Fun ESL Game
Thank you for subscribing fun ESL games for children, and ideas for
On this page is the game Relay Race.
Here is an easy, fun speaking game, which you can
use with all class sizes, from just a handful of children right up to a
large class. This game also works well with adults.
1. How to Play
2. Language ideas to
use with this game
3. Reading and
4. Tell a Friend!
Group size: From 2 players to large classes
Level: Beginners to intermediate
Age: 4 to 12
Pace: Wake up
This game is to be played once your students are familiar with the
vocabulary and sentences that you wish to work on. This is a
speaking practice game, or a revision game.
It is ideal for drilling in new vocabulary or grammar, in a fun way of
1. HOW TO PLAY
Divide your class into teams. If you have space then line the
teams up in your space. If you have rows of desks then make
each row a team and have the children stand up in between their
desks. If you have children on benches with no room to move,
then make each horizontal row a team.
Give the first child in each row a flashcard with a picture on
it. When you say "go", the first child turns to the next one,
names the item on the card and passes it along the line. Each
child must take the item and pass it to the next child in the row while
naming the item.
The winning team is the one which gets the picture card down the end of
the line first. You can of course play so that the card has
to come back to the front again.
It is a good idea to use referees. A referee is someone
nominated from another team who listens in as the card is passed down
the line and makes sure that the word is said properly, and that
accuracy is not sacrificed for speed.
If you would like this game to be quiet then play as above but make a
rule that only whispering is allowed.
If necessary you can make a rule that anyone not playing properly or
messing around, or being loud, will mean that the card in that team has
to start back at the beginning again, or is confiscated meaning that
the team cannot win a point in that round.
The use of picture cards is good because it adds a fun element to the
game. The children can see the progress of the card
travelling down their own line, and the lines of other teams, so it
adds some excitement.
In addition it allows you to see who should and who shouldn't be
You can have a useful rule where only the players holding the card can
talk - it is a "pass" to be able to speak. In that sense you
don't even have to pass down a relevant picture, but can use anything -
such as a book.
ideas to use with this game
So now I'd like to explore how else we can exploit this basic idea, and
what other language we can use in this game.
You can use it as shown above to drill in and reinforce vocabulary.
However it is also very useful for practising a specific target
structure, such as a tense, or question form.
In fact you can have any language passed down the line, which makes
this an extremely useful game to have up your sleeve.
If you wanted to make the game a little more challenging then
use the game to practise questions and answers. The first
player asks the required question, hands the card over, and the second
player answers the question, and then hands the card to the third
player, who asks the fourth player the question.
3. Reading and spelling
If you use word flashcards instead of pictures the children will see
the spelling of the words frequently. However it is better to
use pictures for memorising.
A spelling variant on this game is to give the first child a sheet of
paper with several words on it. This child is not allowed to
show the paper to the second player but must spell out the first
word. The second player has to work out what the word is and
say it out loud.
If the second player is correct the first player hands the paper over
and the second child spells the second word to the third player, who
names it, takes the paper and so on.
This is quite challenging so you could play with intermediate players
and even teenagers and adults will find this fun.
4. Tell a
If you know someone who would like this game, please feel free to let
them know by visiting:
a friend! Thanks.
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