Are you planning on volunteering with children abroad soon? Need some help making your English teaching lessons fun and playful? No worries, we’ve got you covered.
Below you will find a list of our top 5 games which all kids like. All these games are tested by our volunteers in the past couple of years and we can promise you they are all a big hit! Doesn’t matter if you’re teaching monks in Nepal, kids in Sri Lanka or disabled children in India, everyone loves these games!
Slapboard or Slap the board is an energetic vocabulary activity which involves kids running to and hitting the board. It’s a great way to test the children on their vocabulary knowledge. All you need is a board and a marker. Write the words in random order on the board, some low, some high and divide the class into two teams. Put the two teams in the back of the room and let them form two rows. Shout the first word, the first child of each row/team needs to run to the board and slap the word on the board, the team that does this the fastest will get a point. After this, the child goes to the back of the row and of the representative of the team changes to the next child in line and the game goes on.
You can do this with pictures too, so you put the pictures on the board and call out the English word and the kids slap the picture.
You can also get the children to call out the words so they’re getting practice speaking too. You can also do a variation with an empty board and you give each team a marker, when you shout the word, they have to write it on the board, and the team who finishes the word the fastest gets a point. The possibilities are endless with this game!
This is a classic! This game is best used for 5 minutes at the start to warm the class up or 5 minutes at the end if you’ve got some time left over. It works no matter how many children are in the class. In case you’ve never played, here’s a quick rundown.
Think of a word and write the number of letters on the board using dashes to show many letters there are.
Ask the children to suggest a letter. If it appears in the word, write it in all of the correct spaces. If the letter does not appear in the word, write it off to the side and begin drawing the image of a hanging man.
Continue until the children guess the word correctly (they win) or you complete the diagram (you win).
Another classic! Who hasn’t played this growing up as a kid? All you need are some chairs or if you don’t have chairs just put some paper on the ground to use as the spots where the kids can sit or stand on (use as many chairs/spots as there are children at the start). Get your phone out and get the music playing, the kids have to dance and run around until the music stops. As soon as the music stops, they have to find a spot to sit or stand on. At first, this will be easy but after each time you pause the music, remove a chair/spot and make the children dance around again. Each time one child will not get a spot to sit/stand on and they lose and they have to go to the front of the room, and they can help you pause the music. After a while, you will only have one child left who gets the final spot and she/he will be the winner of musical chairs!
This one probably doesn’t need a lot of explanation. You will need a whiteboard, marker, pieces of paper to write words/subjects on and a bowl to put the pieces of paper in. This is a great game to do at the end of the day/week to test and see if the children remember what the word means. Divide the children into two groups. One student from each group is chosen to start and they pick a piece of paper out of the bowl, within a given time (30 seconds – 2 minutes). The rest of the group must then guess what he/she is drawing. The first group to correctly guess the word wins and gets a point. The game repeats until every student has had a turn/there are no more words in the bowl. It’s as simple as that, but an all-time favourite!
This game is a fun way to revise themes/subjects in an interactive way. All you need is a small object or toy which is easy to pass around.
Divide your class into small groups and hand out an object/soft toy (like a ball or a teddy bear) to each group. If you have a small class, you can also do it in one large group. The child with the object in each group will start. You name a title or theme, e.g. countries, and it is then a race against time for the child to give 5 (or any other amount you want) correct responses, e.g. India, Thailand, Morocco, Ghana, Vietnam, before the object/soft toy has been passed round everyone in their group and returned to them. After this the child can pass the object on to another child and the game continues.
PMGY INTERNATIONAL TEAM