The key to happy ESL or EFL classes for children is a wide variety of fun, engaging activities and games. If you agree with me, then you’re certainly in the right place!
You’ll want to keep on reading to find out my top picks for fun ESL activities for kids.
Fun ESL Activities and Games for Kids
If you’re looking for some fun, engaging and interesting ESL speaking activities for kids, you’ve come to the right place.
Here are my top ESL speaking activities and games that are guaranteed to get your students talking, enjoying your classes and most importantly improving their English skills.
#1: Puzzle Finder
Kids love puzzles and this ESL activity makes great use of them. It’s an excellent icebreaker activity that will challenge your students and also get them talking and mingling with all their classmates.
The best part? Students NEED to talk to each other to complete the activity. Love it? I know that I sure do.
More details about the Puzzle Finder Activity.
#2: Apples to Apples
Apples to Apples is a really fun way to help your students remember some vocabulary, plus have a ton of fun in the process. This ESL Speaking activity is perfect for a “game-day” when you want to actually do something educational, but awesome!
#3: I’m an Alien ESL Speaking Activity for Children
What kid isn’t interested in aliens? This ESL Speaking activity is a fun warm-up where you create a mission and the students have to help you complete it. Try it out and you’ll have the kids begging to do it again in another class! Its an excellent way to generate interest in a topic and activate prior knowledge, but in a way that is fun, engaging and awesome.
More details about I’m an Alien.
#4: Fun Flashcards ESL Speaking Activity
#5: Running Dictation
Running dictation is one of my favourite ESL speaking activities for kids because it’s fun, challenging and also covers all 4-skills at the same time (listening/writing/reading/speaking). I most often use it as a warm-up to review the material I covered in the previous class.
If you have a quiet class without a lot of energy, try out this activity and you’ll have them excited! Seriously, Monday morning and Friday afternoon classes aren’t so bad when you pull this ESL game out of your back pocket.
More information about Running Dictation.
#6: Board Games for ESL Students
Besides these fun speaking activities, board games are another one of my go-to things to do with kids. They cover a range of skills, are very useful for review and kids love them! I’ve found that if you bring a little prize for the winner, people take it more seriously!
You can learn more about ESL board games in this short video below. And, the good news is that you can make your own to suit just about any level or topic in just a few minutes. It’s easier than ever to have some serious ESL awesome in your life.
#7: Word Challenge Spelling Game
If you want to review the spelling of key vocabulary words in a fun way, then you’ll want to consider this spelling activity. The way it works is that students race to spell a word on the whiteboard. Another option is to do it as a relay race with students each writing one letter.
Want to give it a try? Find out everything you need right here:
#8: Information Gap Activities
I LOVE to use information gap games and activities in my class. Basically, they force students to talk to each other to find out the information that they don’t have. Try out this style of speaking activity for children with some of these fun ideas:
#9: Yes or No Question Activities
Yes and no questions and answers are one of the first grammar concepts that English learners learn. It’s simple and easy to understand and there are plenty of ESL speaking games for children to go along with it. To see some of the top picks, be sure to take a look right here:
#10: Find Someone Who Bingo
Try out this fun speaking activity for children if you want to help them get to know others at the beginning of the semester. Basically, students have to talk to each other to find out information about their classmates in order to fill in their Bingo board. It’s for this reason that this activity works better for slightly older and more advanced students.
Want to give it a try? You can see check it out here:
#11: Ball Toss Fun Speaking Game for Young Learners
If you want to have a little fun and get your kids speaking English as well, then try out Ball Toss. It’s ideal because it lends itself to almost any vocabulary set or grammar topic.
It’s time to create a bit of excitement in your classes for children! Find out more here:
#12: Me Too! ESL Speaking and Listening Activity for Kids
This is a simple ESL speaking activity that requires absolutely nothing in the way of preparation or materials. An English teachers’ dream, right? It’s always nice to have a few of these in your mind, just in case.
The way it works is that students have to say a fact about themselves and the other students who are the same can say, “Me too!” and stand up. It’s simple but fun. Try it out with your children today:
#13: Level Up ESL Speaking Game
#14: Hot Potato
You probably played hot potato when you were a kid, but it also makes an excellent ESL speaking activity. The way it works is that when the timer stops, the student holding the “potato” is shown a flashcard and has to say the word (beginners) or answer a question about it (intermediate/advanced).
You can adapt this to almost any level, even the total beginner who knows only a few words of English. It’s really that easy!
More information about how to play Hot Potato.
#15: Dictogloss Speaking Activity ESL
A challenging listening and speaking activity for kids is Dictogloss. The way it works is that you have to find a reading passage, but then read it out at a faster than normal pace. Students have to take some notes and then work together to recreate what they heard through speaking.
Sounds like something you want to try? Find out all the details here: ESL Dictogloss Activity.
#16: Mystery Box Game for Young Learners
A fun oral activity for kids who are learning English is Mystery Box. The way it works is that you fill a box or bag with secret objects. Then, students have to reach their hand in and depending on the level, either describe what they feel (smooth, rough, hard, rectangular) or simply say the vocabulary word and take the item out.
Find out more information about this fun speaking game that kids love here: ESL Mystery Box Game.
#17: Idiom Activity
Idioms are a common part of the English language so you may want to try out this memorable activity to help your students remember them forever!
Students choose (or you can give them) a common English idiom. Then, they have to draw it literally, do some research about the meaning in English and then use it in a sentence.
Finally, the speaking part comes in where they have to present their findings to the class. Sounds like a fun multi-skill ESL activity? It is! Learn more here: ESL Idiom Activity.
#18: Dead or Alive English Speaking Activity
#19: Password Speaking Game for Kids
A fun speaking activity to consider using with your TEFL classes for kids is password. It’s ideal for getting students to use related words if they don’t know a specific one that they want to use. Learn how to get it organized here: Password Activity.
#20: Problem Advice Board Game
A common theme in most ESL textbooks is problem/advice, including books for kids. A nice way to review this unit with a speaking activity is to play a board game. The way it works is that students see a small problem (The dog ate my homework) and then have to give some advice to that person by saying it (You should talk to your teacher).
Sounds like a fun speaking game for children? It is! See all the information here: Problem/Advice ESL Board Game.
#21: Man or Woman on the Street Interviews
Try out this interview-style activity that’s heavy on both the speaking and listening. It’s a nice way to elicit some opinions about current events or other topics from students. Beyond that, it’s fun, interactive and engaging and your students will love it!
Want to give it a try? Check it out for yourself: Man on the Street Interview Activity.
#22: Brainstorming Activities
I love to use some brainstorming activities and games in my ESL classes for kids. They are perfect for getting some creative juices flowing and they make a nice warmer or review activity too.
Sounds like a good idea to you? Here are some of the top recommendations: Brainstorming Activities and Games.
#23: Daily Schedules ESL Speaking Activities
If you’re looking for a great topic, then consider daily schedules or routines. It’s simple, easy to teach and most students find it quite interesting, from kids to teens to adults.
Want to find out the best ideas for this lesson? Have a look here: Daily Schedule ESL Activities.
#24: Directions ESL Games and Activities
Giving and getting directions is a fun unit for kids! There are just so many games and activities to do with it, including things like information gap activities and bumbling blindfold that can create a bit of excitement in the classroom.
Find out the top choices here: ESL Directions Activities.
Like these ESL Speaking Activities for Kids?
The key to teaching kids is to have a variety of fun, interesting games and activities. Do you have lots of them in your back pocket? Not so much? Then not to worry. This book is the ultimate reference guide for any English teachers who teach children.
Keep on reading to find out more about 39 ESL Speaking Activities for Kids to have better English classes today. It’s not so difficult, promise.
39 ESL Speaking Activities for Kids
If you teach kids from the ages of 7-12, then you’ll need lots of ESL speaking activities and games to keep them engaged, active, having fun and most importantly, learning English! In our classrooms, we like to mix things up and avoid doing the same activity even twice in the same month.
Fresh, New Ideas is What it Takes
But, it’s not easy to keep coming up with fresh, new ideas that will keep them entertained. Kids have very short attention spans and doing the same thing over and over again is sure to result in bored kids and terrible classes. But, the good news is that you really can avoid this quite easily!
- Amazon Kindle Edition
- Bolen, Jackie (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 75 Pages - 07/12/2015 (Publication Date)
Tired of Wasting Time?
Perhaps you’re kind of like me and you’ve spent hours searching around on the Internet for some fun ESL speaking activities and games for your students to play.
You Google something like, “ESL Speaking Game” and are hit with an overwhelming number of choices. Then, you click on a few things, but it’s mostly just a lot of junk and stuff that you can’t actually use in your own classes. Or, the explanations for the activity aren’t great and you’re not even sure how to play it. Perhaps there are no teaching tips and the activity doesn’t go over that well in your class.
You waste an hour or two down this Internet rabbit-hole but don’t have anything awesome that your kids will love doing. We’ve all certainly been there. The good news is that you can easily avoid this problem.
You Need This Book of ESL Speaking Activities for Kids!
If the above scenario sounds a whole lot like you, then you’ll need to get 39 ESL Speaking Activities: For Kids (7+) and add it to your resource library. It’s only the goods-activities you can use in your classes and none of the junk that doesn’t work.
Save Yourself a Ton of Time When Doing your Lesson Plans
It’ll save you a ton of time when you’re doing your lesson planning, guaranteed. Just open up the book, pick an activity or two and you’re well on your way to having an awesome class with your students.
Trust me. They’ll love this stuff. And there are enough activities that you can make it through an entire semester with the same class in style.
Get Yourself some English Teaching Awesome on Amazon
You can get the book over on Amazon in both print and digital formats. The (cheaper!) digital book can be read on any smartphone, tablet, Mac or PC by downloading the free Kindle app. You can use it for lesson planning on the go in your favourite coffee shop.
Or, get the print book and use it a quick reference in the few minutes before class when you need to plan something in a hurry. Keep it on the bookshelf in your office for lesson planning in minutes.
Click the link below to get yourself some ESL teaching awesome right now:
Have your Say about ESL Games for Kids
What are some of the best ESL speaking activities for kids that you’ve used in your classes? Leave a comment below and share your top ideas with us. We’d love to hear about it!
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Last update on 2021-01-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API