Looking for some ESL activities for kids that are fun and educational? Here you will find games and activities for children (kindergarten, elementary and middle school+) that will motivate and educate your students.
All activities here have been marked for the appropriate age group or level such as beginners or more advanced. For example, "Intermediate Elementary+" means that it will work with that level on up to adults. However, your class is unique, meaning that they may have a higher level or a lower level than other children their age. So for example, you may find that some activities here marked "Elementary" might work with your "Kindergarteners".
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Warm-up Activities & Icebreakers
These are good activities for starting your classes off on the right foot. Some will work especially well when teaching a class for the same time.
- Categramble Intermediate Elementary children+. This can be catered to the students level. It's a great icebreaker/TPR activity that will work well with lower intermediate elementary children on up to adults.
- Word Association Intermediate Elementary children+. This fun speaking activity is similar to "Word Chain", but it works better with higher levels.
- Give them a letter Kindergarten kids+. This group writing/speaking activity will work with almost all levels given that they know at least a few words begininng with each letter.
- Line Up Elementary children+. A great icebreaker and fun TPR activity. You can cater question to their level.
- Word Chain Kindergarteners - Elementary. A fun and simple activity that's good for speaking and listening.
- 20 Questions Intermediate Elementary children+. Students will need more than a basic level and the questions can be catered to their level. A good activity that gets students up, moving about in the classroom and communicating.
- Teacher Says Kindergarten - Early Elementary. This TPR activity will work well with the young ones. It also works well for teaching commands and body parts.
- Tell the Truth Intermediates+.
- What do you see? Kindergarten kids+. A simple writing activity that can be used as a warm-up or integrated into your lesson.
Vocabulary Games & Activities
These games and activities are for teaching vocabulary and phrases.
- Charades Kindergarten kids+. A fun miming activity that involves acting out and guessing.
- Pass the Bag Elementary children+. A fun speaking activity that involves music.
- Taboo Elementary+. An exciting activity where to students work together to help their team guess the correct answer.
- Make a Word Elementary+. A good group activity that involves spelling and speaking. You'll need letters.
- Which Word Intermediate Elementary+. An activity that helps students with pronunciation, spelling, speaking and listening.
- Pass the Marker Elementary+. An energetic team activity that helps students with speaking, spelling and writing.
- Picture This Kindergarteners+. A fun speaking and drawing activity that works with almost all levels.
- Post it Elementary+. An energetic activity that involves speaking and matching.
- Sprite Elementary+. A simple, fun and effective activity where students practice writing and speaking.
- Syllable Says Elementary+. A good activity for proper pronunciation.
- What am I? Intermediate Elementary+. A fun guessing and speaking activity.
- Fill in the Gaps Elementary+. An activity for practicing spelling and speaking.
Conversation Games & Activities for Sentences/Q&A
These activities focus mainly on practicing speaking and beginning conversational English.
- Whispers Kindergarteners+. A popular activity that works well in large classes for speaking and listening.
- Pass and Ask Elementary children+. An active and fun tool for practicing Q&A (speaking and listening).
- Standing Sentences Elementary+. A good TPR activity for sentence structure and speaking.
- Race, Touch and say Kindergarten-Elementary. A good TPR activity for practicing speaking.
- Stairway to ___. Kindergarten-Elementary. A speaking game for young children.
- A Ball and a Bag Elementary+. An interactive game that's used with music to practice speaking and listening.
- Ping-Pong Elementary. A fun game for speaking/Q&A.
- It's a Mystery Elementary. A fun game for speaking/Q&A.
- Make a Sentence Elementary+. An interactive group activity that focuses on sentence structure and speaking.
- Paper, Scissors, Stone! Elementary. A simple game for speaking that requires no prep.
- Pass the Bag II Elementary+. A fun activity with music for speaking and listening.
- Touch and Say Kindergarteners-Early Elementary. A simple word recognition activity that works well with very young learners.
- Sentence Relay Elementary+. A good group activity that's good for practicing writing, speaking and listening.
These activities are more individualized. They are good for independent work and teacher quiet time!
- Beginning Essay Writing Intermediate Elementary+. A good activity for students with some writing ability. It's good for practicing writing. It's also an individualized activity that's good for quiet time.
- Comics I Elementary children+. A fun writing activity that will inspire your students. It's also good for quiet time.
- Comics II Intermediate Elementary+. A writing activity that requires a little more imagination than the above comics activity.
- Draw It Kindergarteners+. An activity for young children to practice their listening and writing (if they can). It works well when used with story books.
- Mind Maps Intermediate Elementary+. A brainstorming activity for practicing writing.
- Take a Dictation Elementary+. A good review activity to practice writing, spelling and listening.
- One Hand, Two Hands Kindergarteners+. A listening activity.
- Puzzles Kindergarteners+. An activity where students can practice their writing and word recognition. Puzzles are good for downtime or when you are correcting their exams.
Misc. Games and Activities
- Spelling Bee I Kindergarteners+. A spelling activity.
- Spelling Bee II Kindergarteners+. A spelling activity.
- Who am I? Upper Elementary+. A fun guessing and speaking activity that can also be used as an icebreaker.
- Fill in the Gaps II Elementary+. A spelling activity.
- Musical Chairs Kindergarten-Elementary. It's not very educational, but it's a fun and energetic activity for downtime.
- Pretend you're an... Kindergarteners. A fun kinesthetic activity for word recognition.
- Past, Present, Future Elementary+. A simple activity that can be used for grammar and writing.
- Find the Words Elementary+. A simple search and find activity like Boggle.
- How? Elementary+. A good activity for practicing adverbs of manner like: quickly, carefully, etc.
- What would you do if? Intermediate Elementary+. A fun activity for downtime where students can practice speaking and writing.
- Writing Relay Elementary+. An activity for writing, speaking and reading.
- Writing Rearrange Elementary+. A writing and speaking activity for sentence structure.
- Reading Dictation Elementary+. This is an especially good reading and listening activity.
Activities for Teaching Songs
- Rearrange Elementary children+. Here students learn the lines of a song by arranging them.
- Cloze Elementary+. Here students learn the lyrics by using a cloze activity.
Activities for Teaching and Practicing Numbers
- Counting with a Ball Kindergarten kids+. A simple activity for counting.
- Line Up Kindergarteners+. A good kinesthetic activity for counting.
- Using Arithmetic Elementary+. Here you can use simple math to practice numbers.
- Clarifying _teen & _ty Elementary+. An activity to use to help students correct common errors when teaching counting.
- Make a Phonogram Kindergarteners+. A great tool for practicing phonograms.
- What's that sound? Kindergarteners+. A simple tool for practicing letters and their sounds.
- Tongue Twisters Elementary+. A great tool for most levels for practicing difficult sounds.
- Back-to-Back Kindergarteners+. A great listening tool for practicing phonics.
- Word Sorts Elementary+. A good quiet time activity for finding common phonograms.