Esl Games for Kids

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Action Race: This is a fun game using actions. Use actions like jump, hop, clap, run etc. Have the Ss split
into two teams and sit in lines with a chair b each team and one chair at the other end of the room. !ne S
from each team stands ne"t to their chair and T calls an action, e.g. #$ump#. Ss must jump to the chair on
the other side of the room and back, sitting down in their chair Ss sa #% can jump#. &irst one to do it gets
their team a point. 'Submitted b (areth Thomas).
Adjectival Action: T writes on the board an activit like #brush our teeth.# She/He picks one student, the
come to the front of the class. The T then shows the S a card with an adjective written on it like #slowl# or
whatever. The chosen student then does the activit in the wa of the adjective. The other S have to guess
the adjective. The one who guesses right gets a point and mimes the ne"t action which the teacher writes on
the board. To help them ou can give them a list of options, if ou think the need some help. 'Submitted b
*ibb +c,rthur)
Airplane competition: &irst, have our Ss make some paper airplanes. Stand the Ss in a line and let them
test fl their planes. &or the competition, assign different classroom objects points 'e.g. table - points, door
./ points, trashcan 0/ points). ,sk a S a 1uestion and if s/he answers correctl then s/he can throw and tr
to hit one of the target objects to win points. This works well as a team game.
Apple Pass: Have all Ss sit in a circle. Use a fake apple and toss it to one S. 2ut ou must sa one 3nglish
word as ou pass. The S then throws to another S and sas a different 3nglish word. %f the student ou
threw it to drops it, he/she is out. ,nd the game keeps going until ou have one winner. %t can be plaed
with different categories, such as &ood, ,nimals, 3tc. + students love it4 'Submitted b 5im.S.).
Art Gallery: This is a great activit for reviewing vocab. 6raw enough s1uares on the board for each S to be
able to draw in. Have the Ss write their names above their s1uares. T calls out a word and the Ss draw it
'could be simple nouns e.g. #dog, bookcase, train#, verb structures e.g. #draw a man running, eating cake,
sleeping#) or adjectives '#draw a big elephant, an angr lion, an e"pensive diamond ring#). &or each S give a
score for his/her picture, and then move on to the ne"t picture. The S with the highest score at the end is the
Attention: 7all out commands such as: ,ttention, salute, march in place...stop, sit down, stand up, walk in a
circle, clap our hands...stop, run in place...stop, jumping jacks...stop, swim in place....stop, etc. ,t first
students will cop ou but later the should be able to do the commands without ou. 'Submitted b Tania

Backs to the Board Game: This one is good for higher level kids. +ake two teams and stand one S from
each team in front of the board, facing awa from it. 8rite a word or draw a picture on the board 'e.g.
#hamburger#) and the Ss have to e"plain that word to their team member 'e.g. ou can bu it in +c6onalds,
it9s got cheese and ketchup in it). The first S out of the two standing in front of the board to guess the word
wins a point for his/her team.
Badminton: (ood for reviewing target vocabular 'words or communicative e"pressions). Set a #court# into
the classroom b placing a skip:rope tied up to two chairs. +ake two small teams 'the other Ss can be the
crowd and or challengers). (ive each S a flswatter '#;acket#). %nflate a balloon 'this will be the ball).
;emember: the ounger the Ss, the bigger the balloon must be 'slower). 6ecides who serves and for ever
point one team scores, have the opposite team call out the flashcard or picture card b the T shown. *ots of
fun4 '<!T3: &or ver active Ss be careful since the might hit the others9 faces when plaing). 'submitted
b Salvador 6omingo)
Banana Race: 7hildren just love this4 %t is basicall a =U%> game in which ou ask children 1uestions
'Target ?ocabular) like: #8hat9s this@ 8hat fruit is red and round@ How man chairs are there in the
classroom@# or the T simpl draws items on the board, makes animal noises so that the guess. Aou can
work with Ss or split the class into small groups/teams if ou have a large class. The T draws on the board a
race track and each team or S will be a 2,<,<, waiting at the Starting *ine. The will approach the (oal
line as the answer each 1uestion. 3ach right answer e1uals a step towards the (oal *ine. The 2,<,<,
who arrives there first, 8%<S4 'Submitted b Salvador 6omingo).
Bang!: +aterials: Small peiced of paper, shoe bo" or coffee can. 8rite words on pieces of paper and fold
them in half 'sight words, vocab, blends etc.). ,lso add a few cards that sa #2,<(4#. Ss take turns picking
cards and if the read the word correctl the get to keep the word. %f the draw a 2,<(4 card the ell
2,<(4 and then return all their cards 'e"cept the 2,<(4 card) to the can/bo". ?er simple but the kids love
it and there are man variations for the game4 'Submitted b Heather (ilbert).
Basketball: Ss take a shot at the trashcan/bo"/etc. &irst ask a 1uestion to S.. %f s/he answers correctl
then s/he can have a shot at the basket. %f the S gets the ball in the basket then s/he wins 0 points. %f the S
hits the basket without going inside then s/he wins . point. The person who gets the most points is the
winner. This can also be plaed in teams.
Bet you can't: This game can be plaed in millions and millions of different was, and essentiall it9s just
this: go to the to store and bu to mone. (ive each student the same amount of mone at the start.
Have the students bet each other that the can9t do something : like this: make each S stand up and walk
around. Have them sa, #% bet ou can9t 'e.g. count to 0/, run around the room - times, sing the ,27 song.
etc.)#. (et the Ss to bet using the to mone. Aou9d be surprised how much even adult students enjo this
Bingo: 7an be plaed with numbers, letters, pictures or even words. The winner is the first to either get a
line or or full house.
Blind Toss: Have Ss sit down in a circle. Blace a mat on the floor with numbers and a flashcard 'target
vocabular) on each number. Taking turns, each S gets blindfolded and tosses a beanbag so as to hit a
number. S/he must call out that word the same number of times as the number indicates. &or e"ample: C:
dog, then #6og, 6og, 6og, 6og4 and the S gets the e1ual points 'C). ,t the end, the S with the most points
wins4 (ood for memoriDing vocabular since the are repeating words. 'Submitted b Salvador 6omingo).
Blindold !ourse: +ake an obstacle course in our classroom 'use desks, chairs, etc.), put a blindfold on a
S and help guide him/her through the course b giving instructions 'e.g. walk forward 0 steps, turn left, take
on small step, etc.). This is a good pair game.
Blindold Guess: 2lindfold a S and give him/her an object to feel. The S must guess what the object is.
This works well with plastic animals as the are a little challenging to guess '% alwas throw in a dinosaur to
spice things up4).
Blindold "uestions: But Ss in a circle, with one student, blindfolded standing in the middle. Turn the S
around a few times. Tell the S to point at the person in front of him/her and ask a 1uestion 'e.g. #How old are
ou@#, #8hat9s our favorite food@, etc.). ,fter the repl the blindfolded S must guess the name of the S
s/he is talking to.
Board #cramble: T puts the whole alphabet on the blackboard in a scramble of letters here and there, but
low enough that the Ss can reach it. Have two teams and call out a letter. The person that is able to find
and circle it first wins a point for their team. To make things harder have capitol and small letters. 3ven
more challenging: have four teams all looking for the same letter. The kids just love it. Aou can do it with
numbers and also words. 'Submitted b Susie).
Bu$$: , counting game. Have the Ss sit in a circle. The Ss pass the ball around while counting '., 0, E,
etc.). 8hen the number reaches F the S must sa buDD. ,n number with a F in it must be buDD 'F, .F, 0F,
EF, etc.) and an multiple of F must be buDD '.C, 0., 0G, E-, etc.).
!an %ou Actions: Use this game for teaching #7an ou...@# #Aes, % can# #<o, % can9t#. These actions are
fun: wiggle, dance, run 1uickl, hop, skip, do a star jump, do a handstand, touch our toes, cross our ees,
snap our fingers, whistle, sing. 3.g. ,sk a S #7an ou cross our ees@#. %f the S replies #Aes, % can# then
sa #!k, go4# and the S does the action. %f the S sas #<o, % can9t# sa #Too bad. !k, can ou 'wiggle)@#.
!ategory #pin: Sit Ss in a circle. Spin a bottle or an arrow : the S that the arrow points to is first. The S
needs to sa a word from a pre:decided categor. The ne"t S will sa last word plus his own and so on until
it gets to the one who fails. &or e"ample: S.:#Debra#, S0: #Debra cat#, SE: #Debra cat dog#.
!ategory Tag: 7hoose a categor 'e.g. food, weather, transportation, etc.). Ss run around the room and the
T chases them. 8hen the T tags a S s/he must name a word from the categor 'e.g. food: cheese, fish,
bread, etc.). (ive a time limit to answer 'e.g. - seconds). %f the S cannot answer or sas a word that has
alread been used s/he sits out until the ne"t round.
!ategory &riting Game: 6ivide the classroom into two or three groups. 3ach group chooses their
#captain#. The teacher writes on the board a word like #&;U%T# or #7!*!;S# or #,<%+,*S#, etc. 3ach
group has to tell their captain to write down as man words as the can which belong to that categor. The
have . or 0 mins. 3ach group takes . point for each word. 7orrect Spelling is ver important in this
e"ercise4 'submitted b 3ftchia 7haralambous).
!harades: Have a S come to the front of the class and whisper a word or show a &7 to that S. The S the
acts out that word and the first S to guess can be the ne"t plaer. This works ver well with action verbs.
Variation: divide the class up into teams : the first S to guess wins a point for his/her team.
!lothes 'un: Students form teams of E. 3ach team has a bag with some clothes in it. The first team
member puts on the clothes. He/She must sa, #This is m shirt#, #These are m trousers#, #This is m hat#
etc., with each item of clothing. Then when all the clothes are on, the sa, # %9m dressed# and start removing
the clothes, passing them to the ne"t team member, who repeats the process. %f ou have some fanc high:
heeled shoes and sill hats this is a reall fun game4 ?er oung beginner students will normall onl sa,
#shirt#, #hat# etc. but it9s still a worthwhile game for the vocabular. + students loved it4
!olors in the Air: This is good for ver oung ones. (ive each S 0 pieces of different colored paper
'origami paper is ideal for this). T calls a color 'e.g. #2lue#) and the Ss with that color hold it up. 'submitted
b $o ;uoss).
!olor !ircles: , good activit for oung kids. (et some pieces of ,E paper and draw a large circle on each
one. Bin the circles on different walls in the classroom. +odel the activit: Sa #2lue#, take a blue craon,
walk over to one circle and color a small part of the circle. 6o this for each color ou plan to teach. Then,
sa a color '#2lue#) to a S and s/he should pick up the blue craon and go over to the circle ou colored in
blue. *et him/her color it a little and then call him/her back. 7ontinue with other Ss.
!olor Game: This is a good one for teaching the names of colors to oung children. ,rrange various colors
of construction paper in a circle. Bla some music and have the children march around the circle. Stop the
music and all the children must sit down ne"t to a color. Bick a color and sing 'to the tune of #Twinkle Twinkle
*ittle Star#): #8ho9s beside the color 'insert name of color)@ Blease stand up, if it9s ou.# ,t that point, the
child ne"t to the color mentioned stands up. 7ontinue until all of the children get a turn. 'submitted b $osie
!ount(o: This game re1uires at least ./ kids or more. The stand in a circle or in lines. (esture to one
child and he or she sas #..# Then move down the lines or a round the circle counting up to 0/. ,fter 0/
restart at .. &or a higher level, choose kids at random. %f the9re too slow or get the wrong number, the9re
out. +akes a great elimination game. 'submitted b +ichael $. *opeD).
!ross the River: Blace flashcards on floor in winding manner. 3ach card represents a stepping stone in the
river, as students must sa word/phrase/1uestion/etc in order to step on it and cross the river4 'submitted b
+ichelle 5).
)ays o the &eek *arch: see +onths +arch.
)irections: 2uild a model of a town, including some streets. Use a radio controlled car 'a to) and give the
controller to Ss. Bractice directions, e.g. drive two blocks and turn right, and so on. 'submitted b &rancisco
)o as + say, not as + do: , 9Simon sas9 game with a difference. &irst practice Simon Sas with the Ss so
that the understand the game and bod parts. % find it works just as well omitting the 9Simon sas9. <ow tell
them to do as ou S,A, not as ou do, and repeat plaing the game : onl this time, when ou sa 9touch
our knees9 etc, touch our ears instead, or an other part of our bod. This is a good wa to see who is
listening to ou correctl and who is just coping our movements. Ss find this game much more fun than the
original. 'submitted b *isa 7oleman).
)og - !at !hase: Have Ss sit in a circle. T walks around the outside of the circle patting the Ss on the
head saing #dog# each time. Suddenl, T sas #cat# as s/he touches a S9s head and then that S must chase
the T around the circle. The T must tr to sit in the S9s spot before being tagged b the chasing S. %f the T is
tagged s/he must touch the heads again. %f T makes it back without being touched then the chasing S walks
around the circle touching heads. This can be done with an variation of words.
)ra. and Roll: Split class into 0 teams. T sas 6raw a HHHHHH and Ss should draw that vocabular word. %f
the drawing is correct then the student rolls a dice for points. This game can be plaed 0 was: The fastest
person to draw the picture rolls the dice. !r the other wa is too allow an student to roll the dice as long as
the picture is recogniDable and correct. % made m dice out of a bo" from the .// Aen store. 'Submitted b
Tania 2ibbo).
/0ercises: This one is great for over e"cited Ss who need to burn off a bit of energ. %t9s also good for
classroom commands and numbers. Stand the students in a line and call out instructions: #$ump ./ times#,
#Turn around C times# etc. !ther good ones to use are: run 'on the spot), hop, hands up I down, touch our
'bod part), stand up I sit down and star jump.
/0plosion: (ive the students a topic and an object to pass around. 3ach student has to sa a word in that
topic 'e.g. food : apple, cake etc.) before the time runs out. %f the time limit ends the student left holding the
object loses. 'submitted b 2en).
'ish: 2efore this game ou need to have the students in pairs draw and cut out a picture of a fish for each
pair. 8hile the are doing that put 0 parallel lines of tape on the floor a few meters apart. Have Ss pla in
twos : each student behind a different line. T asks S. a 1uestion. %f the S answers it correctl s/he can blow
once to propel the fish forward. <e"t, T asks S0. The S who blows the fish over the tapped line is the
'ly s.atter game: 6ivide the students into 0 teams. (ive the first in each team a fl swatter. 8rite the same
arra of answers on the board for each side. ,sk student , a 1uestion 'a letter, blend, word, math problem,
number, definition, etc.). The first one to slap the write answer on the board wins a point. The get three
1uestions and then the pass it to the ne"t one. 8hen the first plaer gets back to the front. 7hange the
answers and do it again4 'Submitted b Tamm 3dwards).
'ollo. the leader: Ss line up behind the T and follows him/her around the classroom. The T does an action
and shouts out the word for that action. The Ss cop the action and repeat the word. (ood actions include:
wave, hello, goodbe, it9s cold/hot, stop, go, run, hop, skip, crawl, walk backwards, jump, sit down, stand up.
Give *e Game: Aou can use with objects or flashcards. This works well with plastic fruit: (ather and elicit
the different kinds of plastic fruit ou have. Then throw all the fruit around the classroom 'it9s fun just to throw
the whole lot in the air and watch the chaos of the Ss scrabbling to pick them up). !nce the Ss have
collected the fruit 'the9ll probabl do their best to hide it in their pockets, etc.) T sas #(ive me an apple#.
The S with the apple should approach the T and hand him/her the fruit #Here ou are#. ,void having the fruit
thrown back to ou as the can go anwhere and takes a long time to finish this game.
1angman: The old favorite. ?er good for reviewing vocab from past lessons.
+ spy: T sas #% sp with m little ee something that begins with 2#. Ss tr to guess the object 'e.g. #book#).
7olors are a good alternative for ounger Ss '#... m little ee something that is red#).
2uice: 2ring a small bottle of juice 'e.g. orange juice) to class. ,t some point during the lesson take out the
bottle and have a sip. This almost certainl will cause a mini:riot of kids asking for some. Here9s an ideal
opportunit to teach #7an % have some juice, please@#. Sa this sentence to the first S and get him/her to
repeat it : onl give him/her some if the sentence is said correctl. 2rink juice along ever week, and before
long our Ss will be re1uesting a drink in prefect 3nglish4 '%f ou don9t want our Ss to be drinking out of the
same bottle as ou bring along a few plastic cups).
3nock(3nock: This can be used at the beginning of each class. Teach the Ss to knock on the door before
entering the classroom. There are 0 variations for the ne"t step: .. 8hen the S knocks, T sas #8ho9s
there@#. The S replies #%t9s '5oji)# and then the T sas #7ome in '5oji)#. 0. 8hen the S knocks the T must
guess who it is #%s that '5oji)@#. The S replies es or no : if no, the T continues guessing. Having our Ss
develop their own knocking stles makes this even more fun.
4abel +t: This works well with newcomers of all ages who need an introduction to basic vocabular. ,s long
as the learners are able to identif beginning letter sounds, the should be able to do this activit. To
familiariDe m students with names of objects found in the classroom, % label everthing with an inde" card
that has the item9s name on it. Then % have them repeat what % read as the point to the item. The ne"t da, %
remove the cards and go through them one at a time and we place them on the correct item together. The
third da, % let them label whatever the can on their own. % continue this for a few das. 8hen the are able
to independentl label most of the items, % surprise them b having them labeled incorrectl. Then the have
to straighten out the mess. Aou can adapt this to an noun:based vocabular list 'e.g. tpes of foods, bod
parts, parts of a room in a house, animals, etc.) that ou can post pictures of. Aour website has amaDing
flashcards and pictures that can be printed out and used for this. 'submitted b 5++B).
4ast 4etter, 'irst 4etter: ', popular $apanese game called Shiri Tori). Have the Ss sit in a circle with ou. T
starts b saing a word, then the S to the T9s right must make a word that starts with the last letter of the
word that the T said 'e.g. bus ::: steak ::: key ::: yello. ::: etc.). 7ontinue around the circle until someone
makes a mistake.
4ine True or 'alse: But a line of tape on the floor and designate one side #True# and the other #&alse#. Hold
up an object or flashcard and sa its word. %f Ss think the ou have said the correct word the jump on the
True side, if not the jump on the &alse side. %ncorrect Ss sit out until the ne"t game.
*achine: This is good for practicing emotions and sounds. Bick one S to start. (ive that S an emotion or a
feeling to act. The must do an action and make a noise. !ne at a time Ss can add to it and ou essentiall
create a #machine#. This is a reall fun game4 'Submitted b <. 2udo)
*ake &ords Game: 8rite a few random letters on the board. Have the Ss work in pairs/small groups to
make up as man words from the letters as possible 'e.g. letters: g, h, a, t, p, e, c. Bossible words: cat, peg,
tea, hat, get, etc.). The team with the most words is the winner.
*onths *arch: &or some reason m kids *!?3 this game and re1uest it ever week4 Aou9ll need a fairl
long classroom with space for everone to march up and down. T stands at one end of the room against the
left wall. *ine the Ss up along side T and T sas #(o4#. ,s ou all march together, T starts calling out the
months in order '#$anuar#, # &ebruar#, etc.). Ss repeat each month 'T:#$anuar# Ss:#$anuar#). +arch
along at a slow pace, but smartl 'backs straight, arms swinging). ,t certain points T suddenl shouts
#Stop4#. 3verone must stop and be 3J,7T*A in line with the T. %f someone is out of line order them back in
line and then continue marching where ou left off. Turn around each time ou reach the end of the room
and continue the march. !nce finished start again, but this time walk briskl. Aou can do it the final time
running4 This is even more fun when there are tables, etc, in the room that the Ss need to climb over/under.
,fter a few lessons ou shouldn9t have to chorus the words : just get the students to chant together as the
5ame Game: (ood for a first class. Sit the Ss in a circle. Boint to ourself and sa our name #%9m $ason#.
Then Ss sa their names around the circle.
5ame *emori$ing Game: Have children sit in a circle. Start b saing #m name is..# and then answer a
1uestion about ourself. &or e"ample #+ name is $o and % like the color Burple.# The ne"t person sas #This
is $o and he likes the color purple and m name is ;ose and % am G ears old.# The ne"t person sas #That
is $o he likes Burple, this is ;ose and she is G and % am $erem and % like the color blue.# %t9s a chain and the
kids have to repeat what the last people have said about themselves. %t9s reall hard to be the last person in
the circle4 'Submitted b 6anielle)
5umber !odes: 7ut out some s1uares and write numbers from /:K on them. But the numbers in a bo" and
then instruct the students to place the numbers in a line as ou call them out. This also works well for phone
5umber Group Game: Bla some music and have our Ss walk around the classroom. Stop the music
suddenl and call out a number 'up to the number of Ss in our class). The Ss must 1uickl get together in a
group of that number. ,n Ss who didn9t make it sit out until the ne"t round.
6dd(6ne(6ut: 8rite E or four words on the board. Ss must circle the odd:one:out 'e.g. cat : horse : cake :
Pass: Sit the Ss with ou in a circle. T holds up an object or flashcard and sas its name 'e.g. #Ben#). T
passes it on to the ne"t S who also sas its name and passes it on to the ne"t S. Variations: change
directions, speed rounds, have man objects going round at the same time.
Pictionary: (ood for reviewing vocab. Bick a S and show him/her a picture or whisper a word into his/her
ear. The S draws the picture on the board and the first S to guess the picture gets to draw the ne"t picture.
This can also be plaed in teams with a point sstem.
Picture 'un: Have students cut out a picture of a person in a magaDine. Students should describe the
person, how old the are, what their job is, what their hobbies are, etc. and then present that person to the
class. This is good for practicing adjectives. 'Submitted b 5ell).
Preposition Treasure 1unt: &or prepositions of location and es/no 1uestion practice. Aou need something
stick, like 92lue Tack9 'used for sticking posters to the wall) that ou can roll into a ball and stick on anthing.
+odel first: give the 2lue Tack to a S and indicate that the should put it in a difficult:to:find place. *eave the
room and give them a few moments to hide the 2lue Tack 'e.g. on the underside of a desk, on the wall
behind a curtain, etc.). Then come back in and ask es/no 1uestions to locate it '%s it on the desk@, %s it near
the desk@ %s it in the front half of the classroom@ %s it under the chair@ etc.). 8hen ou finall find it have a
S take the 1uestioner9s role. %n a large class tr having Ss pla in pairs.
Puppet !onversation: Hand puppets reall liven up a classroom, especiall for oung learners who are sh
when talking to the T. Aou9ll probabl find that some Ss prefer talking to the puppet than to ou4 &un puppet
characters 'such as Sesame Street9s 7ookie +onster) that talk to Ss can produce une"pected results. %
alwas use 7ookie +onster at the beginning of m oung classes. Here9s what % do: .. 7ookie +onster is
sleeping in a bag. 3ach S has to shout #8ake up 7ookie +onster4# into the bag. 7ookie +onster onl
wakes up when the whole class shout together into the bag. 0. 7ookie +onster sas hello to each S and
asks them 1uestions 'their names, how the are, how old the are, etc.). Ss repl and asks 7ookie +onster
the same 1uestions. E. Ss and 7ookie +onster sing the 9Hello Song9 together. C. 7ookie +onster sas
goodbe to each S individuall and then goes back to sleep in the bag. The actual lesson can now start.
"uestion !hain: Have the Ss sit in a circle. T asks the S ne"t to him/her a 1uestion 'e.g. #8hat9s our
name@# #6o ou like chocolate cake@# etc.) and the S has to answer the 1uestion and then ask the S ne"t to
him/her the same 1uestion. 7ontinue around the circle and then start a new 1uestion. %t helps to use a ball
to pass around as the 1uestions are being asked and answered.
"uestion Ball: Have the Ss sit in a circle. Throw/;oll a ball to one S and ask a 1uestion. The ne"t step has
0 variations. Variation 1: S. throws the ball back to the T and the T throws to another S asking a different
1uestion. Variation 2: S. throws the ball to a different S and asks that S the same 1uestion.
Rope 2ump: ou need a rope for this one4 Have Ss stand behind each other in a line. Hold a rope 'have a
S hold the other end) at a height that the Ss should be able to jump over. !n the other side of the rope
spread out some objects or flashcards and a bo". 7all out the name of one of the objects/flashcards to the
first S. S/he has to jump over the rope, pick up the correct object and put it in the bo". &or other rounds ou
can hold the rope down low, so Ss have to crawl/roll under.
Rhythmic Reading: This activit is fast:paced and livel, and improves their word recognition, speed, and
confidence in reading. 7hoose a reading passage 'one page if using a basic te"t, mabe one paragraph if
using a more advanced one). Start a rhthm 'clapping or tapping on our desk). 7hoose one student to start.
3ach student must read one sentence 'or word, if ou want), e"actl on the beat and pronounced correctl.
%mmediatel after the first student finishes, the ne"t one starts with the ne"t sentence, and so on. %f someone
misses a beat or stumbles over words, the lose a 9life9 or the are 9out9. %f ou use the 9out9 method, it isn9t so
bad, because the 9out9 students help to keep the beat and follow along. %n m e"perience, all students,
whether 9out9 or not, have focused intentl on the reading : waiting like hawks to hear someone9s mistake. !f
course ou can var the tempo, making it much easier or much harder. This can also be plaed as a team
game 'which team can make it to the end of the passage, on beat, with no stumbles or mispronunciations@).
(ood luck4 'Submitted b +elanie +itchell).
#ecret #: Students form 0 different groups in the class, each group prepares E 1uestions to ask. !ther
group members tr to give answers to these 1uestions without saing the letter 9S9. The group which does
not sa this letter wins the game. 'Submitted b (amDe ALldLD).
#hirt Game: 6ivide the children into two teams and give a man9s shirt to each team. 2e sure each shirt has
the same amount of buttons down the front. ,t the signal, the first person on each team puts on the shirt and
buttons all of the buttons down the front. The one who is buttoned:up first gets to answer the 1uestion ou
ask. !f course a 1uestion e1uals points. %f the answer is incorrect, the person from the other team gets a
chance to answer.
#hopping: This can be used with a wide range of objects 'plastic fruit works ver well). (ather all the Ss
and show them all the objects ou have. ,sk a S #8hat do ou want@# 'or mabe #8hat would ou like@# to
higher levels). The S should repl 'e.g. #,n apple, please#). T then sas #Here ou are# and the S finishes
with #Thank ou#. ,t the end collect the objects b plaing the 9(ive +e9 game.
#hopping Game: This is an oral communication activit appropriate for 3&* learners in elementar/primar
school 'optimal for grades E:M). This game is designed for practicing #shopping# dialogue and vocabular.
+aterials: #produce# and pla mone. !bject of game: To accumulate as man products as possible.
Students are divided into clerks and shoppers. 7lerks set up #stands# to allow eas access for all shoppers
'e.g. around the outsides of the room with their backs to the wall). Shoppers are given a set amount of
moneN 'e.g. dollars, euros, pounds, etc.) and begin at a stand where there is an open space. Students
shop, tring to accumulate as man items as possible 'each item is . unit of currenc). Beriodicall, the
instructor will sa #stop# 'a bell or other device ma be needed to attract attention in some cultural and
classroom conte"ts) and call out a name of one of the products. Students with that product must then put
,** their products in a basket at the front of the room. The remaining students continue shopping. Students
who had to dump their products must begin again from scratch 'with fewer units of currenc). The student
with the most products at the end wins. Students then switch roles.
N%t is recommended giving students as much mone as possible since students who run out can no longer
,lternative pla for more advanced students: 7lerks set the price of items. Shoppers have the option of
negotiating the price. There are two winners in this version: The shopper who accumulates the most products
and the clerk who makes the most mone.
#ilent Ball: %f the Ss are being loud and off task pla this game with them. %t reall works and the love to
pla it. Have all the Ss stand up and give one student a ball 'make sure it is soft). Have the students toss the
ball to each other without saing a word. ,n student who drops the ball or talks must sit down. 'Submitted
b Samantha +archessault)
#imon #ays: , good review for bod parts '#Simon sas touch our knees#). Aou could change Simon to
our name to avoid confusion. 8hen T sas a sentence without the word #Simon# 'e.g. #Touch our knees#)
then Ss shouldn9t follow that instruction. %f a S makes a mistake s/he has to sit out until the ne"t round.
#lam: Sit the Ss in a circle and place some objects or flashcards in the middle of the circle. Tell Ss to put
their hands on their heads. T shouts out the word of one of the objects and the Ss race to touch it. The S
who touches it first get to keep the object. The S who has the most objects at the end of the game is the
#mells Game: Breparation: Take eight small, empt jarsO opa1ue jars work best 'e.g., plastic vitamin
containers). But good:smelling things 'e.g., shampoo, srup) in four of the jars and bad:smelling things 'e.g.,
vinegar, strong dried herbs) in the other four. !nl a small amount is needed. Blace all the jars in a big paper
bag. 3"ecution: 8rite #%t smells good# and #%t smells bad# on the board. Aou can also draw a happ face and
a disgusted face to clarif things. Teach the phrases. 3ach S then comes up to teacher, one at a time. S is
then blindfolded and ou hold an open jar under his/her nose. S must sa whether it smells good or bad.
(reat fun4 'Submitted b +a" 2ecker:Bos).
#no.balls: The T or the Ss draw on the board items related to the Target *esson 'fruits, animals, veggies,
etc.) +ake two teams. !ne S from each team gets a wet tissue '#Snow ball#) and stands up. The rest of the
class picks a card which can not be seen b the two Ss standing, who will throw their #snow ball# as the
hear the other Ss call an item out 'eg: #,pple4#). The team whose participant hits closer to the item called
out, gets a point. 'Submitted b Salvador)
#pelling Bee: Have all our Ss stand at the front of the class. (ive S. a word to spell. The S orall spells
the word and the T writes it on the board as it is being spelt. %f the spelling is wrong the S is knocked out of
the game. The last S standing is the winner. This also works well as a team game.
#pin the Bottle: Sit Ss in a circle with a bottle in the middle. T Spins the bottle. 8hen it stops spinning the
S it is pointing to has to answer a 1uestion. %f the answer is correct then that S can spin the bottle. This is a
good class warm up activit.
#7uee$e: 6ivide the Ss into two teams with their desks facing each other. The Ss closest to the teacher
must keep their ees open, the other Ss close their ees. The Ss on each team must all hold hands e"cept
for the two on the ends. The two farthest awa from the teacher will be reaching for a small object, like a
koosh ball or bean bag. The teacher flips a coin for the Ss whose ees are open. 8hen it lands on heads the
Ss must s1ueeDe the hand of the ne"t person, and then the ne"t person and so on. 8hen it reaches the
student on the end s/he must 1uickl reach for the object. The team who picks up the object first wins a
point. Then the line rotates, the Ss with their ees open move to the ne"t seat. The Ss who reached for the
object come to the front. 'Submitted b *nette $ackson)
#top the Bus: ,ll Ss need pencil and paper to pla this game. The T writes a letter on the board, and
shouts, #Start the bus.# The students then write down as man words beginning with this letter as the can
think of. 8hen one S shouts out, #Stop the bus4# everone has to stop writing. The students all get one point
for each word. The S who has the most words wins an e"tra 0 point. This ma or ma not be the one who
shouted, #Stop the bus.# 'Submitted b 5atie +c,rthur)
#tory Pass: But up a picture or a first sentence as a writing prompt. 6ivide students into small groups and
have them create a stor from that prompt. 3ach student takes a turn writing one sentence to add to the
stor and passes it on to the ne"t student. 5eep it going around in the group until the have finished it 'it ma
be helpful to have a length limit or time limit so the stories don9t get too out of control4). ?ote on the best
stor, based on creativit and flow. 'Submitted b 7hristina 6everall)
There is8there are: To practice there is/there are. (ive our students a list of 1uestions, and have them go
around the school, park in order to answer the 1uestions. =uestions could be:
How man doors are there in the school@
how man teachers are there in the school in this moment@
how man plants are there in the hall@
how man tables are there in the classroom@, etc. 'Submitted b 7laudian Torres)
Time Bomb: ou need a timer 'such as an egg timer) for this e"citing game. Set the timer, ask a 1uestion
and then throw it to a S. S/he must answer and then throw the timer to another S, who in turn answers and
then throws it to another S. The S holding the timer when it goes off loses a life. This can also be done with
categories 'e.g. food, animals, etc.).
Tingo Tango: sit with students in a circle after teaching an topic. (ive a bean bag to one student in the
circle to start passing around when another student 'sitting looking out) begins to chant #tingo, tingo, tingo,
tango#. 8hen s/he sas #tango# the student who ends up with the bean bag must either answer a 1uestion or
ask one about the topic learned. 'Submitted b +aria Bineda)
Tornado: Supplies: flashcards 'pictures or 1uestions on one side, numbers on the other), 9Tornado 7ards9
'flashcards with numbers on one side and a tornado picture on the other). Stick the numbered cards on the
board with either pictures or 1uestions on the back 'depending on the age group) facing the board. ,lso
include M Tornado cards and mi" them in with the picture cards. Students then choose a number card. %f the
answer the 1uestion correctl then their team can draw a line to draw a house. %f the choose a tornado card
then the blow down their opposing teams part drawing of a house. The first team to draw a house wins.
'submitted b Sall *lod).
Train Ride Game: Have Ss form a train 'standing in line holding onto each other). 7hoo choo around the
classroom and call out instructions 'e.g. faster, slower, turn left/right, stop, go).
Touch: Have Ss run around the classroom touching things that T orders them to do 'e.g. #Touch the table#
#Touch a chair# #Touch our bag#). 7olors work well for this, as Ss can touch anthing of that color 'e.g.
#Touch something green#).
Tornado: Supplies: flashcards 'pictures or 1uestions on one side, numbers on the other), 9Tornado 7ards9
'flashcards with numbers on one side and a tornado picture on the other). Stick the numbered cards on the
board with either pictures or 1uestions on the back 'depending on the age group) facing the board. ,lso
include M Tornado cards and mi" them in with the picture cards. Students then choose a number card. %f the
answer the 1uestion correctl then their team can draw a line to draw a house. %f the choose a tornado card
then the blow down their opposing teams part drawing of a house. The first team to draw a house wins.
'submitted b Sall *lod).
Typhoon: Have the students put chairs in a circle, with one less than the number of students. The student
left standing has to ask the others a 1uestion ie 6o ou have glasses@ %f the answer is es, then the
students with glasses have to get up and switch chairs, giving the one standing a chance to sit. %f the answer
is no, the student remains sitting. *ots of fun, and the kids seem to love it and alwas ask for it. 2e careful
that the don9t get too e"cited and knock over an chairs. 'submitted b 5irk 6avies).
9:hm9 Game: !ne student at a time is chosen and given a specific subject 'pickle, grass, football, etc). The
objective is for the student to talk about/describe the subject for as long as possible without pausing or using
fillers such as #uhm#. This is a great game for building speech skills and kids love it4 'Submitted b +aggie)
:nscramble: 8rite a word on the board that has all its letters mi"ed up 'e.g. #lrocsmaos# P #classroom#). Ss
have to unscramble the word. This works well in a team game. Variation: use letter blocks / letter shapes
instead of writing on the board.
;anishing 6bjects Game: place a number of objects in front of the Ss. (ive them a few moments to
memoriDe the objects and then tell them to close their ees. Take awa one of the objects and then tell the
Ss to open their ees again. The first S to guess the missing object can win that object 'for . point) and take
awa an object in the ne"t round.
;ocab Tic Tac Toe: 6raw a basic tic tac toe board on the white board with new vocabular in each block.
3ach word is missing one, two or three letters depending on students level. !ne S from each team is called
up and must fill in the missing letter's) and sa the word aloud. The team with three in a row wins.
'submitted b Shawn).
&ord !hain: have the Ss to sit with T in a circle. T sas a word 'or sentence) and then the ne"t S repeats
that word and adds a new word. S0 then sas the 0 words and adds another. 7ontinue going around the
circle until the list gets too long to remember4
&hat Time +s +t *r< &ol =variation>: This variation is easier to pla in a classroom setting. Have Ss stand
in a circle around +r. 8olf 'either T or S), who is blind:folded and facing one direction. The Ss ask 98hat time
is it +r. 8olf@9. %f +r. 8olf sas 9%t9s C o9clock,9 then the Ss march in a circle C steps. %f +r. 8olf sas, 9%t9s
dinnertime,9 then he or she grabs the S who is in front of them. ,nd that S becomes +r. 8olf. ,s another
variation, and to teach Ss times of meals, M o9clock could be breakfast, .0 o9clock could be lunch and F
o9clock could be dinner. So when +r. 8olf said, 9%t9s .0 o9clock,9 +r. 8olf would eat a S. 'Submitted b
&hisper Game: Sit the Ss in a circle with ou. 8hisper a word or sentence in the ne"t S9s ear 'e.g. #%9m
hungr#). S/he then whispers that in the ne"t S9s ear and so on until the last S. S/he then sas the
word/sentence out loud to see if it9s the same as the original message.
&hiteboard )ra. Relay: +ake 0 teams and line them up as far awa from the board as possible. 7all out
a word to the first members of each team, and the have to run to the board, draw the picture and run back
to his/her ne"t teammate. The process is repeated for each student and the team that finishes first is the
winner. Variation: T whispers the words. The S can onl run back to his/her team when his teammates
guess what the picture is.
&indo. Game: Aou can onl do this if our classroom has a window that ou can stand outside of and look
into the classroom 'don9t tr this on the ./th floor4). +odel first: stand the Ss in front of the window and go
out of the room. 8ave to them through the window and silentl mouth some words 'so it seems like the
can9t hear ou through the glass). *ook at a flashcard and then mouth the word a few times. (o back in and
the S who first tells ou the word ou were saing can have a turn.
&ord Recognition Game: 8rite some words the Ss have learned in previous lessons on some cards
'postcards are ideal). Have all the Ss stand at one end of the room and the T in the middle. Hold up one
card and Ss come forward and whisper the word in the T9s ear. %f correct the can go over to the other side
of the room. Ss can have as man guesses as possible.
%oghurt Pots and ;ocabulary: This is definitel onl for primar school children just learning to speak
Aou need a number of empt, clean and preferabl identical small oghurt containers for this game. <ot more
than E0 pots.
!n the outside of each pot write as man different 3nglish words as ou can using a black permanent
marker felt:pen. 8rite the words legibl but haphaDardl : some the right wa up and others sidewas or
upside:down. Tr and write between ./ and 0/ words on each pot. Then inside the pot on the bottom of it
write a uni1ue serial number starting with .. 2e ver sure ou also make it clear which wa up the number
should be read : for e"ample it is eas to confuse M and K unless ou put a line under them.
2e sure to make a master reference list of which words ou write on which pot numbers, otherwise ou will
not be able to manage this game ver well at all.
8hen ou pla the game, each child will need a single, clean sheet of ,C paper. (et the children to fold and
tightl crease their paper in half across its width, then fold it in half again and then again a third time. 8hen
the paper is opened out flat it will be divided into eight sections from top to bottom. Then have them fold it in
half and crease it lengthwas. This divides the paper into .M sections.
Have them turn the paper around so that it is on the desk in front of them in 9landscape9 mode. ,t the top of
each of the .M sections depicted b the paper folds, have them write the numbers . to .M. +ake sure the
are written 1uite small. Then have them turn over the sheet and write more numbers on the reverse side
from .F up to E0 'or to the highest numbered pot ou have put into the game.
Aour pots +UST be in strict, unbroken numerical order so the our students are not confused.
Then ou distribute the pots at the rate of one per child : or if ou have a larger class, make it one pot
between two children and let each pair of children have onl one sheet of paper. This wa the work as a
team. %f ou want to introduce more pots than there are children 'or teams) then keep the balance 1uantit
on our own desk in their full view.
Their job is to write down all the words off 3,7H pot into the correspondingl numbered sections of their
paper. The words from Bot <o.E are to be written onl in Space <o.E on their paper and so on. %nsist that
the write legibl and neatl : if ou wish, during the folding of their papers, ou might have them rule some
lines along its length.
!nce the children grasp this game : the will be off and awa4 +ake their goal the first child 'or team) to
complete ,** of the pots in the game. Berhaps a small priDe each for the first three@
Blease note though that ou +UST insist that the can have onl !<3 pot on their desk at an time ,<6
that when the finish a pot and want another, the must return the finished pot to ou and get another one
from ou : no direct swapping within the class or there will be fights.
Brimar school children love this game. 2ecause the all read and write at different speeds, and if ou make
a few of the pots ver simple and a few of them ver difficult : some of the pots will then become #collector9s
items# Aour desk will 1uickl become the centre of the universe in our classroom.
+ost children will not cheat in this game but make a point of at least appearing to check the words the top
three children or teams have written, against the master lists that ou should have made. 2e sure the see
ou doing this.
% was ver pleasantl surprised at how successful this game became with m primar school pupils. %t
completel turned them around and even the laDiest and most troublesome among them were transformed.
%f this becomes successful in our classroom then ou could use this game to 9categoriDe9 their vocabular
training b having different 9sets9 of pots with different word lengths or subjects or words beginning with
certain letters or containing certain letters. <ames of towns, countries, rivers, animals etc etc.
%t9s simple, cheap and e"tremel fast:paced. +ost importantl oung children love it4 2e prepared for a ?3;A
nois and active classroom and for children tring to climb all over ou to get at pots the need to complete
their papers. 'Submitted b 6ave)
?oo Game: This is a fun activit for oung learners on the topic of animal noises. ,fter teaching the animals
and their noises sit each S in a different part of the classroom and assign them as different animals 'to make
it clearer ou can give each S a flashcard of the animal the are representinrepresenting). 8alk around the
room and talk to each S, who can onl repl as an animal. 3.g. T: #Hello Aumi#, S.:#+oo4 'cow). T: #8hat9s
our name@# S0: #;oar4# 'lion). T: #How are ou, 5enta@# SE: #2ow:wow4# 'dog).

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