What about a nice bit of Origami?
Nothing better - a nice, quiet and creative pastime. Nice and quiet, that is, until next lesson, when aeroplanes will be whizzing overhead and chewed up off-cuts will be catapulted off rulers up to the ceiling where they will stay for generations to come.
They want to play football.
Using the cheese plant and the tallest boy in the class as goalposts, classroom football is possible and will run off lots of energy, but the girls will only ruin it by chatting in groups around the touchline and demanding space to play their clapping games.
I meant table top football.
Ah. Yes that is a possibility. Traditional table top games will keep the children happy and quiet, no doubt. But a word of warning. If you choose jigsaw puzzles and marble mazes the caretaker and cleaners will launch into seriously challenging behaviour when all of the pieces hiding on the floor get up the vacuum cleaner.
OK. Maybe a bit of music.
Letting the children bring in their own music is inclusive and no doubt Zebedee, Zachary and Rory will be easy to talk down from their air guitar contest on the tables just as soon as the bell rings for next lesson.
Forget it. I need something more educational.
Why didn't you say that in the first place? Try whole-class hangman on the whiteboard. It will be more interesting if you let the children choose the words. Four letters, at most, should ensure they can spell every word they choose. Dear little Sophie and Charlotte can be relied upon to take charge of their peers while you nip to the loo. Allow some time to cut them free and remove chewed-up paper pellets from their hair before the next lesson gets underway