24 excellent esl games for kids


Let’s face it, learning English as a second language might not always make young learners’ and teens’ list of favorite activities. However, incorporating ESL games lượt thích these into your lesson plans can be a great way to lớn help young students đánh giá their knowledge in an interactive, fun, và memorable fashion.

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Get even more ESL game ideas for kids in the saboten.vn Micro-credential course: Games & Activities for the Online Classroom (Young Learners).

ESL/EFL Games for Teaching English khổng lồ Young Children EFL/ESL Games for Teaching English to lớn Teenagers

How vị I make my class interactive?

Making your ESL lessons interactive is important for all levels of learners, but perhaps especially so for younger students và teens. This is because children have shorter attention spans và because teens may lack the natural motivation that older students have for language learning.

Keeping your class interactive ensures that students are engaged in the lesson. Here a few ways lớn achieve this:

Find out what your students are interested in & use it in your class. For example, if you’re teaching teens a lesson, try using one of their favorite pop songs to lớn demonstrate the language point.Use a variety of media, such as podcasts, videos, news articles, & music, lớn keep things interesting and lively.Involve students in the lesson planning. For example, give them two options for activities for the next class & let them vote on which one they want to do. This will make them more invested in the lesson!Incorporate fun ESL games and activities lượt thích the ones we’ll show you in this article!

Check out these 11 fun TEFL speaking activities khổng lồ get your students talking.

What can ESL games do?

Incorporating ESL activities and games into your classroom is a great way to help students learn. Here are a few reasons why using games lớn teach English is a good idea.

ELL activities & games engage students. Because they’re having fun, students will pay attention và participate more. They probably won’t even realize they’re learning!Learning through games helps students retain information. Associating English words or sentence structures with certain activities can help kids và teens recall them better.English games for kids and teens create a lively environment where students are energetic & don’t feel as much pressure as they might during other activities. Focusing on having fun means learners might feel more comfortable speaking in English & making mistakes.Playing ESL games with young learners and teens helps you connect with them. By promoting a fun classroom environment, you will cultivate an authentic relationship with your students and motivate them to lớn learn.


This is another fun game for practicing vocabulary. Brainstorm with your students to come up with a các mục of categories (maybe from new vocabulary you have recently taught), và write each category on a flashcard. Examples could be colors, jobs, or verbs. Choose two students to lớn stand up. Gọi out a category & a letter of the alphabet (for example, “colors” and “b”). The first student to come up with something from within that category that begins with the letter is the winner & remains standing. Chose another student lớn go against the winner, và repeat with a new category và letter.


For this classic trò chơi adapted for young learners, you can either create bingo cards and a gọi sheet or print them out from a website such as this one: https://bingobaker.com/. For your gọi sheet, you can use the usual numbers and letters or get more creative with vocabulary you have recently taught. For very young students, use pictures instead of words.

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Cut up the điện thoại tư vấn sheet & put the squares into a hat. Give each student a bingo card as well as something khổng lồ mark their thẻ with. Allow each student a turn khổng lồ be the “caller.” Have the caller pick one square at a time from the hat & call out what is on the square. The other students listen for what is called & mark the called word or image on their card. The first student to lớn mark their entire bingo card calls out “Bingo!” and is the winner.

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Alphabet Relay

To play this ESL trò chơi for children, divide your students into two groups. Have each group write the letters of the alphabet on pieces of paper you give them to lớn make flashcards. Shuffle each group of flashcards và place them in two piles on one side of the room. Have each group line up on the opposite side of the room. On the word “Go,” the first student in each line has khổng lồ run across the room, find the letter A, & bring it back to their group. The next student finds the letter B, and so on. The first group lớn get khổng lồ Z wins!

English Only!

Turn it into a competition khổng lồ speak only English during the whole period. Keep a tally on the whiteboard for each time a student speaks in their native tongue. This keeps them focusing on English, và fellow students even turn into “English police.” lớn turn it into a reward/consequences trò chơi that everyone can enjoy, have the student with the most tallies bring a treat for the whole class next time. Cookies for everyone!

Read about the most popular & effective ESL teaching methods.

Balloon Sentence Race

This high-energy trò chơi (from the saboten.vn Specialized TEFL/TESOL Certification Course in Teaching Teenagers) incorporates balloon popping and cell phones, so it’s perfect for teens or young adults. It can also be adapted to a variety of language levels và target grammar.

Students play the trò chơi in the following way:

When the teacher says “go,” the students race lớn the board to lớn grab a balloon and bring it back khổng lồ the table.Each student pops his or her balloon lớn access the paper strips inside, which have words on them.Students must race to lớn arrange the words on the pieces of paper into a correctly-formed question (for example, “What’s the longest word in the English language?”).Once they’ve formed the question correctly, students must use their cell phones to lớn look up the answer.The first student lớn tell the teacher the correct answer to lớn the question wins!

Find out how khổng lồ create ESL grammar lesson plans.

Around the World

Have one student stand next lớn a seated student. The standing student must make it around the world (around the class) by correctly answering the question before each of the seated students does. An example of a question might be “What is the correct past tense ending of ?” Change the verb with each turn. If the standing student can answer correctly enough times to lớn make it around the class, they have won! If a standing student is defeated by the seated student, they switch places and it is the new student’s turn lớn try khổng lồ make it around the world.

Hot Potato

Pass a ball or other object around the room và when the music stops, the student with the ball has to answer a question, make a question, or draw a prompt out of a bag — you decide, though it is best khổng lồ stick to lớn one format for the duration of the game!

For example, using the photo above, which represents a Saturday, they could say something like, “She slept in. She woke up & ate breakfast. She watched some TV. Then, she went to the park for a run. Next, she went trang chủ and read while she listened to music. Later, she got a coffee with her friends. Finally, she went trang chủ and slept.” It’s funny lớn see what your students come up with! Whichever student/pair/team is closest to lớn correct wins.

Afterward, have students make an emoji pictorial of their own weekends (or any day in the near past) on their phones. Then, see if the other students can figure out what they did from the emojis.

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If you’re new lớn teaching, you’ll want to get initial training và qualification with a TEFL certificate. You can explore our online TEFL courses lớn get started!

Keeping young students interested and engaged can be a difficult task, but if you do, everyone in the classroom (including the teacher) benefits. These games and activities for teaching English lớn kids và teens can help plan effective lessons for students of all ages và levels!

Looking for ESL games for teaching kids English online? check out our course: Games & Activities for the Online Classroom (Young Learners).