Fun Activities for English Class in Kindergarten

10 Best ESL Games for Kindergarten 

  1. Flashcards

As an ESL teacher, the chances are you’re already pretty familiar with flashcards. They are gold to use with ESL classes of any age. Whether you’re breaking topics down into bite-size pieces or using flashcards as a valuable tool to memorize essential vocabulary, they make such a fun and easy activity.

  1. Fishing for words

Another great vocabulary activity is letting your children fish for words. For this activity, it’s best if you have a specific topic in mind. This activity is perfect if you’re learning a particular vocabulary or want to focus on tricky words appropriate for kindergarten children. It requires a little more preparation than other activities, but the learning potential and fun are well worth it.

Once the fish are all cut out and as colorful as you want, write one word on each fish. This can be anything you think your class needs to practice. Then attach each fish to a paper clip. Now you need to make your fishing ‘rod’ or fish hook. The easiest way to do this is to use a wooden spoon. Tie a piece of string around the spoon and tie a magnet to the other side of the string.

Now you have your fishing game set up. To get started playing, choose a child to go first. They need to take the fishing rod with the magnet attached. When you say one of the words you’ve written down, the child needs to ‘catch’ this word. If they get it right, get them to say it aloud. Or you could even get them to spell it out loud for an extra challenge. If they get it right, they could pass the rod next to the child next to them or choose somebody else from the class to take a turn. If they don’t quite get it right, you can let them have another go.

  1. Hot potato

Start this fun activity by putting some music or a timer on. Start passing around a ball or another object around the room. When the music stops, the person holding the hot potato has to do something. You could get them to say a word they’ve learned that day or say a complete sentence. This is fast-paced and fun for your kindergarten children to do.

This game would be a great time filler if you’ve got a spare five minutes or you need to re-energize your little ones. It is a versatile game that can be used for any topic you like. It combines the fun of pass-the-parcel with some quickfire learning.

  1. The blindfold guessing game

Use a blindfold or something similar, like a scarf, so one of your children can’t see. Line up some mystery objects they will be familiar with, such as toys they play with regularly. Get them to describe how the items feel and to guess what they are.

Children will love this game as it plays with their senses. If they can’t see, they must rely on their sense of touch to determine the item. This gets them to practice their spoken English. They can describe if it is hard or soft if the edges are round, and more. If you use toys they are familiar with, it just adds to the fun.

  1. Charades 

This classic game is a fantastic way for children to practice words they’ve learned. By acting out English words, all the children in your class can join in and shout their guesses. You could mix up this traditional game by picking a specific topic to focus on. Playing something like ‘guess the emotion’ makes children comfortable describing different states, such as sadness or happiness, and what faces they would pull if they felt this way.

  1. I spy

There’s a reason almost everybody has played I spy before. It is such a fun activity, and it’s so easy to do. You don’t need any equipment; you only need your brain and maybe a whiteboard if you’d get your children to write down what they think you’ve spied on. This gets your class to practice understanding the letters of the alphabet. If you’ve spied something beginning with ‘a’, they need to look around the room and identify all the things that start with a. They then need to ask you some questions about it.

This helps your little ones use questions correctly and understand the different features of objects in English. When they want to ask a question or they have guessed what it is, get them to raise their hand or write it on a whiteboard for a quieter game. This is a better variant if you want your children to improve their spelling rather than their spoken language. But you could always get them to read it aloud from their whiteboard if you’re going to practice both skills. Check out this precious resource to make your prep even more accessible.

  1. Alien invasion

We all know what powerful imagination kids can have- so pretending that one of their classmates is an alien should be no problem! Ask one of your learners to volunteer to play the part of an alien from outer space (feel free to let them make up their backstory and get as creative with it as they like). Then choose a topic that you’ve been studying. Explain to the rest of your class that this alien has no idea about this topic, and it’s their job to explain it to them the best they can. Ask learners to take turns explaining something to the alien about that topic. Then ask your ‘alien’ at the end to give marks out of ten for how well they think their classmates did at explaining it. Set a classroom goal and challenge your children to reach a specific score.

  1. Scavenger hunt

Everyone loves a good scavenger hunt. Pull together a list of items- these could be specific classroom objects like a ruler, pencil, or something fun like a toy dog. Hide these items around your classroom, playground, or whatever space you offer. Put all these things together in a list to give to each learner and challenge them to find them.

  1. Time to grow up

Role-play games are great for getting children active in their learning, taking on different parts and personas. Children can let their imaginations run wild, all while developing new language skills and vocabulary. Choose a topic or scenario and task children with creating a scene that matches. This could be an unhappy customer in a supermarket because he can’t find any apples or a doctor trying to get to the bottom of a patient’s strange symptoms. Let your children create their scripts and perform them in front of the class.

  1. Shiritori

This is a simple but fun Japanese word game. Get your children to sit in a circle and pick a word to start with, like ‘apple.’ Then the next person has to pick a word that begins with the last letter, like ‘elephant,’ which could then be followed by ‘table,’ and so on. Give children time to think of a word; if they can’t, they’re out.

Using fun activities in your English class for kindergarten is so important to keep children engaged and willing to learn. We hope you like our ideas for the best ESL games for Kindergarten and find something new and engaging to do with your little ones. Let us know in the comments if you have any fantastic ideas for teaching young children how to speak English.

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