ESL games and activities for kindergarten

ESL games and activities for kindergarten

When it comes to teaching kids, perfect knowledge of the language is not enough to become a good teacher. Grammar tenses and speaking exercises don't make any sense if they are not accompanied by playing games. In comparison with teenagers or adults, young learners don't have any logical reasons to attend your class but feelings. Children will love English if you show them how much fun there. It is crucial to be positive, easy-going, and patient when you teach kids. Don't try to push them to do something because it's a rule, make them interested in the learning process. It seems to be difficult, to come up with games for kids and create something entertaining all the time, but it is highly rewarding job.

Young students have no intention to win a game, they just want to have some fun during your lesson. That is why, it is so hard to make them focus on one thing for a long time. Whether you teach listening or vocabulary, it must be an active task.

Fortunately, children memorize everything easily and quickly, you just need some supplies to catch their attention. We would like to tell you the most interesting and effective ESL kindergarten ideas that you can implement right away.

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Alphabet songs

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Intend resolutely

This is an obvious start of your course with kids, who can't pronounce some letters and sounds in English correctly. Needless to say that rhythm helps to memorize words faster, however knowing all letters in English alphabet isn't the objective of this activity. It is significant to know but not enough to improve reading or pronunciation. What is more important that children should differ some sounds, which start from the same letter. It helps them to start reading too. For example, we know that C might be different in some words, like crocodile and cinema.
There are plenty of songs you can find on YouTube. Write some simple words to each letter on a board and make students repeat after you. Then change the game rules. They have to recall some words, which start from the letter you show.

Flashcard games

Flashcards is a flexible and adaptive type of ESL classroom games suits almost all vocabulary topics. Firstly, you can teach new words showing cards one by one. But there is a way to make such an exercise more interesting. For example, if you teach animals, start telling a story about all characters of a farm or a forest, and make some pauses to let students fill them in with a particular animal.
If you want to revise animals, choose one card and show to kids. They must raise their hands to say some facts about the creature on the picture. Prepare some small gifts or stickers to encourage students to compete a bit. Give such prizes to those, who names right facts about an animal.

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It is a good idea how to conduct a lesson about face features, parts of the body, or rooms. Prepare ESL flashcards relate to the topic you want to teach. Also, you can make such cards on your own selecting appropriate photos on the Internet. List them and say to students, they have only 10 seconds to memorize all things they see. Count backward loudly to hurry them up a bit. Then, ask them to close eyes or turn off screen sharing if you work online, and delete a card while they don't see it. When the list of things appears again, there will be one missing card that kids must identify and name.

If you have on offline class, you can use toys or other tangible things instead of pictures.

Find something blue

As little students love to move, you can have a short useful break during a lesson. As soon as you teach colors, use all things in a classroom as a vocabulary game. When you say, «find something blue» or whatever color you name, all class must find the color and point it out. It might be a spot on a t-shirt, or a pen in someone's pencil case, what is more important that students have to identify the color as soon as they can.

An online version of this game might be conducted through bright pictures. Prepare some colorful illustrations with small details or animals on it. So, students will be able to revise one more topic, because they have to pronounce what things they have found.

Guess the color

There is one more easy game to work on colors. However, in comparison with the previous one, it has an opposite objective. Instead of naming some colors, you show black and white pictures of things or animals that learners know. As soon as they recall what something looks like, they have to describe what colors there must be.

You can change the rules to train listening skills. Ask students to take their drawings from home. Then each participant should explain what they have drawn, whereas the rest of the class guesses what colors are in the drawing. It is more difficult, because the imagination of children runs wild and they can paint usual things like sky and field different colors.

Terms used:

ESL, TEFL, TESOL

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