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15 Free Clothing Games for ESL, EFL and Kindergarten Classrooms

15 Free Clothing Games for ESL, EFL and Kindergarten Classrooms

All the following games and activities for kindergarten, preschool and ESL students have been tried and tested in classrooms by The Magic Crayons, who are experienced teaching professionals. If you are planning a lesson to a theme, remember to check our flash cards, crafts and songs pages too.

1. Gaijin's Closet Relay

Materials: Clothing Flash Cards. 3 or 4 separate outfits of clothes
Class Size: whole

Have a pair of 4 pairs of shorts/pants and 4 shirts. Separate the class into 4 teams. Put one half of the team on one side of the room, and one half on the other.

Put all the clothes in the middle of the room. On Go, one person from each team must run and put on one pair of pants and one shirt, run to their team mate on the other side of the room and change out of the clothes and the next person must change into the clothes, then run to the other side of the room and they must do the same.

Fastest team to finish wins!

2. Fashion Show

Materials: Clothing Flash Cards but more preferably old clothes to match the cards. Class size: whole class, in teams
Set up: Assign a number of teams, more than 2 to ensure that everyone gets a go and that there are no kids way at the back. Teams are lined up with the front member of each line going first. Say there are 4 lines. The teacher calls out one clothing item for each team and then 3, 2, 1, GO, the 4 members race to find that card (turned down in a pile near the front) and then bring the card further to the front where the actual clothes are. Putting the card down beside the clothing item, they must then put on the item and race back to their team and wait for the team to say "I like your JACKET", and reply "Thank You". The first team to
• Find the card
• Put on the clothing item
• Race back to their team and answer the question
is the winner or gets a point. The overall winners can celebrate by taking pictures of their 'model' ala fashion cat-walk style.

Having David Bowie's fa fa fa fa FASHION on in the background won't do any harm.

3. Stinky Sock

Materials: Clothing Flash Cards, envelope or box
Class size: All
Split the class into boys team and girls team, and have them line up on opposite ends of the room. Place a box containing the champion "present" on a chair in the middle of the room. Show the class a flash card. Whatever team identifies it fastest or loudest can take a step towards the present. Repeat until one of the teams has reached the present and is the winner. Open the box and have them discover that it's not a present at all but one of your unwashed socks. For ultimate smellocity, prep this game well in advance by not washing the sock for a couple of weeks.

4. Variation Of Colour Basket Game

Materials: Clothing Flash Cards
Clothes Basket (see Fruit Basket game)
Class size: whole class
Set up: You need to have photocopies (or mini cards) of all of the clothes cards. Try to have an even amount of each. Give each child a card to hold.
This works best if you have chairs for everyone in the class. Get the kids to put their chairs into a circle with the chairs facing inwards. Stand in the middle.
Model the game by calling out one of the clothes cards and getting the kids say 3-2-1 GO! Encourage the kids with that card to stand up and change chairs with other kids with the same card, whilst you (hilariously!) try to sit in an empty chair. I usually lose the first few rounds until they get the hang of it. Increase the difficulty by calling two cards at a time. Then call three at a time, then four, until finally teach them that when you call "Clothes Basket!" everyone has to change seats. Any kid that doesn't make it into an empty seat gets to be the "teacher" and call the next clothes card. Repeat until you run out of time!
Hint: it helps if you have the cards on the board so the kids can remember the clothes when they are put on the spot. This game can work for all levels, but with nen-sho maybe have the same amount of chairs as there are kids and you can call out the clothing item yourself, they will still enjoy the game just by switching chairs.

4x Free Clothing Flash Cards

For use with The Clothing Song, by The Magic Crayons. Click link for audio, video with dance moves, lyrics and download.

5. Magazine Shopping

Materials needed: lots of old magazines, scissors, paper

Divide the students into pairs or small teams & give them each a previously prepared line drawing of a naked person (not too graphic) on a sheet of paper, a fashion or clothing magazine, & a pair of scissors. Review the clothing vocab that you want to cover & yell 'Go!' The students must flip through the magazines, looking for each of the items you've asked for cut them out & glue or tape them to the figure on the paper. The first team to fully clothe their character is the winner, though extra points may be awarded for the most/least fashionable, best fitting, etc.

6. Clothing Ramble

Materials: Clothing Flash Cards
Class size: whole class
Set up: gather all the kids into the middle of the room. Place several clothing cards around the room (preferable in high easy to see places) and briefly review. Play some fun music, stop the CD and shout out one of the clothing cards and encourage the kids to move to that part of the room. When everyone is gathered near to the card chant ,"3,2,1 _____" say the items name as a group and pretend to put it on in a crazy fun way. Do several times while the kids are still having fun.

7. Clothes Line

Materials: clothes line with pegs, Clothing Flash Cards
Time: 8 minutes
Receptive Language: instructions, flashcard vocab
Productive Language: flashcard vocab
Game Explanation: String the clothes line up, making sure that the students will be able to reach it. Attach your target flashcards to the line. Divide the students into teams and call out a flashcard. Students race to pull down the correct card.

8. Colour Touch

Materials: Clothing Flash Cards
Time: 5-7 minutes
Receptive Language: ‘Touch (colour)’
Productive Language: colours
Game Explanation: Call out a colour. The students race to find & touch an object of the same colour somewhere in the classroom within a predetermined time limit.
Note: This game can be played with all of the students racing to touch objects at the same time (good for nen-sho classes), in teams, or individually. Modify as needed. The flashcard can be shown to sho. For Chu, show them the card and try to get them to produce the language as a group when they touch it. For cho just try saying the color (no f/c) then get them to repeat the language after they have identified it.

9. Shoe Jumble

Materials: shoes
Time: 10 minutes
Receptive Language: “Put on / Take off your shoes!”
Productive Language: “Put on / Take off my shoes” etc
Game Explanation: Have all the students remove their shoes and dump them in a pile at one end of the classroom. Two teams. One student from each team races, on your command, to find their shoes & put them on. The faster student scores a point for his or her team.

10. Book Race

Materials: appropriate books or magazines
Time: 8-10 minutes
Receptive Language: “Find a (____)”
Productive Language: various

Game Explanation: Two teams, each with a book or magazine (located at the far end of the classroom from the teams, if you like). Call out an object. The students must race to find the object in the book or magazine. The fastest team to do so scores a point.

Note: This activity works particularly well for the animal and clothing units, as the kindergartens will probably have several animal books lying around and any fashion magazine will be jam packed with examples of the target language (allowing you to vary the commands, i.e. by asking the students to find a ‘brown hat’ or a ‘red jacket,’ etc).

11. Clothes Quiz

Materials: Clothing Flash Cards, Colors Flash Cards
Time: 8-10 minutes
Receptive Language: flashcard vocab
Productive Language: flashcard vocab
Game Explanation: Review the colour & clothing flashcards, making sure to point out examples of card combinations such as ‘blue socks’ or ‘yellow t-shirt.’ Have two students stand facing each other for 10 or 15 seconds before getting them to stand back-to-back. Ask one of the students to identify one article of the other student’s outfit (‘Black socks’). If he can do so, he scores a point & the other student gets a chance. Continue until the students run out of articles of clothing to identify.
Note: This activity works best with older kagai students. Not recommended for seika nen-sho classes, though nen-cho students may be able to handle it, provided you give them a thrilling & action-packed demonstration with the Japanese teacher.

12. Clothing Race

Materials: t-shirts, shoes, socks, gloves, hats, etc
Time: 10 minutes
Receptive Language: “Put on the (article of clothing)”
Productive Language: clothing
Game Explanation: Two teams, each with a corresponding chair draped in matching (i.e., the same items for each team) articles of clothing on the other side of the room. One student from each team races to don whatever article of clothing you call out, name it, remove it, and return to his or her team, with the faster student scoring a point. Make sure the students name the clothing they’ve put on before removing it.

13. Get Dressed

Materials: clothing items and/or Clothing Flash Cards
Time: 6-8 minutes
Receptive Language: instructions, ‘Put on your ____’, unit vocab
Productive Language: unit vocab
Game Explanation: String up a washing line across your classroom & peg either realia clothing items or the flashcards to the line. Split the students into teams & then, one by one, tell them to ‘Put on your [clothes].’  The students race each other to the washing line, take down the item of clothing called for, & put it on. The first one to do so gets a point for his team.  
Note: For nen-cho students, specify the colour of the clothing item they’re to put on. If you don’t feel like hauling a huge sack of clothing to your kindergarten substitute cut-out paper representations that the students must place against their bodies instead of actually putting on.

14. I Like Your Pants

Materials: Flash Cards, chairs, cd player
Time: 5-7 minutes
Receptive Language: instructions, unit vocab
Productive Language: ‘I like your ___’, ‘Thank you’, unit vocab
Game Explanation: Make a circle with some chairs but use one less chair than there are students (i.e. 10 students, 9 chairs). Put a clothing card underneath one of the chairs. Play some music & have the students walk around the chairs circle. The students race to sit down when you stop the music. The student who doesn’t manage to sit down must go the chair with the card underneath it & show it to the class. The class then says ‘I like your ___’ to which the student holding the card should respond ‘Thank you.’ Change the flashcard & repeat.

15. Teddy Bear Clothing 

Materials needed: Clothing Flash Cards, Teddy Bear and clothing parts, blu tack
Play this game after the kids have seen the clothing flashcards a few times so they know the items. Do a quick review of the cards before playing the game. Use the template of the Teddy Bear and the clothing items. Attach the Teddy Bear to a board or a wall. Ask the Ss where to put the clothing items and to start with which clothing item. For example: “What should go first? Shoes? Socks?” Follow what they tell you. Sometimes you end up with having the shoes on before the socks. Pretty funny. Sometimes put the clothing items on back to front or on the T. Or put it on the teddy’s ears when it should be on his toes etc. Once the teddy bear is clothed, take each item off, and get the Ss to tell you what it is. This then works in nicely for your next class as the game is all set to go.
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15 Free Clothing Games for Classrooms
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