Listening game teaching vocabulary one to one

listening skills game teaching vocabulary running around the garden with a scarf
18 Nov Shelley Vernon No Comments

This useful easy game is great fun one to one. (If you are teaching groups not 1:1, click here for the group version.) In the photo above, Anna and I are holding a scarf - you may use a rope, a piece of string, an old rag or even an item of clothing (not your best jumper!) if you do not have a scarf.


I start by prancing around the garden, pulling on the scarf quite hard and spinning Anna, so she has to run to keep up and hold on. (You can see this on the video link lower down.) She loves it and shrieks with delight. Meanwhile, I call out different animal names, which we have already practised with Jump the Line and other easy listening games. Anna has to hold on to the scarf and cannot let go until she hears the key phrase "I'm hungry!" Only when Anna hears this can she let go of the scarf and run to safety, touching the tree before I catch her.  Use any words or phrases for this game. Choose any sentence or word as your key phrase.


This can be played indoors too but it's best with some space. When I call out "I'm hungry", I chase Anna and just fail to catch Anna, (when of course I could easily have caught her) - but I JUST miss - that makes it exciting for her and she screams in delight.


Enjoy this game, but check out these tips first, to make sure everything goes smoothly:


idea light bulb tips to make the listening game work well

  • Start gently saying the words calmly. Once your pupil has the hang of the game you may start to speed up your movements and the words that you say.
  • To keep the child on edge and in suspense and make the game more exciting, try to trick the pupil into letting go of the scarf by pretending you are going to catch him or her, but you say a normal work and not "I'm hungry".  Don't use that technique with 3-year-olds or shy kids, go gently. Adapt how you play to the age and the temperament of your child.
  • In this step two listening game, the pupil needs to be able to recognize the words before you play. It's not a game you would use to introduce new words. It's excellent for revision and also as part of the learning process once you have played a couple of step one listening games.
  • I strongly recommend that you never catch your pupil - at least not until he or she is at least eight years old. Younger children cannot handle losing and they usually see it as a terrible sign of failure. It can cause floods of tears and put them off English! Remember they are sensitive little beings who have not been on earth for long so be gentle.



If you have siblings this can be played with two children holding the end of the scarf. Take care though if one child is particularly small and frail that the older one does not knock them over in the excitement of the game. If this could be a risk for you then let the children take it in turns holding the scarf.



On this link you can watch the game in action, right at the start of the video:


Help: If you like this game, here are more!

Teach your child English book coverGain the knowledge to put your child on a bilingual journey with my *140* fun games for one to one.

Included! 3 videos over 2 hours of demonstration lessons. In instant download from me on this link. Or in paperback from most Amazon websites and other online book retailers, or order it from your local bookstore. ISBN-13: 978-1479354795.

I'm here to help if you need me. Just ask in the comments box below and I'll reply to you. I'll be delighted to help.

Shelley Ann Vernon,

Teaching English Games


Leave a reply

Follow blog

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.
Join 2,417 other followers

Blog categories