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As children start to learn English they learn  lots of new words. To help them learn this vocabulary, there are plenty of fun games you can play at home.

Card games

Here are some picture cards for different topics. Each sheet has six items. The items are pictures of words that your child is probably learning at school. You can print these out, preferably onto thick paper or card, cut them out and play games. You can use sets of one topic or mix together cards from different topics.
The classroom (PDF, 136KB)
Toys (PDF, 158KB)
Colours (PDF, 37KB)
The farm (PDF, 68KB)
Clothes (PDF, 67KB)
The body (PDF, 144KB)
The family (PDF, 151KB)
Food (PDF, 69KB)

Cut out two sets, shuffle and place them face down on a table. Take turns to try and make pairs, saying the word for the two pictures you turn over each time. Encourage your children to try and remember where the cards are. If you make a pair, you keep the cards. If you don’t, turn the cards over again. The winner is the person with the most pairs at the end of the game.

Guess my card
Choose a card without showing your child and see if they can guess it in less than three goes. Then your child can do the same to you.

Guess my drawing
Choose a card without showing your child. Now start copying it as best you can onto a piece of paper for your child to guess the word. Then your child can do the same to you. This is also good for developing your child’s fine motor skills.

1, 2, 3. What can I see?

As your child learns more and more words you can play this game in a number of different places. In a room at home, or elsewhere, suggest playing this game. Say 1, 2, 3, What can I see? I can see a/an [object]. Then it is your child’s turn. Keep going until you run out of words!

What am I?

Say to your child that you are going to act out a word for them to guess. This can be an object or an action. If they guess, they get a point. Then it is your child’s turn.

Keeping an English wall

If you have space at home, it is a nice idea to keep a wall with pictures of words that your child has learnt or is learning in English. These can be the vocabulary cards on this website or pictures cut out of magazines or printed out from the Internet – or they can be pictures that you or your child have drawn. Your children can write the words too if they are able. If you don’t have space on a wall, you can keep a book with images and words stuck in it. It can be the child’s “English Picture Book”.