Games for Younger Learner Classes

by Sophia McMillan
(Shane Training Cente. Japan)

Shane Training Centre, Japan

Shane Training Centre, Japan

Pass it on (KG+): This is a chanting activity involving rhythm and vocabulary. Sit the children down in a circle. Review the FAB Red animal vocab cards (or any lexical set). Next, take one card and put it on the floor face down in front on one person. Build up a simple clapping rhythm chanting “Pass it on! Pass it on!” make sure this is slow enough to allow time to pass the card, face down, along the floor. Stop the clapping after 3 or 4 beats and ask the person who has the card in front of them to pick it up. Everyone asks “What is it?” and the learner responds “It’s a X”. This can be played with plastic food, toy animals etc.


Anagrams (HE): Put the learners into two teams. A word card is laid face down. Jumbled up FAB Blue cards (or magnetic letters) are laid on the table (two sets per team). Each team rearranges the letters to make the word – first team to do so wins.

Flashcard sumo: Two learners come to the front of the class. Choose two flashcards at random and keep them secret. Attach a flashcard to the back of each player with a paper clip so that neither can see what it is. The players face each other and do ‘sumo’ poses with their hands behind their backs. They have to the count of 100 to try to see the other persons’ card without using hands. Once
they have seen it they yell out the answer. The first person to get it is the winning sumo wrestler. Keep the others busy by getting them to count together loudly 1 to 100. NB This needs very careful setting up and management to avoid accidents.

Paper Maze: Draw a word tree/maze on the board (example below), or on a large piece of paper. At the end of each ‘branch’ add sounds you want the learners to practice – in this case ‘th’ &‘s’. At the bottom of the tree draw four objects to review (or add flashcards) – in this case cat, dog, monkey and bird. Learners follow clues given by the teacher (E.g. ‘three shirts’ for th + s) to follow the tree down to one of the four pictures (E.g. dog). The first person to shout out the correct object becomes the teacher.


th s


th s th s

cat dog bird monkey

Balloon game: Have the learners stand in a circle facing in. Choose a topic to review (E.g. fruit). The object of the game is for learners to pass the balloon around the circle by batting it towards each other. Each time the balloon is hit the learner must say the name of a fruit. If they hit the balloon without saying a fruit word they lose one of their 3 lives. Make the game more demanding by adding numbers for every fifth hit of the balloon (E.g. 1, orange, plum, lemon, 5, cherry etc).

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