Free Prepositions Games and Activities for the ESL English Classroom

Fun Prepositions Theme Unit 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. © The Magic Crayons

  • 1. Prepositional Pantomime

    Resources

    • Prepositions Flash Cards

    How To Play

    Time: 5 minutes
    Receptive Language: instructions, in, on, under, by
    Productive Language: in, on, under, by

  • Have the students sit in a large circle & show them an actual box (the bigger the better). Demonstrate getting IN the box, sitting ON the box, sitting (or lying) UNDER the box, & sitting BY the box. Get rid of the box & pantomime the same actions. Have the students practice with you. Call out a prepositional phrase. Students must race to perform the correct action. Any students who make a mistake are kicked out of the circle. Continue until only you’re left. Congratulate yourself on your sure knowledge of prepositions. Repeat.
    Note: If the class is small enough & you have access to enough supplies, there’s no reason why you couldn’t play this game with real boxes.

Preposition Resources

Improve your students' understanding of English prepositions with our theme teaching resources! Our digital downloads and prints include original songs, crafts, flashcards, and posters for ESL and EFL. Boost your students' language skills and keep them engaged in the classroom.
  • 2. Prepositional Hi Jinx

    Resources

    • Chair
    • Book

    How To Play

    Time: 6-8 minutes
    Receptive Language: instructions, prepositions
    Productive Language: prepositions

  • Game Explanation: Review some simple prepositions. Divide the class into 2 teams, line them up across the classroom from the chairs (one for each team), & give each team a book or a bag. Call out ‘Put the book/bag under the chair!’

    The first student on either team to correctly do so, return to his team, & repeat the prepositional phrase scores a point. Continue play until all of the students have had at least one chance.

  • 3. In / On / Under Riot

    Resources

    How To Play

    Time: 8-10 minutes
    Receptive Language: instructions, in, on, under
    Productive Language: in, on, under
    Game Explanation: Explain in, on & under to the class. Demonstrate each term with one of the garbage bags. Have the students stand in a circle. Yell ‘On!’ & pass one garbage bag to the student on your left & one to the student on your right. The students must stand on the bag, yell ‘On!’, & pass it to the student next to them as quickly as they can. The garbage bags will eventually meet at one student, who can either be ejected from the game or become the teacher for the next round, handing the bags to the students on either side of her & yelling one of the commands.
    Note: This activity can also be done as a team race competition.

  • 4. Hiding In The World

    Resources

    How To Play

    Time: 8-10 minutes
    Receptive Language: instructions, ‘Where am I?’, ‘Yes I am / No, I’m not’, ‘Close / near’, etc
    Productive Language: Are you in / on / under / close to / near ____?’
    Game Explanation: Spread a world map out on the floor so that all of the students can easily see it. Tell them ‘I am in the world. Where I am?’ The students then try & guess what country or city you’re in by asking you questions (‘Are you in Europe?’ or ‘Are you in Africa?’, ‘Are you in France?’ or ‘Are you in China?’, etc). Advanced students should be encouraged to ask whatever questions they can think of (‘Are you close to water?’ or ‘Are you near Japan?’ etc). You may want to allow them to ask their questions in Japanese at first, as long as you model the correct English translation & have them repeat it to you before you answer. Whichever student correctly identifies where you’re hiding in the world gets to pick a spot to hide in for the next round. Continue until all students have had a chance to hide in the world.

  • 5. In The Box!

    Resources

    How To Play

    Divide class into teams of equal size and line them up. Opposite each team are two boxes and a fluffy toy. Teacher: Put the rabbit between the red box and blue box, etc. Once they gasp the concept make one child the teacher.

  • 6. Table Mayhem

    Resources

    • None

    How To Play

    Make teams of equal size with up to 5 students in each. Line all the children up against a wall with a table per team a good distance away from each. Teacher says Under The Table and the children race to fit under the table. Repeat for in front of, behind, on. If you have a large room then also next to and between.Note: Sitting in a table by children or Teachers is considered rude so explain to the students it is acceptable in this case. Definitely no standing in the table though. Once children understand the concept have one child call out the instructions.

  • 7. Train Game

    Resources

    • Prepositions Flash Cards

    How To Play

    Time: 5-6 minutes
    Receptive Language: instructions, ‘What’s this?’, flashcard vocab
    Productive Language: ‘What’s this?’, flashcard vocab

    Game Explanation: Select 5 students & give each a flashcard. The 5 students then circulate around the classroom collecting passengers for their trains by asking the other students ‘What’s this?’ If the student so asked answers correctly, she joins the train. The longest train when all of the students have joined a train wins.

  • 8. Repo Man

    Resources

    • Prepositions Flash Cards

    How To Play

    Time: 8-10 minutesReceptive Language: instructions, above, below, to the left of, to the right of, flashcard vocabProductive Language: flashcard vocabGame Explanation: Students sit together at one end of a card grid. Explain the terms above, below / under, to the left / right of. Call out cards for the students to find, using the above phrases (i.e. ‘Take the card above jump’ or ‘Take the card to the left of race.’Note: It will probably help if you write the terms on the whiteboard with directional arrows for the students to consult, at least at the beginning of the game.

  • 9. Over / Under Table Races

    Resources

    • Prepositions Flash Cards

    How To Play

    Time: 6-8 minutes
    Receptive Language: instructions, over, under, flashcard vocab
    Productive Language: over, under, flashcard vocab
    Game Explanation: Two teams. Arrange the cards in a pool across the room from the teams, with a classroom table placed between the cards & the teams. Call out a card (or two). The first student from each team races to take the card, but they must first crawl under the table &, when returning, jump or climb over it. You will have to teach the terms ‘over’ & ‘under’ & will probably have to continually enforce the correct under/over procedure.
    Note: At least one student will crack his head on the underside of the table, guaranteed.

  • 10. Over There !

    Resources

    • Prepositions Flash Cards

    How To Play

    Time: 5-7 minutesReceptive Language: instructions, ‘Where is the...?’Productive Language: ‘Over there!’Game Explanation: Place flashcards around the room & separate the class into two teams. Ask students ‘Where is the [flashcard]?’ Students must point at the appropriate card & shout ‘Over there!’ The first team to point & shout out the answer correctly scores a point. Extend the game by using various classroom objects (Where is the CD player? Where is the toilet? Where’s Tim sensei?). Keep it fast paced & the kids will dig it.

  • 10 FREE PREPOSITIONS GAMES FOR ESL EFL PRESCHOOL

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