Top 5 Creative ESL Activities for Kids

Our top five creative ESL activities for kids is one that every teacher should be familiar with. These activities will help you get started and feel prepared.

Top 5 Creative ESL Activities for Kids

1. The Charades Activity

Have one student come to the front of the class and whisper a word or display that student a flashcard. The student who acts out the word and guesses correctly moves to the next round. This is especially effective with action verbs. 

You can split the class into teams. The first student to correctly guess earns a point for their team.

2. Shaded Circles

This is a helpful activity for young children. Get some A3 paper and draw huge circles on each sheet. Attach the circles to separate classroom walls. 

Describe the Activity: Say “Blue,” take a blue crayon, move to one of the circles, and color a portion of it blue. Repeat for each hue that you intend to teach. Then, indicate a color (“Blue”) to a student, who should take up the blue crayon and walk up to the circle you colored blue. Allow them to color a bit, then call them back. Carry on with the other students.

3. “Simon Says” Game

This is a “Simon Says” game but with a twist. Practice “Simon Says” with the pupils for them to comprehend the game and body parts. 

Tell them to do as you say, not as you do when they continue playing the game. When you say “touch your knees,” etc., verbally, touch your ears or any other body part physically in contrast.

This is a fantastic technique to determine who is paying attention and simply mimicking your gestures. Students enjoy this game significantly more than the original.

4. The Pictionary Activity

This is another game that works well with all age groups. Children love it because it allows them to be creative in the classroom. Teenagers love it because it doesn’t feel like they’re learning. Adults love it because it provides a break from the monotony of learning a new language – although they will be learning as they play.

Pictionary can assess whether or not pupils have retained the vocabulary they have been learning.

What the Activity entails: 

Before class begins, compile a collection of words and place them in a bag. Divide the students into two teams and draw a line down the center of the board.

Give one member of each team a pen and request that they select a word from the bag. Tell the children to draw the word as a picture on the board and urge them to guess it with their team.

The team that shouts the correct response first receives a point. The student who has finished drawing should then nominate another teammate to draw. Repeat until there are no more words. Ensure that each kid has the opportunity to draw at least once.

5. The Hot Seat Activity

Hot Seat is always at the top of the list when I ask what they want to play. It is always a favorite game for students. Hot Seat allows kids to increase their vocabulary and promotes classroom competition. They can also practice their speaking and listening abilities, and it can be used with students of any proficiency level.

What the Activity entails: 

Divide the class into two teams or more if the class is large. Choose one member from each group to occupy the Hot Seat, with the board behind them and facing the classroom.

Put a single word on the board. One of the student’s teammates must describe the word to help the student in the hot Seat guess it. They have limited time and must not speak, spell, or draw words. Continue until each team member has described a term to the student seated in the Hot Seat.

Reasons for ESL Activities

Games and enjoyable activities are essential components of teaching English as a foreign language. Games will liven up your session and ensure that your pupils leave the classroom wanting more, whether you’re teaching adults or youngsters.

These ESL activities can be used to warm up the class before your lesson. It can also offer pupils a break when you’re covering a complex subject, or after class when you have a few minutes to kill.

To Wrap Up

While English is not always your native language, there are ways to make the learning process fun and entertaining. If your class is boring, feel free to add some of these activities to turn it around. They will surely appease your pupils, which will make them more willing to learn.

Pam is an expert grammarian with years of experience teaching English, writing and ESL Grammar courses at the university level. She is enamored with all things language and fascinated with how we use words to shape our world.

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