This is a game that the children absolutely love. Using actions like run, jump, clap, run etc. the children race from one point to another. Have the children split into two teams and sitting in two rows on the floor with a chair in front of the first person in line. One student from each team stands up beside his/her chair and when you yell out an action, e.g. “jump!” the children must then jump all the way to the other side of the room and back to their chair. When the children come back and sat they must say “I can jump!” First student to get to their chair wins a point for their team. I like to give an extra point if they say the sentence properly too, that way you can even out the points, and everybody wins, this is especially important to the younger kids.
First, have your students make paper airplanes. Stand the students in a line, side by side and let them test fly their planes. For the competition assign different classroom objects for the children to hit with their planes. I use this game also when learning the body parts and various other themes, have the students try and hit the specific part you tell them to. You can also ask a question first and only if they answer correctly are they given the chance to fly their plane. All these work well in teams, and my kids love it.
All Aboard The Colour (Color) Train:
This game is best for the really young kids. Make different coloured train tickets and laminate them. Hand out the colours to the children and loudly say “All aboard the colour train!” Randomly pick a colour. The children must give you that coloured ticket to board the train. Have the children join face to back each with their hands on the shoulders of the children ahead of them. Move around the room making train noises, to music is best.
(This game is great if you have the book ‘Inside the Barn in the Country’ Cut out farm animals and laminate them. Make some headbands and put Velcro on the backs of the cut out animals as well as on the fronts of the headbands. Take the same animal images used for the headbands and make large versions of them, laminate them and put them on the board. Give each student a headband and an animal. (If you have a copy of the book “Inside the Barn in the Country,’ read it to them, but any animal story will work, whether it be ‘Old MacDonald’ or ‘Goodnight Gorilla’) Have the children sit in a row facing the front of the class. Go through the animals on the board, reminding the children what noise each animal makes. Now start the game. Each time you point to an animal, have the child with that animal on their headband stand up and make that noise. The first time it is best to go slowly, but the fun of the game is to go faster and faster. As you go through the list the children get better and better, so then you can ix up the order of the animals so they don’t know which to expect. The faster you go and the more you mix it up, the more mixed up the children become, and the funnier it is for both you and the children.
You will need a bigger space for this game. Have your children sit in a row facing the front of the room. At the front of the class, place two chairs side by side about a meter apart. These chairs should be on one side of the front and have the same on the left side so that there is lots of room between them. Pick two children and have them sit on the chairs. The goal of this game is not about who the fastest animal is, but who the best animal imitator is. Tell them to “slither like a snake, hop like a rabbit, swim like a shark etc…” Be sure to yell “One, Two Threeeeeeee…. Go!” The children will leap from their chairs and race across to the chairs on the other side. Have the rest of the class judge who the best animal was and write their name on the board. At the end of the round have the best animals race each other. This game also is also great when learning about transportation e.g. “fly liker an airplane, etc…”
Alphabet Ball Pass: Have you children sit in a circle. Pass a balloon or a ball around the circle. Have each child recite the letters of the alphabet one by one. Once the letters have all been said try and have the children each recite the letters, but not only their letter but all the letters previously said. Various Noun Ball Pass: This game is played the same way, but instead of letters, use the words; it is a great way to review. You can use the days of the week, the months of the year etc…
Ball Passing (Buzz):
This is a counting game. Have the students sit in a circle. The students pass around a ball while counting (1, 2, 3, etc…) When the number reaches 7 (or any random number) the student must say “buzz.” You can play this game in which any number with the number (let’s say 7) must be replaced with “buzz” (7, 17, 27, 37, etc…) the other way to play is that with any multiple of the number (let’s say 7) must be replaced with “buzz” (like 14, 21, 28, etc…)
Have the children sit in a circle. While passing the balloon around have the children each say and English word. At first it is best is the children just say any random English word that they know, but after a round or two, assign themes to the game.
Balloon Pass II:
Have the children stand in a circle. Without using their hands, have the children pass around the balloon. If a child happens to use their hands or is unable to keep the balloon afloat, the child must then say an English word. This game is great for reviewing words, themes and so on.
This game works best when played in teams and lets the students take a shot (with a soft toy or ball) at the trashcan or box. This game works best in teams. Ask a student from the first team a question, if he/she answers correctly; he/she gets a shot at the basket. If the student gets the ball in the basket he/she gets 2 points, if not they just get the 1 point from answering the question correctly. The team with the most points wins.
Behind Your back:
Before the game starts, show the class the series of flashcards you intend to use. Give a series of descriptions for each one. (This game can be played in teams or as a whole class depending on the age and so on.) Have one child at a time come up to the front. Using tape, stick the picture on the child’s back. I have the children yell “Turn around!” and then the child turns around so as the class can see the picture on his/her back. Have the children give descriptions as to what is on their back. The child then has to guess what the picture is. (When playing in teams, you can give extra points if it is guessed in less than three guesses. You can also play that if the other team happens to say anything, they lose a point.)
I played this game with the children at Christmas time and called it “Blind Santa.” Have the children sit in a circle with one child in the middle. The child in the middle needs to be blindfolded and as a bell gets passed from student to student the blindfolded child in the middle needs to catch the bell. Depending on the age group, spinning the child around a bit first to disorient them is fun.
Make an obstacle course in your classroom (use desks, chairs, pillows etc…) put a blindfold on a student and have the rest of the class guide him/her by using simple instructions (e.g. walk two steps, turn right etc…)
Blindfold a student and have them guess what they are touching. This works great with little plastic animals and toy fruits. This is a great way to review, stationary, classroom objects etc…
Blindfold Guess Who:
Have the children sit in a circle. Have one child sit in the center, blindfolded. The children then one by one say “Who am I?” and the child in the middle guesses who it is talking. I usually have each child guess from about three different voices.
Body Parts Touching Game:
Have two decks of cards. Each card should have a part of the body on it; the more parts there are the better. Separate the class into two or more teams. One child comes up to the front at a time and picks a card from each pile. The child then must try and touch the body part shown on one card with the one shown on the other. Obviously some of these will be near or completely impossible, but they will also be very amusing. Every success, or near success, wins a point for his/her team. Another simpler way of playing this is to have two children come up and each picks a card. One child then has to touch the part shown on their card with the other child’s part (e.g. nose to knee, mouth to elbow.) Even though this game is very simple, my younger children love it.
This game is not a favorite with my co/workers, but it is definitely a favorite with my students. Have a deck of cards ready with pictures of various parts of the body on them. Have a child come up and chose a card. Have the class tell you what it is a picture of and repeat it several times. Then have the child stand behind the line and throw a very soft toy or ball at that part of your body. I give my students three tries and rarely do they even come close to hitting the right spot. (You can play this game in teams.)
You will need quite a bit of space for this game. Have the children lie on the floor and have them make letters of the alphabet with their bodies.
Bugs Go Marching:
Make some laminated bugs and have them so that you can Velcro or pin them to the children. When I made my bugs, I made them really colourful and silly looking, with stripes and polka dots… the sillier the better. Have the children pick out their bugs one by one and return to their seats. Have the homeroom teacher play the song “The Ants go marching” (or find a recording of it if you can). I always start the marching while singing “The bugs go marching one by one hoorah, hoorah…” While singing I march around the row of students seated in the middle of the room. When the next verse comes, grab a student and link them behind your back while singing the next verse “The bugs go marching two by two….” Every time you begin the next verse, have another student ink on. Encourage the children to yell the “hoorahs” and the numbers, the louder the better. (Another suggestion, I don’t even know the words to the song, and the students don’t care. I fill the words with “bum-pa-da-da-da-da-da-da-da…”) It is the counting and the “hoorahs” that are important.)
For this game you will need to make a series of necklaces, each with an image as a pendant. Only 3,4or 5 images are needed, since there should be many children wearing the same image. Whatever images you choose, you need to have a flashcard of them, along with one depicting all the images you use on one card. On chairs, seat the children in a circle. Play some music and encourage the children to sing along. When the music stops, show one of the flashcards. All the children wearing that image must change seats, if someone ends up in the same seat they are out (for the younger kids, I have them write their names with their bum in the air, they think this is hilarious!) You can show two cards at a time, and all those children have to switch seats, but the funniest is when you show the flashcard with all the images on it, because then they all have to scatter around switching seats, laughing, frantically.
There are so many different versions of charades I play with my kids. It’s a great way to review 9 I like playing charades because it lets my shier kids get a chance at more out going.) I play it with topics such as: employment, emotions, vehicle, animal, insect, sport… the list goes on forever… all you need are some flashcards.
Have all the children sit in a row or in a circle. Show the children a rhythm of clapping, (e.g. clap, knee slap, clap, and clap) and start the round by saying a word (it is best if you use themes: animals, foods etc…). The student next to you then has to, while keeping in the rhythm say a new word (within the same theme). If a child uses a word that as already been said, he/she is out for that round.
This is a great game for really young children. Get some pieces of paper and draw a large circle on the inside of each one. Pin the circles on different walls of the classroom. Model the activity by saying “Blue!” and take a blue crayon and walk over to one of the circles and colour a small part of the circle. Do this for each colour you plan to teach. Each child should have their own circle and their own crayons. When a colour is called out each child should colour that circle a bit.
Colour (Color) Bin:
For this game you need to have 7 or 8 little bins, paper cups, whatever you like that will fit the objects you decide to use. Each bin should represent a different colour, and should have that colour on the front of it. Have many different objects or pompom balls, several for each colour. Place all the objects on a table in front of the bins and ask the children in which bin each object belongs. I let the children put the objects in the bin themselves and loudly we all say what colour that is. I also like to say “what colour is it?” and say the wrong colour, and try to place it in the wrong bin, this really gets a rise out of the children and keeps their attention.
Cross the River:
Place flashcards on the floor in a winding manner. Each card represents a stepping-stone in a river. As the students go across the river, they must say the name of the picture they are stepping on. You can play this game where you have two students racing across at the same time, each from opposite ends, or one at a time in teams. This is a great game for reviewing.
Stand in front of the class and demonstrate different movements, have the students copy you. After you have acted out a few different actions such as shaking your hands around or flapping your arms… invite a child to be the leader. One by one have the children come up, each moving in different ways and getting the children to copy them.
Draw a square grid on the board. Write a series of numbers or letters in the squares of the grid. Blindfold a child and have him come up and draw a circle around the correct number or letter according to the directions given by the rest of the class. This game is great for learning up, down, left, right.
This game is great for reviewing vocabulary skills. Have two squares drawn on the board. Have the students write their names above the squares. The teacher then calls out a word and the students draw it (it could be simple nouns e.g. “dog, ball, train…” or verbs e.g. “running, flying a kite, swimming…” or adjectives e.g. “a big elephant, a small mouse, a pretty girl…”) this game can be played in teams, the correct drawing wins.
Fetch and Say:
Make two teams and have them sit at opposite ends of the classroom. Have two tables, each with a basket. In the basket have flashcards of different objects on them. Choose two children, have them stand at the tables each with their basket and call out an object. The child must find the object and run over to the board and stick it on. When they stick the picture on the board they must yell “It’s a …” I give each team a point for saying the word correctly as well as a point to the first student to stick the picture on the board, this way you can even out the points and there are no sorry losers.
Have a pre made face on a piece of paper, one for each child. Have a deck of cards with different body parts on them and a die. Have the children one by one come up and roll the die, as well as pick a card. Each time a card is chosen and a die rolled, the children must draw that on their monster, (e.g. an eye was picked and a 4 was rolled, the students must draw 4 eyes on their monster.)
Hand out a series of laminated cards to the children. Have the children then group together in pairs according to what card they have each been given. Tell the children all the motorcycles are to come to the front, then all the bused, and cars and so on. Encourage the children to say “We are motorcycles,” and have them act like a motorcycle does.
Ha, Ha, ha:
This is a contagious laughing game. Have the children lay in a zigzag formation. Each child lies with their head on the stomach of the next. The first child yells “ha!” and the next child yells “ha, ha!” and so on. Each child adds a “ha!” and soon everyone is laughing. This game can also be used to review the letters of the alphabet, numbers, whatever you chose to replace the ‘ha’ with.
Hot Potato Animal Charades:
Have a series of animal flashcards ready in an envelope. Have the class sit in a circle on the floor. While playing some music pass around a potato (or a ball, anything will work). When the music stops, in secret, show the child left holding the potato a flashcard of an animal. The child must act out the animal while the rest of the class guesses what the animal is. Encourage the children to get on all fours and make animal noises.
I Am You Are:
Sit the students in a circle or in a row. Start the game by saying” I am … You are…” The students each say “I am…”and then turn to the person next to them and say “you are…” (E.g. I am Eun Jin, you are Jae Won…”)This game can also be played by saying I am he is, or she is, he is etc… the game can be sped up to make it more difficult. As simple as this game sounds, my children actually really enjoy it.
I Like …:
Split the class in to two or more teams. Have 4 piles of flashcards ready on the other side of the room, two for each team. One pile of cards has nouns on them, the other, adjectives (you can have pictures or words, depending on the children’s level, e.g. fat, thin, or colours, yellow, red…) Tell one child from each team to go over on the count of three to run over and get a flashcard from each of their piles (2 cards). The students them must run back to you and tell you what they have in the form of a sentence e.g. if the student picks ‘orange’ and ‘elephant, they would then say: “I like orange elephants.” The first child back should get a point for his/her team, but another point should be given f or the best pronunciation.
Have everyone sit in a circle. This can be played with a ball, rolling it from one person to the next, or simply just by going around in order of how the children are seated. Start the round by stating something that you love (e.g. “I love ice cream”.) the next child then in turn sates what he/she loves and so on. To make the game more interesting, have the children not only say what they themselves like, but what the last child said that he/she liked (e.g. “She likes ice cream, I like hot dogs.”)
Make a series of oversized laminated flashcards. The cards should be large enough to stand on. Give each child a number of cards, depending on the number of students and the size of the classroom. Have the children one by one place a card on the floor and stand on it. The student is only allowed to stand on the card if they know the word for the image they are to stand on. The student to get through their cards first wins. This game can be used to review any words you have been teaching at that period of time.
I Went to a Picnic and I Brought:
This game is great for all ages, and can be played with all different sorts of topics, whatever you happen to be teaching at the time. You start off by saying I went to a picnic and I brought... an apple. The next person then says the same, but adding their own food that they brought. You continue going around the class adding to the list of things you brought to the picnic. I went to a picnic and I brought an apple, a pear, some cola, some pizza, a hamburger etc. If someone stumbles then they are out. It gets really fun when the list becomes long and even the people who are out, enjoy watching the other students struggle with trying to remember what they brought. I also play this game with animals, i went to the zoo and saw: a bear, a zebra, and a giraffe. To make it even more fun, sometimes I have my students act out the sounds and actions of that particular animal. At first they always feel shy, but they do get into it and when we try and get a tempo going, speeding the game up, it really becomes silly.
Cut out and laminate the letters of the alphabet, to make it easier, I coloured all the letters differently. Cut up all the letters into two or more pieces and hand them out to the kids. Call out the letters in alphabetic order and have the kids come up with their pieces and put the letter together. Sometimes having an example of the letter on the board is helpful too.
Letters, What’s Missing?:
This game works well if you have a series of magnetic letters, the kind you see on fridges when you were a kid, but laminated letters will also work. Put the entire alphabet on the board in order and sing the alphabet song, making sure to go slowly over the ‘L, M, N, O, and P…” Have the children hide their eyes or cover the board. Remove a few letters and ask the children to tell you what is missing. Discovering what is missing really takes them a while, singing the song repeatedly, and stopping at the missing letters really help.
Line Up True or False:
Put a line of tape on the floor and designate one side the “true” side and the other to be the “false.” Have all the children stand on the line. Hold up an object or a flashcard and say something about it. The children then have to jump from one side, or the other. You can play this game in teams, count points or have the mistaken students sit out till next game.
This game is good for practicing and learning emotions and sounds. I usually have my students sit in a circle, as long as they are in a row of some sort it will work. Pick one student to start. Give that student an emotion or a sound to act out. The next student then copies that sound or emotion and adds one to it, as does the next. It becomes a chain of sounds or emotions that become really funny and complex. The students usually can’t remember what they have to do, and laugh a lot.
There are so many different matching games I play with my children: Letter Matching Game: (Match the capitol letter to the minuscule letter.) Letter and Word Matching: (Match the first letter of a word to the picture.) Animal and Baby Matching Game: (Match the mother animal to its baby.) Animal Tops and Bottoms Matching Game: (Match the tops and bottoms of animals.) Footprints Matching Game: (Match the footprint of an animal to its owner.) Animal Home Matching Game: (Match where the animal lives, barn, forest, jungle etc…) Employment Matching Game: (Match the job or gear to its employee.) Numbers Matching Game: (Match the written number to the roman number.) The list of possible matching games goes on and on. Whenever the children make a match, I like to clap my hands and we all yell “It’s a match!!” The younger ones especially get really excited.
I use this game all the time, when it comes to reviewing. Have large flash cards with a grid of 9 or more boxes on them. In each box have a picture of something you are reviewing. Ask the children if they are ready, ask them a few times to get them excited, and then quickly sweep the card across the front of the class. I do it very fast to begin with, but then I slow it down after a few. Ask the children what they saw, ask them what colour it was, ask them how many there were.
Mother may I?
Tape rows of lines on the floor. Have the children line up, side by side behind the first line. Ask one student at a time a question (e.g. what does a cow say?) or show them a flashcard and ask them what it is. If the child answers correctly, then he/she can advance to the next line. The first child to reach the finish line wins. For the younger children, I make it so as they all win at the same time, and for the older children, I have 3 or 4 winners. This game is a great fun way to do review.
Cut out and laminate numerous animal shapes, larger enough to stand on. Play some music, and randomly stop. When the music stops have the children find an animal to step on. Go around the class and ask the children what animal they are stepping on and what sound that animal makes. You can play this game in the same way as you do musical chairs and remove one animal each round, eliminating one child per round. I have also played this game where instead of a picture of an animal, I use only the silhouette of the animal; it makes it a bit more challenging for the older kids.
This game is very similar to musical chairs, except everybody wins. Play some music and have the children dance around. When the music stops, the children find one friend to hug (explain the hugs must be gentle, nice hugs). You can make different rules, such as; when the music stops the children must find someone new to hug each time.
Sit the students in a circle. Hold up a flashcard and say what it is loudly (e.g. “pen”…”) Pass it on to the student beside you, who in turn repeats it and passes it on to the next child. To begin with it is best if you keep it slow, but it gets funnier the faster you pass out the cards. To make it even more confusing, try and switch directions you are sending the cards out.
Everybody knows Pictionary, and even though it is an old game, it is also an old favorite. This game is great especially for doing reviews. Pick a student and show him/her a flashcard. The student then must draw the picture on the board and the other children then try and guess what it is he/she is drawing. This game is also great in teams.
Pin the Tail on The Animal:
Have a laminated picture of an animal on the board. The animal should be missing a tail (or a nose, ears, whatever you like.) I use Velcro to stick on the missing body part. One by one have the children try and correctly stick the tail on to the animal; blindfolded and dizzy (I give the children a good couple spins to disorient them first.) This game is good for learning the parts of the human body, face, or just about anything and the children love it.
Separate the class into two or more teams. Put the entire alphabet on the board in a scramble of letters here and there. Have one child from each team come up to the board, when ready yell out a letter. The first person to find and circle the correct letter wins a point for their team. This game also works for numbers, words, or even pictures.
I play this game with my youngest class. They really respond to it even though it is really simple. This game can be used with a wide variety of objects or pictures of objects (plastic fruit and toys work well). One by one, I ask a student “What do you want?” (Or depending on their levels of English “What do you like?” or, “What would you like?”)The students then choose from the objects shown, and should in turn reply (e.g. “I want a banana:”, or “A banana, please”) I then say “Here you are” and hand them the item they have asked for. This game is great for teaching “please” and “thank you” as well as reviewing objects. When all the objects are gone, you can then play the “May I have” or ‘Give me “ game.
This is an old game, but always a good one. I use this game to review body parts (e.g. “Simon says touch your knees”). You can change ‘Simon’ to your name to avoid confusion, or have the children each have a turn at being ‘Simon’ and change it to their names. When you give directions without saying “Simon says” then the children are not to do it, they are only to follow your directions if Simon says to do so. I play this game with objects in the classroom too. (I tell the children to touch he door, to lie on the floor etc…)
You should have these snowballs pre-made before class with wet tissues (if wet tissues are too messy, anything heavy enough to fly that far will work, even paper airplanes). Have a series of flashcards on the board. Split the class into two or more teams. Have one child from each team stand up behind a line. Yell out an object shown on one of the flashcards at the front. Whoever gets closest to hitting the correct object, scores a point for his/her team.
This is an old game, but there are many versions I like to play with my children, and they really love it. The easiest variation of this game is to have all your children sit in a circle and whisper a word to the student sitting next to you, who in turn whispers it to the next child. The last person to receive the message says it out loud and it is usually completely backwards to what it was to begin with. Another version of this game (which I prefer to play, because I teach ESL classes) is to have the class separated into two or more teams. Have the students sit front to back in chairs in 2 rows (everyone should be facing the board at the front, which needs to be a board they can draw on.) Whisper a word, or show the last child in each row a picture and have them in turn whisper it to the person in front of them the last child to receive the message then draws it on the board. The child who draws the correct object on the board wins a point for his/her team. I like to show each team a different picture, so that they aren’t able to copy each other, or cheat by listening in.
There Is/There Are:
To practice ‘there is’ and ‘there are’, give your children a list of questions. For the younger students it is better to keep the questions limited to about the classroom. The older children, if allowed could run around the school, even the school yard to answer the questions you give them. The questions could be: How many windows are there in the classroom (or school)? How many doors are there in the school? How many teachers are there in the school? How many classes are there in the school? How many students are there in the class? How many chairs are there in the classroom?
For this game you need a timer (such as an egg timer or an alarm clock.) Set the timer and pass it to a student, ask him/her a question, once answered, have the child pass the timer to the next student, in turn does the same. The student left holding the timer when it goes off loses a life, or is out for the game (for my younger children, I have them write their names in the air with their bum, which they think is hysterical)
Have a supply of flashcards made (question or picture on one side, numbers or letters on the other), ‘Tornado cards’ (flashcards with numbers or letters on one side and a tornado picture on the other). Split the class into teams of two or more. Have the pile of cards at the front, picture (or question) facing down. Have a student come to the front and choose a card. If the card has a picture or question on the card, the child then tells you what the picture is of, or answers the question. If the child answers correctly, then he/she draws a line to draw a house, if the child picks a tornado card, then they blows down their opposing team’s house. The first team to complete their house wins.
What’s Missing? :
Have a series of flashcards (depicting just about anything you are reviewing) made and stick them on the board. Give the children a few moments to memorize what is on the board, turn the board around or cover it, and remove one of them. Ask the students “what’s missing?” if you are playing in teams you can play that the first student to guess what is missing wins a point for his/her team. There are many different ways I like to display the items, I have used a big fruit bowl and filled it with fruit, or, a closet filled with clothes… the options are unlimite
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