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10 ESL Games for English Learners

Games and fun activities are a vital part of teaching English. Below are some ESL games that you can play with your child at home.

Simon Says
This is an excellent game for young learners. Whether you’re waking them up on a Monday morning or sending them home on a Friday afternoon, this one is bound to get them excited and wanting more.

  • Why use it? Listening comprehension; Vocabulary;
  • Who it’s best for: Young learners

How to Play:
Stand in front of the class (you are Simon for the duration of this game).
Do an action and say Simon Says [action]. The students must copy what you do.

Repeat this process choosing different actions – you can be as silly as you like and the sillier you are the more the children will love you for it.

Then do an action but this time say only the action and omit ‘Simon Says’. Whoever does the action this time is out and must sit down.

Word Jumble Race
This game works wonders with all age groups. It is perfect for practicing tenses, word order, reading & writing skills and grammar.

  • Why use it? Grammar; Word Order; Spelling; Writing Skills
  • Who it’s best for: Adaptable to all levels/ages

How to play:

Write out a number of sentences, using different colors for each sentence

Cut up the sentences so you have a handful of words.
Put each sentence into hats, cups or any objects you can find, keeping each separate.

Take turns with your child to put the sentences in the correct order.


  • Why use it? Warming up / winding down class
  • Who it’s best for: Young learners

How to play:

Think of a word and write the number of letters on the board using dashes to show many letters there are.
Ask your child 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 your child guesses the word correctly


This is another game that works well with any age group; children love it because they can get creative

Pictionary can help students practice their vocabulary and it tests to see if they’re remembering the words you’ve been teaching.

  • Why use it? Vocabulary
  • Who it’s best for: All ages; best with young learners

How to play:

  • prepare a bunch of words and put them in a bag.
  • ask your child to choose a word from the bag and draw the word as a picture on the board.
  • try to guess the word

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