Games are a fun way to practise English – it can be a really motivating way to learn a language.
Games are also great for children who are shy or worried about making mistakes. It can give them an opportunity to communicate in English in a safe and fun way.
Digital games for learning English
Our free games are designed to help learners improve their English language in a fun way.
Learning tips for 5–12 year olds
Monkey Puzzles. Visit our Monkey’s favourite places such as the zoo, the park, a party and a snowball fight! The game is designed for young learners and is quick and fun to play.
Co-operative games for learning English
Co-operative games encourage teamwork, problem-solving and creativity – and everyone wins! Children can play together in a fun, supportive way and improve their English at the same time.
Speaking and listening activity
- Player 1 hides a small object (for example, a pen) and Player 2 must find the object. Player 1 must tell Player 2 how close they are to the object. For example: ‘you’re very close’, ‘you’re going the wrong way’, ‘that’s better’.
- You can make the above game harder and practise more English by playing without moving. Player 2 must say where they are going and Player 1 must tell them how close they are to the object. For example: ‘I’m going down the stairs’, ‘you’re getting closer’; ‘I’m opening the living room door’, ‘very close’; ‘I’m looking under the sofa’, ‘that’s the wrong way’.
- A scavenger hunt involves creating a list of things for your child to find. Ask them to take a photograph of each item. This is a great game to play when you’re out on a walk. But your child could also play it on a rainy day with household objects or during a long car trip.
- Put 20 known items on a tray. Let everyone look at the tray for 30 seconds. Then remove it. Ask everyone to write a list of everything they saw. How many items did you each remember? Now combine all your lists. When you put together all your ideas, did you remember all the items? You might also like to give additional bonus points for remembering the English word for an item and for spelling the English word correctly.
Vocabulary and grammar activity
- Make some cards with different nouns, verbs and adjectives. For example, ‘my dad’, ‘my brother’, ‘likes eating’, ‘loves running’, ‘slimy’, ‘hairy’, ‘slugs’, ‘children’. The players take turns to choose cards to make funny sentences. For example: ‘my dog | hates licking | smelly | bikes’.
Use your imagination and create your own games
Creative activities can help children to learn and remember new language.
- Ask your child to design their own board game about a topic that interests them. Ask them to draw the board. Create question cards using internet research or encyclopaedias. Then play the game together.
- Look at funny news headlines. For example: Strange, Stranger, Strangest. Ask your child to write a made-up headline. For example, ‘The farting fish mystery’ could become ‘The burping fish mystery’. Now you need to guess which is the true headline and which is the false headline. If you guess correctly, you get one point. If your child ‘tricks’ you, they get one point.
- Give your child some ‘facts’ and ask them to decide whether they are true or false. For example, Fact 1: children have more bones than adults. Fact 2: Jupiter is three times bigger than Earth. Fact 3: the blue whale is as loud as a jumbo jet. Then look up the answers together or read a ‘fun facts’ book to find out more.
Speaking and listening activity
- Ask your child to pretend to be another family member or family friend. Ask questions to guess who they are, for example: ‘Are you older than me?’ ‘Have you got brown eyes?’ ‘Do you visit us often?’ Now reverse roles.
- You and your child could each create a word-search puzzle on a theme, e.g. animals. This could be made more fun if your child chooses a time limit. At the end of the time, whoever has found the most words wins a prize.
- Use the words in our free picture books and vocabulary lists to play Charades or Pictionary.