The EFL Playhouse: A Resource for ESL/EFL Teachers of Young Learners

Games Ideas for Young Learners

Games and childhood are natural allies. What child doesn't like to have fun? And what adult doesn't look back in fond remembrance on the games of his or her childhood? Just search for people anywhere, and the majority of them will also tell you that they are enjoying those same games from their youth with their children as well. More than just entertaining, however, many traditional children's games are easily adapted for use in the ESL or EFL setting. Listed below are some of my favorites. Look them over....See any you like? Use them! Now, help this list expand by submitting YOUR favorites!

Against the Clock

Alpha Toss

Blind Man's Treasure Hunt

Blind Postman

Close Your Eyes!

Disaster!
I'm Going to the Supermarket...
I Spy
In the City
In the Dark
The Letter Hunt
Occupation, Please!

Photographic Memory

Police Artist
Question Toss

Red Light! Yellow Light! Green Light!

Ring, Ring, Who Has My Ring?

See, Hear, Taste, and Smell
Sentence Scramble

Silly Sentences

Sorry!
Swat It!
Taste Test
Thwibbledy-Thwop
Who Am I?
Yes, No, Maybe So

Printable Games
Alphabet Dominoes Alphabet Dominoes
A letter-initial sound matching game; played like Double Six Dominoes.
Animal Alphabet Animal Alphabet
A letter-initial sound matching game; may be played like Memory.
Around the House Bingo Around the House Bingo
A vocabulary game; reviews rooms in a house and basic home furnishings; coordinates with Let's Go 2.
CVC Match-up CVC Match-up
A beginning reading game; reviews the concept of rhyming words and drills the consonant-vowel-consonant (CVC) word pattern.
One or More? Bingo One or More? Bingo
A beginning grammar game; encourages players to differentiate between singular and plural nouns; may also be used to build auditory discrimination skills.
Rhyming Word Dominoes
A beginning reading game; players match rhyming short vowel words.
Subject-Verb Gramminoes Subject-Verb Gramminoes
An elementary grammar game; students follow basic dominoes rules of play to match sentence halves and create grammatically-correct sentences.
Telling Time Bingo Telling Time Bingo
A beginning listening game; students must recognize times to the hour and the half hour.
Weather Dominoes Weather Dominoes
A beginning vocabulary game; played like Double Six Dominoes.

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