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17 Games to Improve English for Kids


Have you heard? Children’s brains are like sponges, eagerly soaking up information and experiences. 

By infusing language learning into their playtime, you can capitalize on their natural curiosity and receptiveness to new knowledge.

That’s why we love incorporating games in our online language classes for kids at LingoCircle. So, if your child is learning to speak English, this list of 17 games to improve English for kids is for you! 

These games go beyond conventional learning methods, from classic board games that enhance vocabulary to interactive online platforms that make language acquisition a joy.

In fact, according to early childhood development research, guided playtime can be just as effective as many conventional learning methods! How so? Let’s start there! 

Why Games are Effective for English Learning

Learning through play is a powerful method that offers numerous benefits for children acquiring English skills. 

Games captivate children’s attention

Unlike traditional learning methods, which may feel tedious, the interactive nature of games makes the language-learning process enjoyable. 

This heightened engagement not only sustains interest but also encourages a more positive attitude towards language acquisition.

Games facilitate contextual learning

Whether through board games, outdoor activities, or online platforms, the real-life scenarios presented in games provide a practical and immersive environment for language exploration. 

This contextual learning approach helps children understand how to use language in everyday situations, making learning more relatable and applicable.

Games make language learning fun 

Children tend to feel more at ease experimenting with new words, phrases, and expressions during play, contributing to a more natural and effective language acquisition process. 

This positive and low-pressure environment encourages children to express themselves freely, cultivating confidence in their English language abilities.

17 Games to Improve English for Kids

Now, let’s dig into our curated list of 17 games designed to improve English for kids! 

Educational Board Games

1. Scrabble

Scrabble is a classic board game that expands your child’s English vocabulary and improves spelling accuracy. 

The game encourages players to think critically about word formation, helping them internalize spelling patterns and reinforce language rules. 

To maximize the educational benefits, introduce themed rounds—linking words to a specific topic or category sparks creativity and broadens their language scope. For example, you can have a round centered around animals or household objects. 

Buy this game!

2. Boggle

Boggle is another exciting game that not only entertains but also enhances word recognition and creativity. 

As the Boggle timer ticks away, children race against it, spotting words in a jumble of letters. This process sharpens their word recognition skills, helping them identify and form words quickly.

Like Scrabble, you can make this game more educational by incorporating themed rounds in which kids search for words in a specific category—such as animals, fruits, or colors.

Buy this game!

3. Apples to Apples Junior

Apples to Apples Junior is an entertaining card game where players must draw connections between words. 

For example, one card could be “playful,” and players must select from their hand the word that best represents or relates to “playful.” This enhances vocabulary and helps children develop a deeper understanding of language nuances.

You can tailor the game to suit different language proficiency levels by adjusting the complexity of word choices. 

For beginner English learners, focus on basic vocabulary, gradually progressing to more challenging words as their language skills develop.

Buy this game!

4. Taboo for Kids

Taboo is another engaging card game in which players must describe a word without using certain “taboo” terms or phrases associated with it. 

For example, if the word is “giraffe,” players might be forbidden to use words like “tall” or “Africa” in their descriptions.

This adds a fun challenge, sharpens vocabulary, and enhances descriptive and communicative skills.

As with the previous games, Taboo for Kids is adaptable to different language proficiency levels. Begin with simpler words for beginners, gradually introducing more complex vocabulary as their language skills advance.

Buy this game!

5. Rory’s Story Cubes

Rory’s Story Cubes consists of dice with various images, inspiring children to weave imaginative tales based on the pictures. 

This game enhances storytelling, an essential skill for foreign language proficiency, and boosts vocabulary as kids articulate their ideas.

Integrating language learning into this game is easy! Just encourage your children to describe the images, characters, and events in English. 

Buy this game!

6. Bananagrams

The Bananagrams game involves arranging letter tiles into a grid as players race against each other to complete their own crossword.

Like other word games, Bananagrams challenges your child’s ability to form and spell words correctly in English. 

Whether your child is just starting to spell or is already a wordsmith, this game offers an entertaining way to enhance English language skills.

Buy this game!

Activity Games for English Practice

7. Charades

Charades, albeit a game of non-verbal communication, is an excellent way to hone language skills. 

As you may know, the game involves acting out words or phrases without speaking, relying solely on gestures and expressions for others to guess.

Since the game requires players to convey words or phrases through expressive actions, it sharpens non-verbal communication skills and encourages creative expression.

To maximize the language-learning potential, encourage children to act out words they’ve recently learned or introduce new vocabulary specifically for the game.

100 Great Charades for Kids of All Ages 

8. Simon Says

Simon Says is another classic game that we’re sure you’ve played before! 

This game requires players to follow instructions given by the leader, but only if the command is preceded by the phrase “Simon says.” If the leader gives a command without saying, “Simon says,” and a player follows it, they’re out.

As the leader, you can issue commands that incorporate a variety of action verbs and descriptive adjectives to broaden vocabulary and encourage physical engagement.

70 Simon Says Ideas that are Fun and Educational

9. Pictionary

The visual association with words enhances memory retention, making Pictionary an excellent creative language-learning activity.

The game revolves around conveying words through drawings, which can help reinforce vocabulary.

Like previous games, you can turn Pictionary into a dynamic language learning activity by incorporating themed rounds, such as everyday activities, foods, or animals. 

This way of playing Pictionary directs language learning toward targeted areas, enriching the overall experience.

Classroom Pictionary – ESL Activity

10. Word Bingo

Bingo is a game that stands the test of time, making it a staple in many foreign language classrooms across the globe. 

You can easily make this game educational by having your kids create custom Bingo cards with English vocabulary words.

For younger learners, focus on basic nouns and verbs, gradually introducing more challenging terms. You can make the game more difficult for advanced learners by requiring them to use each word in a sentence to secure a win.

ESL Bingo: 4 Fun, Practical Ways to Use the Classic Game in Your Classroom

11. Scavenger Hunt

Take the learning outside with a Scavenger Hunt! Create a list of things for your child to find. It could be anything from a colorful flower to a bumpy rock. 

As they search, they not only discover exciting things but also connect words with real objects.

You can also organize the scavenger hunt into teams. Encourage participants to communicate exclusively in English as they discuss their findings and coordinate efforts. 

This approach helps cultivate teamwork and English communication skills in an enjoyable and interactive setting.

Scavenger Hunt ESL Activity 

12. Memory Match / Concentration

Memory Match, also known as Concentration, is another classic game that helps to enhance vocabulary retention. 

To play, you just have to lay out pairs of cards with English words and their corresponding images facedown. Players take turns flipping cards, aiming to find matching pairs. 

ESL Concentration 

13. Mad Libs

Mad Libs involves filling in blanks in a story with random words, creating hilarious and often absurd narratives.

As children contribute words to complete the Mad Libs stories, they also encounter various parts of speech and sentence structures. 

This interactive process expands vocabulary and deepens their grasp of grammar in a lighthearted and enjoyable manner.

21 Mad Libs English ESL worksheets

14. 20 Questions

20 Questions is a guessing game, making it excellent for developing your child’s critical thinking skills while reinforcing their ability to construct meaningful questions in English.

The game starts with one player thinking of a mystery word or concept. The other players take turns asking up to 20 yes-or-no questions to decipher the secret.

Start with simpler words for beginners, gradually introducing more complex terms as their language skills progress.

The 20 Questions Game | Fun Ideas And Examples

Online Language Learning Games

15. ABCmouse

ABCmouse offers a range of games designed to enhance early literacy, phonics, and vocabulary. 

These interactive activities make learning English enjoyable, helping children build a strong foundation in language from an early age.

The platform provides a comprehensive selection of listening, speaking, reading, and writing exercises. 


16. PBS Kids Games

PBS Kids Games incorporates beloved characters from well-known children’s shows into interactive games. 

This familiarity engages young learners and creates an enjoyable environment for language exploration.

The platform introduces English language concepts through various games, covering areas such as vocabulary, phonics, and basic grammar. 

PBS Kids Games

17. Hello-World

Hello-World is another gaming website tailored for young language learners. 

Designed with vibrant colors and interactive games, it’s the perfect platform for children just starting to learn English.

Hello-World’s games focus on fundamental language skills. These include letter recognition, basic vocabulary, and simple sentence structures. 


How to Get a Free English Class for Kids

Games are a great way to keep your child excited about learning English–including language learning video games!

However, despite all the benefits of combining learning and play, games won’t be enough to help your child become bilingual or multilingual. 

We recommend supplementing what your child learns from these games with regular English language classes.

Why Choose LingoCircle

At LingoCircle, we offer online English classes for kids with:

  • Experienced teachers. Our team consists of experienced, passionate, native English-speaking instructors specializing in online language teaching for children aged 3-15. They understand the unique needs of young learners, ensuring an engaging and effective language-learning experience.
  • Interactive lessons. Using a variety of activities, games, and multimedia, our teachers keep children excited about learning English. The interactive nature of our lessons ensures active participation, making language acquisition a dynamic and enjoyable process.
  • Fun learning environment. Learning should be enjoyable, and that’s precisely what LingoCircle offers! Our classes create a supportive and fun environment where kids thrive. Connecting with peers from around the world, your child will learn English and experience the joy of connecting with others.

Ready to explore if online English classes are suitable for your child? Click here to get your first class for free!