Various Vocab Games for Children and Adults. Let’s Play and Learn Together!

A pleasant and lively atmosphere plays an important role in learning a new language. To create such an environment, you need to add various vocabulary game ideas to the educational process. And it doesn’t matter who the lessons are for: for children or for adults. Great vocab games are well suited for this.

Playing while learning a language is useful for children. Adults can have fun while playing and take a break from studying monotonous topics. Hundreds of different games are suitable for these tasks. Today we will present only the best and most interesting vocab games ideas to find out.

1. Truth or Lie

vocab games

Students write three sentences about themselves on a piece of paper. One of them is true, the other two are false. Students are allowed to ask questions about statements, but the answer can only be “yes” or “no”. When everyone writes the sentences, they need to be read out loud, and the rest should think well and determine which of these is true and which is false and, accordingly, voice their guesses.

This ESL vocabulary game allows you not only to develop your grammar skills but also to learn more about the students. The more difficult the statements you write, the more interesting it will be for you to play. For example, in your vocab games ideas, you might use the following statements:

I like fried chicken.

I wasn’t at the swimming pool yesterday.

I’m going to make a haircut.

2. Draw and Roll

esl vocabulary game

Draw and Roll is one of the most useful vocabulary game ideas out there, be sure to try it out.

Pupils are divided into two equal teams and from each team, in turn, 1 student goes to the board. The teacher says: “Draw …” and students should draw what was said. If the drawing corresponds to what was said, the child takes the dice and throws, thereby earning points for his team. The team with more points wins.

This one from our vocabulary games ideas can be diversified and add, for example, an additional condition – to draw what the teacher said in 30 seconds. Also, try using colored crayons or a number of details that can be used in the drawing. Come up with delicious prizes and students will definitely get excited and have fun learning. This game will be their favorite of all ESL vocabulary games.

3. Puzzles

vocab games ideas

One of the few vocab game ideas that boast such a variety of rules. The great game aimed at teamwork. It is suitable for repeating tenses, phrases, honing reading skills, etc. Let’s figure out how to play Puzzles?

Pupils write on a piece of paper from 3 to 5 sentences with pens, markers of different colors. After that, the sheet must be cut so as to separate all the phrases. The resulting phrases are mixed and put into a hat or bag. After that, the class must be divided into 2 or 3 equal teams. Each team in turn takes one phrase from a hat or bag and tries to put together a whole phrase from the pieces. The team that compiles the initial proposals faster wins.

This game on our list of vocabulary games ESL uses a lot of rules and words.

4. What’s My Problem?

vocabulary games ideas

Vocab games ESL at language learning lessons need to be fun and engaging for learners. “What’s my problem” is exactly that. The game helps to expand your vocabulary and consolidate the vocabulary.

How to play it?

Various life problems are written on stickers, and then the pieces of paper are randomly pasted on the backs of students. Then the students communicate and ask each other where to turn to and what I need to do to get rid of this problem. But at the same time, your partner cannot name the problem itself. The student needs to guess, based on the advice, what exactly his problem is, written on the back. It could be any fictional health problem, pet’s work, family, or friends.

Such simple ESL games perfectly practice speaking and listening.

5. Hot Seat

esl vocabulary games

We still have a lot of vocabulary game ideas. Let’s take a look at another cool Hot Seat game. It helps to develop speaking skills and phonetics. Such ESL vocab games are very popular among students.

Hot Seat rules:

Students are divided into 2 teams. One student who wants to volunteer sits facing the class with his back to the board. A group of words for each team is written on the board. After the words are written down, the students sit down in front of the student on the Hot Seat and try to help him guess the word on the board. You can describe a word and suggest synonyms, but you cannot name it, show it, or draw on paper. A certain amount of time is allocated for each student, you can decide for yourself how much it will be. The team that is the first to guess all the words on the board wins. Try and mix vocabulary game ideas.

6. Mixed Words

vocabulary games esl

Simple ESL games list includes fun and easy-to-play quick wits game that the participants will surely enjoy. The teacher prepares a list of words or proverbs in which the order of letters is mixed up (for example, “byhob” instead of “hobby”) and prints out the same cards with tasks according to the number of prospective players. The participants of our vocab games ideas are given the same tasks and pens. The task of the players is to form the correct words as quickly as possible and write them in their cards opposite the confused ones. The winner is the one who is the fastest to correctly form words or proverbs.

Simple words:

pleap – apple;

targui – guitar;

mersum — summer;

turepic — picture;

ausages– sausage;

bitrab – rabbit;

This interesting game stands out from all the vocab game ideas. It is aimed at developing phonemic hearing and corrective work.

7. Mims

vocabulary game ideas

An interesting and fun vocabulary game ESL that will help to create an atmosphere in the classroom. It is not like the classic phonetic games in language lessons, but the game develops speaking well because the participants constantly pronounce their versions of words and communicate with each other (all except the mime).

Mimes are very easy to play. To do this, one student is given a word and he must show it to the rest of the students with symbols and gestures. At the same time, the mime cannot be pronounced any phrases and sounds indicating this word, and other students can speak only in the language that you are studying. You can complicate the test by limiting it in time. A common technique for improving performance in vocab game ideas is to set a time limit. Try giving students 3 minutes to guess what the mime is showing. Mims is a very popular game on our ESL games ideas list.

8. 20 Questions

vocab game ideas

Probably many of you have heard about this kind of vocab game idea.

For those who are still unfamiliar, I tell you: one of the students should think of a word and not say it to anyone, and the rest should find out what it is by asking questions to which the student can only answer “yes” or “no”.

Here it is advisable to assign a specific topic and ask students to think of words that, in one way or another, are related to it.

I mentioned this, one of my favorite ESL game ideas, because many students have difficulty formulating questions (especially word order and auxiliary verbs). This brilliant, but at the same time, simple and understandable game helps to improve knowledge in this area, as well as learn how to choose synonyms and analyze the situation.

9. Describe It!

vocab games esl

A great example for adult learners who want to play games for ESL.

The idea of ​​the game is that to the first student who wishes, the teacher quietly says a word in his ear, or the student pulls one of the pre-prepared pieces of paper with the words that should lie upside down on the table. After that, the student tries to describe this word, but at the same time does not call it, does not point a finger, and the like. After one of those seated guesses the word, it is his turn to describe.

This game belongs to the ESL games intermediate category, so practice it with older kids. The advantage of this game is that it forces students to use synonyms and antonyms that they usually do not use. It also helps them develop language skills to try to express something.

10. Cubes

vocabulary game esl

A good example of one of the simple ESL games is the Cubes game. This is a very creative and entertaining game for children and adults. It belongs to the ESL vocabulary games printable category because it is necessary to prepare pictures for the cubes in advance.

The course of the game: for the game, multi-colored cubes are made, on the edges of which pictures with the image of objects or animals are glued. Students should be split into two teams. After that, one participant from each group comes out to the table, toss a cube, and says the sentence, for example, in Past Simple. The sentence should correspond not only to the tense but to the situation on the picture on one of the sides of the cube. The team gets a point for each correct answer. The team with the most points wins.

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