples of offline and online growth mindset games and activities for students of all ages. 

1. CodeCombat

Using this online mindset game, students will learn coding skills via puzzles and challenges.

Students must persevere through challenging levels and learn from their mistakes in order to progress and complete the tasks.

2. Chess

There are so many benefits to playing the classic game of chess. It improves memory, strategic thinking, and cognitive abilities, 

What’s more, it requires students to think ahead and adapt to their opponent’s moves, consequently encouraging them to learn from their mistakes and develop a growth mindset.

3. Rubik’s Cube

Solving a Rubik’s Cube is one of the best solitaire growth mindset games for students. 

As students move the parts of the cube, they stretch their problem-solving skills deciding what strategies are working and which are not. 

Because arriving at the solution isn’t so easy for most, students must possess the confidence and persistence needed to power through the task. 

That’s why Rubik’s Cubes make great growth mindset activities.

4. Cup Stacking Challenge

Meant as a team-building activity, students will collaborate to complete the task of stacking cups.

As they work, they will think critically, problem-solve, analyze alternative solutions, learn from their mistakes, and readjust their strategy as needed. 

See the full instructions for the Cup Stacking Growth Mindset Challenge

5. Minecraft

With this online game, students will explore and experiment with different materials in order to build structures in virtual reality.

During the process, they will have to solve problems, learn from their mistakes, and demonstrate persistence.

6. Super Mario Games

Utilize Super Mario as part of your collection of growth mindset games. 

There are two options appropriate for students:

  • Super Mario Maker –  This game allows participants to design and share their own Mario levels, which requires creativity, problem-solving plus trial-and-error.
  • Super Mario Brothers – This classic video game challenges students to tackle obstacles and solve puzzles. It rewards persistence and encourages players to keep trying until they reach success.

7. Portal 2

A puzzle-platform video game, Portal 2 encourages students to think creatively and use problem-solving skills to progress through the game.

8. Brain Age

If you seek growth mindset games that students can work on independently, get hold of Brain Age.

This video game includes a variety of daily puzzle exercises that stimulate the brain by prompting problem-solving, critical thinking, and concentration.

9. Growth Mindset Escape Room

In escape rooms designed for schools, students must work collaboratively to solve a series of puzzles in order to “escape” the room.  

Escape rooms can be transformed into games that focus on a growth mindset by providing puzzles that relate to social-emotional learning. 

Students must problem-solve, cooperate, and demonstrate perseverance in order to succeed with this activity.

10. Catan

Formerly known as Settlers of Catan, this board game involves strategy and negotiation.

Students must adapt to changing circumstances and unexpected obstacles. It encourages participants to think creatively and learn from mistakes.

11. Brain Teasers

By their very nature, brain teasers stretch the mind because they prompt individuals to think critically, problem-solve, consider alternative solutions, self-reflect, and persevere. 

Offer students a variety of engaging brain teasers such as riddles, Sudokus, Mad Libs, and logic puzzles.

12. The Sims

A good game option for older students, students will participate in a virtual reality where they will experiment and learn from the consequences of their actions. 

As they experience events and face challenges, they will be prompted to think creatively, make strategic decisions, and develop problem-solving skills.

13. Civilization VI

For older students or more advanced learners, this growth mindset game expands one’s knowledge and understanding of human history.

The game challenges players to build and manage their own civilizations, which requires critical thinking, decision-making, and problem-solving skills.

14. BrainPOP

Did you know that BrainPOP has a game component called GameUp which offers a variety of games on different subjects?

BrainPOP’s collection of games encourages players to learn from their mistakes and persist until they succeed. 

Growth Mindset Icebreaker Games

Following are some fun icebreaker games that can be used to nurture a growth mindset among students. 

15. Two Truths and a Lie

For this fun game, students will sit in a circle and share two facts (that most or any of their classmates don’t know) and one lie about themselves. 

After sharing the three things, the group will decide which statements are the facts and which one is the untruth.

This growth mindset game encourages students to think creatively, step outside of their comfort zones, and be open to new experiences. 

16. Positive Affirmations

Ask students to write down a positive affirmation about themselves on a piece of paper. 

Collect the papers and redistribute them randomly. 

Each student should then read aloud the affirmation that he or she received, sharing how it makes him/her feel. 

This game promotes positive self-talk and helps build confidence.

17. Change the Ending

This simple yet powerful game encourages students to think about different possibilities from a positive viewpoint.

Divide the class into pairs, and have each partner tell a story. 

After each partner shares a story, the other has to change the ending to make it more positive or optimistic. 

18. Growth Mindset Bingo

Create a bingo board with different growth mindset phrases or print this growth mindset bingo board.

To play the game, students will cover the squares that apply to them with counters.

This game helps students identify and celebrate growth mindset behaviors.

19. Role Play

Pair students, or put them into groups of no more than four. 

Each will act out a scenario that requires a growth mindset, such as learning a new skill or tackling a challenge. 

Encourage students to explore different ways that they could respond to real-life situations, and initiate a discussion about what they learned from this role-playing experience.

20. Positive Feedback Circle

For growth mindset games that nurture a supportive learning environment where all students feel seen and heard, this activity is arguably the best.

Ask students to sit in a circle and give positive feedback to the person next to them. 

Instead of focusing on physical attributes, encourage students to be specific and focus on growth mindset behaviors such as effort, perseverance, and confidence.

21. Tetris 

The classic game of Tetris provides many benefits for helping students cultivate a growth mindset.

The game of Tetris…

  • Builds cognitive abilities,
  • strengthens organizational skills,
  • Enhances focus,
  • Teaches strategy, and 
  • Improves persistence. 

This online puzzle game requires students to think quickly and adapt to changing situations. 

Because of this, it makes a great growth mindset game option.

Final Thoughts

Now you are equipped with a collection of suggested resources and activities that prompt a growth mindset in students.

While there are countless options for growth mindset games, these are some of the best for encouraging creativity, problem-solving, and adaptability.