Free 5-Minute Anytime Games & Activities

Fun Games and Activities To Play in 5-Minutes with Vocabulary for Children in PreSchool, Nursery, Kindergarten, and International School Classrooms. Educational Resources Written, Tried and Tested by English Language Teachers Working With Students in Japan.
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  • So you’ve planned a killer lesson, the game worked with your nen-cho class yesterday, but today it falls flat or the class race through it in half the allocated time. It’s the end of your lesson, but you’ve still got five minutes to go. What can you do?

    Essentially, when planning your lesson you should always include a back-up game/song/activity in case your lesson runs short or your game doesn’t work. Alternatively you could have a bank of game ideas that you can use as time fillers that you can use in the last five minutes.

  • Sometimes known as your “bag of tricks”. It is helpful to have a dice or ball in your bag so you can play different games, but the games on this list need no materials except the flashcards you have used in the lesson.

    Time filler activities need little or no materials, should involve all the kids, don’t require you to form teams and should require little explanation.

  • Anytime classroom games

    A clock students made to help learn time in English.

  • 1. Rock Scissors Paper Teacher vs Class

    Resources

    None

    How to play

    Have all the kids stand up. Play janken. Get the kids to all chorus “rock, scissors, paper”.
    Whoever loses must sit down. If the kids win or tie they remain standing. Continue until you have a winner.

    Cultural tip for Japan. Everyone knows how to play Rock, Paper, Scissors. Quite literally. I've seen adults on the train play this to determine who gets a seat. If ever 2 students are disagreeing, resolve with this :-)

  • 2. Line Jump Game

    Resources

    How to play

    Have the kids line up in front of you. Hold two flash cards one in each hand. Jump left and call out the card. Jump right and call out the second card. Alternate the cards until you get into a jumping rhythm, then hold up one flashcard but call out the other flashcard. If the kids jump to the incorrect card have them sit down.

  • 3. Sensei Guess Game

    Resources

    How to play

    Using the flash cards from the lesson, have the kids sitting in front of you, select a card, show the class but explain that it’s a secret from the teacher. try and guess the card in 3 or less attempts and score a point for the teacher. If you don’t guess the card, the kids get a point.

  • 4. Telepathy

    Resources

    How to play

    Like sensei guess game, but in reverse. Keep the flash card secret from the kids. Hold it over your head. The kids have to guess what card you are holding using their telepathic powers.

  • 5. Red Light/Green Light

    Resources

    • None

    How to play

    Line the kids up against one wall. Call out green light and turn your back on the kids. Call out Red Light, then turn around. The kids must freeze. Any kid who moves is out. The first kid to reach you then becomes teacher and can call out red light/green light.

  • 6. Scary Circle Pass Game / Bomb Game

    Resources

    • None

    How to play

    Pair text with an image to focus on your chosen product, collection, or blog post. Add details on availability, style, or even provide a review.

  • 7. Pictionary

    Resources

    How to play

    You will get the kids interest just by drawing on the board. Draw one of the flash cards vocab on the board and see if the kids can guess.

  • 8. Touch and Point

    Resources

    • None

    How to play

    Call out colours or classroom objects and have the kids run and touch.

  • 9. Flashcard Review

    Resources

    How to play

    Shuffle the flash cards, slowly reveal one card. Hand the card to whoever identifies it correctly using the “here you are”, “thank you” “you’re welcome” phrase. Then ask for the cards back and try to get the kids to use the same phrase.

  • 10. Flash Game

    Resources

    How to play

    Have 3- 5 students at the front and give them each a f/c. Have them quickly flash the flash cards to the class. Ask the kids to line up in front of the kid who is holding the card that you nominate.

  • 11. Commando

    Resources

    • None

    How to play

    A quick game that is easy to play. Simply call out instructions i.e. jump; run; stand-up; sit down. etc.

  • And finally...

    Don’t overkill these games, (as with any game), variety will keep the kids interested and keep them wanting more!

  • 11 ESL AND EFL 5-MINUTE ANYTIME CLASSROOM GAMES

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