ESL Games

Once upon a time school was pretty boring. Yawnnnn.
But learning outside, well that was fun.
Soccer/Baseball stats? Check. Pokemon evolution? Check.
Hmmm this “games” thing really works.

So I started making games for learning “school stuff.”

And you know what, that worked too!

But … these games became a little too powerful.
So now they’re limited to VIPs.
You know, the ones who know how to use the power for good. πŸ™‚
Choose your games wisely my good friend.

VIP Owners Click Here for the NEW VIP GAMES MENU.

Want to be a VIP? Access to all these fantastic games isΒ included with the Genki English Teacher’s Set



These games will be your best friends…

From then on choose a theme then a game to practise it

(with Japanese translations)

Good for big groups as all the kids get to practise at once ( and the teacher gets some time to check how the kids are doing or prepare the next activity!)

  • Dinosaur Danger (I like + animals)
  • 3 2 1 Jump (any vocab)
  • Numbers Games
  • Nemo Game – What can you see…?
  • Harry Potter – very popular at the moment!
  • Can you kick? Game
  • Indiana Jones Game spelling /phonics
  • How old are you? Bingo with a twist!
  • Name Card Game(fantastic for jobs/occupations)
  • I like pink fish (colours and adjectives)
  • Mushi Battle Game ( popular thanks to “mushi king”)
  • How are you? Game
  • Downloadable GenkiEnglish Card Game
  • Genki English Mini Cards
  • Do You have a ….?Β  Β Game
  • The Gokiburi Game
    (great game, lots of speaking practice, any conversation)
  • Koala Game
    (“Please” and “Thank You” practice!)
  • What’s the weather like in… ? game
  • Spiderman – help Spiderman save Mary Jane
  • Island Hopping – picture card review game
  • Dice Game
  • Balloon Game
  • What did you say? Game
  • Timebomb (numbers and brain power)
  • Shiritori (great for Junior High warm up)
  • English Passports (great activity for visitors!)
  • Fun Comparatives ( … is …-er than )
  • Da Vinci Code Game ( phonics decoding )

Conversation EFL ESL Games

These are games where the kids have to use questions / answers, and practise sentences as opposed to simply learning vocab. If you teach in Japan, where kids can already understand several hundred English words, they are recommended to help the kids see how these words fit together.

  • Doctor, Doctor! (for practicing parts of the body!)
  • Tower Game!
    (good for adding a bit of motivation!)
  • Lines quiz
    (great, fast paced warm up)
  • Stopwatch game
    (simple, very quick game)
  • Bargaining
    (fun numbers and “How much?” practice)
  • Telephone Game
    Target language : Any Conversation,Β  “My name is ….” “How are you?” etc.
  • What do you like? Bingo
    Target language: “What do you like?”,”I like……”
  • What Time is it Mr Wolf?
    (classic kids game)
    Target language: “What time is it?
  • Where are you from? Game
    (simply interview game)
    Target language: Where? and Country Names
  • Valentine’s Broken Hearts Game

Members’ Worksheet Games
These are printable worksheets/games to go with the Teacher’s Set.

Fun with Mido!

Mido Farid has a new game for your every Monday.

If you can’t click them all right now, sign up for the Genki English blog and get a brand new one delivered each week!

VIP Members can also download all Mido’s games in his brand new ebook!

Coming Soon

  • What time is it? – a floor clocks game
  • Where are you going? – places & directions
  • Bombs, Noses & Parachutes – any review
  • Mountain Climber – cool review
  • Witches Brew – the opposite of the game above!
  • Get lots of Money! – review + touch of math
  • Bowling for Animals


  • Hop like a frog – flashcard review
  • Danger Island – a Treasure Adventure!
  • Circle My Clothes – clothes review!
  • Darts! Longer questions / sentence review
  • Freeze – great classroom control technique!
  • Circle or Chair? – kindergarten fun!
  • Good Match – fruits and colours
  • Broom Catch! – “Who’s your favourite ….?”
  • Cha Cha Pizza – Any questions.
  • Kiss Sara – super cute game!
  • Add ’em – numbers or months
  • Balance it! – any vocab
  • Magic Matchbox Game – How many?
  • Save the Titanic! – any English
  • Where’s the shark? – Any vocab, sentence or speech
  • Erase, Erase! – review
  • House Builder – score keeping game
  • Remote Control – verbs
  • Don’t pull my teeth! – score keeping game
  • Exploding Fat Man – score keeping game
  • Pop – score keeping game
  • Quick Draw – any vocab/question
  • “Oh my hair!” – score keeping game
  • “Ice cream game” – any review
  • “Pig!” – review lots of questions!
  • Happy Bunnies – great Easter review!
  • Mido’s Thoughts on Teaching Children

Other Readers’ EFL ESL Classroom Games

  • Dice attack! – Halloween or any review!
  • I declare war – country names
  • Castle Attack – any review
  • “Buy me “is” game – any vocab
  • “Blindfold Treasure Hunt” – directions
  • “Matamoscas” – any review
  • “Ewww…Gross!”(Be warned!)
  • “9 Lives” ( any conversation)
  • “Disaster” ( Vocab review)
  • “Number Golf”
  • “Around the World trip” ( JHS)
  • “Snowball Fight” ( any review)
  • “I want to make you a star!” ( Can you…?)
  • “Greetings Double Dash” ( greetings or questions)
  • “Janken Zombies” ( Body parts )
  • “Crankypants” ( JHS yes/no questions)
  • “Fastest Milkman in the West”
  • How are you? Janken
  • “Funky Mummy” ( Body Parts)
  • “Ask the Dragon” ( Reported Speech)
  • “Samurai Hat Janken” ( conversation)
  • “Model my Body” ( JHS body parts)
  • “Dinosaur Survival” ( directions )
  • “King of the Hill” ( review)
  • “Tug of War”( review)
  • “Gorilla” ( review)
  • “Court Jester” – any Q&A, needs playing cards
  • “Janken Bugs”
  • “You’re beautiful! You’re wonderful”
  • “Boat Race Game” ( anything or Xmas)
  • “Create- a -Country” ( Where are you from?)
  • “Bad Fruit: a Shoppers’ Nightmare”
  • “Soldiers & Ninjas”
  • “Cowboy” ( any vocab)
  • “Giants, Wizards & Dwarves” ( as it says!)
  • “Secret Code” ( Numbers)
  • The Borg + Week Long War ( days of the week)
  • “Leg it!” ( action conversation)
  • “Funky Footwork” ( directions dance)
  • “Doraemon & Dorami” ( He, She, etc.)
  • “Mario Tracer” ( left, right, up, down)
  • “Tron” ( left, right, up, down)
  • “It’s in the bag” ( question making)
  • “Search & Find” ( do you have a …? )
  • “Weaving through town” ( directions)
  • “What’s in the bag?” ( past / future)
  • “All change” ( fruit basket )
  • Another Dice Game ( nos. 1-12)
  • Walls & Corners ( elem review game)
  • Make the kids ask you questions – good for JHS
  • All in the word – letters, simple words game
  • I know what you did last summer ( JHS questions)
  • Fortune Teller / Cootie Catcher
  • Thou Shalt Not Pass – ( Do you have? )
  • How well do you know your classmates? ( “does”)
  • Evil Numbers Game ( simple math)
  • Naughty Or Nice Christmas Game ( great for next Xmas!)
  • Buzz (Junior High Numbers)
  • I AM A touch-matic ROBOT (sentence order)
  • Celebrity Caption Competition ( 3rd year junior high)
  • Weather Clap Clap
  • What’s your favourite …? Game
  • Where do you live shiritori
  • Steal the Bacon ( numbers, ABCs etc.)
  • Higher Lower ( numbers, shopping)
  • Hackey-sack Hypo
  • ‘Funky’ Pick-A-Box
  • Celebrity Racers ( nice for JHS)
  • “The Dating Game” ( Pick up lines!)
  • “Rich Man Numbers Game”

More Readers’ Games

  • “Space Invaders” ( scoring game)
  • “This is a relay” ( this is, there are etc.)
  • “Shiver me Timbers” ( directions)
  • “Polite Hot Potato Race” (Here you are, thank you, )
  • “If you love it and you know it clap your hands!” ( I like, I prefer)
  • “4 Hint USD”
  • “Zodiac Chant” ( Chinese zodiac animals )
  • “Snow Balls”
  • “Assault Course” ( under, on, in etc.)
  • “Cabbages”
  • “Badminton”
  • “Wake-Up Game”
  • “Football Crazy”
  • “Passy the Flashcard”
  • “Musical Chairs”
  • “I, You, She, He, Them Cards”
  • “Famous People Cards”
  • “Wordsearches”
  • “Splat!”
  • “(Shin Kei Gumi) Matching People Pairs”
  • “Guess the Value” ( the most, the best etc.)
  • “The Narcissist Game” ( short Q&As)
  • “The One in Three Game”
  • “Where in the World is Craig’s Motorcycle?”
  • “Typhoon Game”
  • “Heads down, thumbs up” ( Body parts, I think…)
  • “Spin the bottle”
  • “Map Dash” (Country names)
  • “Gomi Basketball” ( How are you?)
  • “English Banzai” (any vocab)
  • “Murder” (high school, descriptions)
  • “Flea Market Game” (shopping)
  • “Pin the tail on the ALT” ( directions)
  • “I’m going to”
  • “Wow” ( any )
  • “Catalogue Game” ( for clothes!)
  • “Screaming Game” ( I like)
  • “How old are you?”
  • “Hebi janken” (any vocab)
  • “3 Times” ( all vocab)
  • “Subbing Soccer” ( numbers, words)
  • “Pic Charades” ( any vocab)
  • ” Home Run Derby” ( vocab review)
  • “What’s not there?” (stationery)
  • “3 Piece” ( any conversation )
  • “Hexagon Game” (Do you have?)
  • “Feelings Frenzy” (Feelings)
  • “Shrinking Globe” (review)
  • “Row & Columns” (JHS review)
  • “One Red Game” (numbers, colours)
  • “Balloon Passing Game” (any conversation)
  • Chopsticks game ( How old, How are you?)

Genki English Vocab practiceΒ games
– all with Japanese explanations!
(use any of the vocab from my Yearplans page!)

Some of these games only need 2 or 3 players. For larger classes, once you’ve done a demo at the front, split the kids into 3 or 4 groups, put them in a circles and the kids take turns in going to the middle to play.

  • Sticky Fingers Game (very easy, no preparation)
  • Ostrich Game
    (2 people at a time battle game!)
  • Newspaper Sumo
    (A bit rough, but fun!)
  • Hoops Game!
  • The Group Game
    (Great for big groups)
  • The Hammer Game!
    (bit like “English tennis”)
  • Fishing Game
    (fun, big game)
  • Leapfrog Game !
    (no preparation team game)
  • Body Building Game
    (good scoring system)
  • String Game
    (very fun, winding string as you talk)
  • Banana Tree
    (fun scoring system)
  • Karuta
    (fast, action running game)
  • Ladders Game
    (sometimes dangerous, but fun!)
  • Ball and Music
    (classic “hot potato” game)
  • Password Game
    (easy warm up)
  • Grand Prix
    (scoring game)
  • Ski Game
    (similar to Grand Prix)
  • Jeopardy
    (good review favourite)
  • Criss Cross
    (quick warm up, all ages)
  • ATW
    (simple, no preparation game)
  • Drawing Game
    (good group review)
  • Mr Bump Game!
    (blindfold game)
  • Last Person Standing
    (similar to criss cross)
  • Star Wars: Lightsaber Battle!Β 
    (voted no.1 by my kids!)
    Target language: Left, right, forward, back etc.
  • Monster Drawing Game
    Target language: Colours, Body Parts, Numbers
  • Fukuwarai (for parts of the face)
  • Snakes and ladders (by Neil Maher)
  • Playing card Time (by Neil Maher)

Roger’s PDF Worksheets & Games

  • Dominoes, Wordsearches & Crosswords

NEW: List of Simple Ice Breakers

Misc.Β EFL ESL Games

  • Simon Says Please polite version of classic game!
  • London Bridge
  • Yes/No fortune telling Game
  • Janken/The Coin Toss Game!
    This is a really fun on-line game!! You could play for hours!
  • The Piano Game! (tricky game!)
  • Flags
    Great for a first lesson!
  • Warm Up Game
    English: Greetings, verbs, commands
  • Syllable Game
  • Target Grade:3-6
    English: Curing Katakana accents!
  • Kanji Making Game
  • Target Grade:2-6
    English:Days of the week
  • An English Book
    Great for 6th graders!
  • Christmas Activities!
    (just what it says!)
  • Christmas Card Ideas
  • Reindeer Race Game
  • Pin the Nose on Rudolph
  • Christmas Delivery ( any questions)
  • Hallowe’en Ideas
  • Halloween Harry Potter
  • Olympic Ideas

Want a sample?
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Top Ten Games eBook!


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Top 50 ESL Games Ebook

Choose a target theme from the Curriculum, then a game to practise the English.

Learn & Play: Before you play these games you will need to make sure the kids have a basic grip on the target English. The kids have to have fun, but they also have to be progressing with their English skills.

Songs instead of drilling: Drilling can be boring, but songs with actions are a fun alternative.

Set the level: A game for a game’s sake is no good – choose a game that will let them practise their target language.Β  If it’s too easy or too difficult it won’t be very effective!

Motivation: Games provide extra motivation to learn the target language – learn the new language, win the game!

Everyone: Good games allow the kids to practice with their peers – the best games allow all the kids to speak at once.

It’s the kids: The lessons become less teacher orientated and more student orientated.

Fun: And the biggest advantage of using songs with games is that they are FUN!!
They become so engrossed in the game that the English becomes second nature. It’s a bit like driving a car, what you concentrate on is the road, the skill of moving the pedals becomes second nature through practice.

Good losers: Sometimes kids might get fed up if they lose a game, or other kids might tease the losers , in this case you must teach the kids Genki English Rule No.2:

“Losing” doesn’t mean “losing”, it just means “try again!”

You never truly lose until you stop trying.
If everyone is having fun, everyone is a winner!

Rule No.1: Genki English rule No.1 is

Think “I can do it!” and you can!

Let the kids know it’s not brain surgery, it’s just English and is one of the easiest subjects they’ll learn at school.

Mistaikes: Just like baseball, practice is the key. But unlike music education where “only perfect practice makes perfect” in these games the kids have dozens of chances to make mistakes and perfect their English.

Lego: Each of the themes is structured so that kids can chop and change, build and rebuild new English just like in a Lego set.

The Next Step: Then you can add connector words like “and” or “but” and join the bits and pieces together to eventually lead up to where the kids can say anything they want to say in English. It won’t be 100% correct, but they will be able to get their message across, and that’s an important milestone.

Easy Planning: Nearly all of these games are illustrated with photos of them being used in the classroom.Β  For teachers in Japan there are translations into Japanese – simply hand a copy to your teacher for easy lesson preparation!

Espanol: But it’s not just for teaching ESL or English, nearly all these games work great for teaching ANY language.

45 Mins: Have a look at my lesson plan page to see how to fit these games into your classes.

The theory: Or for an academic look at the advantages of using games in class, have a look at Joel Bacha’s paper on “Play and Affect in Language Learning


Try all the Genki English Picture Books…
Picture Book Weather


Favourite food

I love vegetables

Baby Monkey Family

Build a house
Picture Book Days of the Week
Days of the Week

Baby Monkey on Tour

How are you?

What sports do you play?

How old are you?


Happy Halloween

Winter Clothes

Easter Egg Hunt

Soccer / Can you …?


Brothers & Sisters
Where are the Christmas presents?
Christmas presents?
Keep checking back,
there are more to come soon ….


VIP Owners Click Here for the NEW VIP GAMES MENU.


If you’re not a VIP Owner yet, access to all these fantastic games isΒ included with the Genki English Teacher’s Set!