I remember when I first started teaching EFL kindergarten, I had an embarrassingly small repertoire of games that I would repeat every lesson.
These days I have far more games ideas, and my quest is more to refine my list of ideas into games that are the most effective and fun.
I kind of think of them as tools in my utility belt. If I’m teaching a kindergarten cover class, I have games ideas that I know work with children that age, that they’ll love, will have lots of student to student speaking, and get participation from even the most reticent students. Likewise, I have simple games ideas that I could use where there’s a lull in energy in the class, and so on.
Its the same with music and crafts, after a lot of experimentation (and failures!), you get a sense of what will work, and in what circumstances it works best.
Here are some good sources of games ideas for your classes:
- Online – you can find lists of games ideas on the Internet. Two caveats, here. First, many aren’t all that good for learning, that is, some games are fun, but they’re not always the most effective for learning. Second, many games you find online are designed for young learners. What this means is that you need to have some discernment around what games you choose to play in class, and many games might need to be adapted for the kindergarten age level.
- Other teachers – other teachers are a great source of ideas for games because they often will have a good idea about what works at that age level and what students like. Often, you’ll also find other teachers have adapted popular games in ways you’d never have considered.
- Teachers books – teachers books for very young learners often contain games banks of tried and trusted games and activities, including those that are good from a learning perspective.
- YouTube – one of the good things about YouTube is that you get to see the games played, and some times how they’re set up. You can search for EFL games, or just games children play. Some YouTube channels specialise in games for kids.