Главная страница «Первого сентября»Главная страница журнала «Английский язык»Содержание №23/2006
Games for Children


Games for Children

Everybody knows how difficult it is to make lesson of English interesting for children in the primary school. Pupils will like the lesson and will do English with enthusiasm if the material is interesting and bright for them. And the content of the lesson will interest children if the material is corresponding to their age and interests as well.
Many of you will say that it takes much time to organize a game, and children take the lesson as a game, not more. In addition you can say that it takes much more to get everything prepared for fun at the lesson.
I will say a game is a kind of work as well. If you know the psychological aspects of this very age you should see that game is an activity, which is very close to all children. While playing, you can make children really work effectively.
It is impossible to make children learn words and rules by heart, do exercises, and only drill mechanically. A game is a certain stimulus to learn something. It’s a real education aim – to learn the material for the purpose of playing.
A game is a social experience for children, which teaches them to live, to help each other, to sympathize, to win and to lose, and to respect others’ feelings. The players often try to change the game, to invent some new elements, heroes; they have their own idea. Don’t be afraid of it. It’s a kind of partnership, of help. A good game must teach children to find solutions to problems, to try out variables and make decisions.
In conclusion I would like to say that a game is full of emotions which will make your lesson interesting and productive, not only for your pupils, but also for you. Don’t be afraid to play, believe in games and you will succeed!
The aim of these games is to help children to memorize words in a fun way.


I. Lexical Games

1. What is missing?

Materials: a number of thematic cards or toys (their number depends on the age of the pupils).
How to play: put the cards or toys in a row on the desk or blackboard. Let the pupils have a look at them, or you can revise the words together. Then ask your players to close their eyes and take one of the objects away. Then the children must open their eyes and answer your question “What is missing?” You can also change this game a little bit: don’t put the cards or toys away, but change their order.

2. Mouse Game

Materials: a blackboard
How to play:
Draw a house (a square) on the blackboard and a little mouse in the middle square.










The teacher tells the pupils: “Mouse is in her house. But it is very dangerous outside, a big black cat is hungry and it wants to eat our little mouse. Let’s help her. When the mouse is out of its house – clap your hands.”
With the help of instructions (mouse up, mouse down, mouse left, mouse right) teacher makes the players follow the mouse.

3. Dominoes

Materials: thick paper and pencils to make domino cards of a suitable size (their number depends on the age and level of the pupils)
How to play: you can make the cards not only with numbers but also with the alphabet and words. Children should join the cards according to their meanings: colours, animals, parts of the body, actions and etc.) This game can be played in pairs or with the class divided into two teams).

4. Find the words.

Materials: printed forms with selected words (the number of the words depends on the age and level of the pupils)
For example:


a cat



a nose

a lion


a skirt

an eye

a table

a pupil



a hat

a TV set

a ball

a girl

a mouth


a neck

a cake

a flower

a door


How to play: the teacher reads the definitions of the words from each line and the players must cross these words out. In each line there must be one word left (in our variant there are 4 words left – a nose, an eye, a mouth, a neck). At the end of the game the pupils should guess why these words were not crossed out (in the example – the words mean the parts of the body).
The aim of these games is to help pupils differentiate the sounds of English and Russian words.

II. Phonetic Games

1. Funny Sounds

How to play: the teacher explains to the pupils: “In the English alphabet, there are a lot of little funny sounds. Sound [ei] is a very funny sound, it likes to play. Its favourite game is hide-and-seek. Let’s play with it now. The sound [ei] will hide and you will seek it. When you hear it – clap your hands (jump, sit down, etc.)”.
Then the teacher reads the list of words.

2. English Teacher

How to play: the teacher tells the pupils “The English teacher is going to learn Russian. It is very difficult for him. Let’s help him. Now listen attentively. When you hear the Russian word – clap your hands.”
The teacher reads the words both English and Russian but using only English sounds. For example: [qkxвЂ