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: Top 12
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 12 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
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: 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.
#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 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 other at the beginning of the semester. Basically, students have to talk to each other 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
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:
Like these ESL Speaking Activities for Kids?
Then you’ll LOVE 39 No-Prep/Low-Prep ESL Speaking Activities: For Kids (7+). It’s going to make your lesson planning easy, guaranteed. There are 39 quality activities that you can actually use in your classes, plus detailed descriptions which takes all the guesswork out of how to set each one up. Plus, teaching tips to make the activities and games as awesome as possible.
You can get the book on Amazon by clicking the link below, in both digital and physical book formats. If you teach kids, it’s the resource you need in your library if you want to save yourself a ton of time and hassle.
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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