ESL Preschool Games for Kindergarten
Kindergarten / Preschool Games!
(The simplest & best game for kindergarten)
- Warm Up Game
(“Total Physical Response” – control the class!)
- Simon Says Please (polite version of classic game!)
- London Bridge (no English, but fun)
- Ladders Game
(works great, lots of running)
- Monster Drawing Game
(If there are any budding artists!)
- Fukuwarai (for parts of the face)
- Tower Game!
(designed in kindergarten, great game!)
- Ostrich Game
(for smaller groups)
- Ball and Music
(if they’re not too genki)
- Koala Game
(“Please” and “Thank You” practice!)
Top Blog Posts:
Other games that work well in preschool:
- Island Hopping ( picture card review)
- Sticky Fingers (very easy, no preparation)
- Newspaper Sumo
(A bit rough, but fun!)
- Hoops Game!
- The Group Game
(Great for big groups)
- The Hammer Game!
(bit like “English tennis”)
- Leapfrog Game !
(no preparation team game)
- Body Building Game
(good scoring system)
- Banana Tree
(fun scoring system)
- Ski Game
(similar to Grand Prix)
(good review favourite)
- Criss Cross
(quick warm up, all ages)
- Mingle (quick, silly game for any conversation!)
- Doctor, Doctor! (for practicing parts of the body!)
- Lines quiz
(great, fast paced warm up)
- What Time is it Mr Wolf?
(classic kids game)
Target language: “What time is it?
- Reindeer Race Game
- Hallowe’en Ideas
How to use these Kindergarten Games
First choose an English topic from the curriculum page, then a game from this page to practise it. It’s usually best to start at the beginning, but you could also try left & right, greetings, feelings, or colours. Remember, just playing a game is no good, there should always be some target English behind it.
Just about all the themes work great in kindergarten. Even conceptually difficult ones like “countries” or “telling the time” work great. 90% of the others work even better in kindergarten than they do in elementary school!
Many of the games on the main “Games Page” work very well in kindergarten, and indeed many of them were first developed there.
The ideas on this page have been specially selected for use with younger beginners. But here are a few tips to help you out:
Vary, vary, vary: Every class and every child is different, change the class to meet the needs of the kids
If at first you don’t succeed: All these games work great in Kindergarten, that’s the only criteria for them being selected. But if at first you don’t succeed, change it a bit and try it next time!
Keep it short: Don’t plan a 20 minute game. If kids are wondering off, let them! Keep going with the kids that are interested and the others may come back.
Under control: If the kids start getting out of control, well they’re kids so don’t expect them to sit still! But if you want to tire them out a bit, then do lots of “stand ups”, “jumps” etc. see the Warm Up Game
Fun Colours: Use bright picture cards to teach words. Don’t use writing, the kids probably don’t know the alphabet in their native language.
Get them talking: Don’t make the mistake of starting with “ABCs”, they’ll be bored as anything and it’s not going to help them communicate.
Can’t remember : Don’t expect the kids to remember all the words, just keep going. However songs really do help, the best ever Genki English show was at a kindergarten!.
Take a break! Teaching kindergarten is fun, but it’s the most tiring teaching you’ll ever do! Take breaks!
It’s all worth it: Sometimes you may think you are getting nowhere with millions of kids screaming and running around and seemingly learning nothing. But experience shows that starting languages in kindergarten gives the kids an unbelievable advantage later on!
Smile and Be Genki! Above all, enjoy it!
Or the Baby Sign Song!
Or the main Genki English Teacher’s Pack.