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Pass the Cabbage

We've all played pass the parcel at birthday parties or at Christmas, passing the gift around the circle with fast background music on and when the music stops, the person holding the gift must take a layer of wrapping off. This cool kids ESL game is a take on that, using printed pictures, ESL flashcards or written words as wrapping!

Getting prepared to play

First things first, go to the shops and get a few sweets the day before class. Next thing you'll need is a load of pictures or printed ESL flashcards on A4 paper of vocabulary items you've been studying recently, for example, different toys or animals. Alternatively, you can have words for kids to read or letter sounds for early readers

For older kids, you can have full sentences, it really doesn't matter and you can adjust the content to fit your class.

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Wrap your sweets in one of the pictures. When you've done, do it again. And again. And again. And again. Keep going until the ball gets bigger and bigger! Eventually you'll be wrapping the pictures around like cabbage leaves! 

If you want to, you can pop the odd sweet into one of the layers to give the kids a little surprise!

Bring your 'cabbage' to class and get the kids sat in a circle. Play some cool music and have the kids pass the cabbage around the circle. When the music stops, the child holding the cabbage must take off a layer, show the class the picture and say the word

All the kids repeat the word and the game continues. Keep going until one lucky child wins the sweets! Review all the words with the class together after the game to reinforce the language.

Want to see some similar ESL Games for Kids?


Ball and Sack

For this ESL activity for kids, you'll need a sack (any bag will do really), a ball of any size, bits of paper and a pen.

A super-simple ESL review activity for children. Before class, get a load of slips of paper and write questions on them appropriate to the level of your kids. Divide your ESL class of kids into two teams and have them form two circles…


A Shark’s Coming

Many of you will be kindergarten or early primary teachers, and if so, then this ESL classroom game or warmer for kids is perfect for you. Your kids will also burn off some of their ever-lasting energy! In 'A Shark's Coming!', the kids will be practicing listening to and thinking about numbers in English and also asking 'How many?' Your kids will not only need fast feet in this ESL game for kids, but will also need to think fast!