1 July 2010

5 ESL/EFL Games to Play Outside (Classic Kids Games!)

It's summer again! If you have the opportunity you could take your students outside for a nice change of pace. These are typical children's games played outside in Western countries that can be adapted to ESL/EFL teaching. I won't go into lengthy descriptions of how to play, however if you don't know any of the games then this site has many many examples!

5. Marco Polo
You will need: blindfold (optional)
You or one student volunteer is either blindfolded or has their eyes shut. The other students have 10 seconds to run away and hide. Then the game begins. Once the game has begun the other students must freeze (this avoids injuries!) you shout the trigger word and the other students must reply. You can make the trigger and response any English you like. "Hello" is the simplest, or "How are you?" "I'm fine". The last student to be caught is the winner and if you have time can replace you as the chaser.

4. Hopscotch
You need: chalk, small bean bags or stones
If your group is quite big, split the students into a number of smaller groups. Draw out the traditional hopscotch grid from your country. Play as you normally would, but make sure the students count out loud as they play. Variations: Make a reeeeally long version! Or find some different patterns from other countries online, the students will probably be interested to learn other versions.

3. Skipping Rope/Jump Rope
You need: a (few) skipping rope(s)
Again, if your group is quite large you may need to split the students into smaller groups. You'll need another teacher or a volunteer to turn the rope with you, or if you are lucky you can attach it to some sort of nearby object/tree/bad student and turn the free end yourself. There are many different rhymes for skipping rope, the first one that sprang to my mind was

Summer, autumn, winter, spring
When it's your birthday, please jump in
January, February, March etc

with the students trying to join the game on their birthday month. Try out different ones, or you could have a go at writing your own!

2. Freeze Tag
You will need: engergetic students!
Sometimes the students need to burn off some energy! Bring a little English in by having the frozen students shout "Help me!" when they get stuck and "Thank you" when they get freed. Alternatively, have "frozen" students go to you to answer an English question to be allowed back into the game.

1. What's the time Mr Wolf?
You need: nothing!
You stand at one end of the playing area, and the students at the other. They shout in unison "What's the time, Mr Wolf?" (You can leave out "Mr Wolf" if you wish). You reply while facing away from them "It's ~ o'clock" You then count to that number. While you are counting the students should count with you and take a step with each number. When you reach the time, you spin round and the students must freeze. If you see them moving they are out and much go back to the beginning and start again. When a student reaches you they are the winner and can take over your place. Play for a while, but remember to stop before the students get too bored!

Enjoy the lovely weather!

1 comment:

  1. when they get trapped and "Thank you" when they get released. On the other hand, have "frozen" learners go to you to response an British query to be permitted returning into the gam.

    Adelaroger @ kids game equipment


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