Interesting games to "warm up" your students at the lesson

5 warmers for Young Learners

5 warmers for Young Learners

03.10.2022

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Holidays are almost over, and we will return to our students and classes, and there’s so much work to be done. Every lesson should be interesting and memorable, right? However, after a long break, our students can be passive and unorganized, and sometimes look at their English teacher in complete surprise, as if they have forgotten everything they were taught before.

The process of getting back on track is as difficult for children as for adults. Therefore, at least in the first lessons, you should just remind young learners what an English-speaking environment is, and the best way to do this is to use warmers. What are "warmers"? 

These are short dynamic games that help to "warm up" students and prepare them to learn new material. They can also be used at the end of a lesson or as a "magic wand" if you need to have some fun and take students’ minds off things while teaching a complicated topic.

So, we are happy to share a selection of warmers for primary school students with you. They do not require much preparation and resources but can be quite handy:

Snowballs

Materials: papers, pens or pencils.

How to play: 

The teacher gives each student a sheet of paper and asks them to write questions such as "Do you like lemons?", "What's your favorite drink?", etc. Then each student makes a "snowball" from his sheet. The teacher divides the students into two teams, and the students are playing snowballs while the music is on. When the music stops playing, each student should pick up one snowball, unfold it and ask the question written on the piece of paper to each student in the class.

Tennis

Materials: balloons and fly swatters.

How to play: 

Students work in pairs or minigroups. The teacher names any category (topic) that they have studied. The students’ task is to say a word related to this category each time they hit the ball (for example, the category "Colours": blue, green, pink, yellow, red, etc.). 

You can't repeat words that have already been mentioned.

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Boatman

Materials: spacious room.

How to play: 

The teacher chooses one student ("a boatman"), who turns his back to the rest of the students. The students' task is to cross the river and get to the other bank. To do this, they ask the boatman: "Boatman, can we go across the river?"

The boatman answers: "Yes, if you are wearing blue!" and turns quickly to check which of the children is wearing blue clothes. 

Children who have clothes of the appropriate color can safely move to the other side of the class. Those who do not have such a colour should run past the boatman who is trying to catch them. 

If a boatman catches one of the students, he becomes his assistant — and the two of them will choose a category in which they can let the students go and catch those who do not fit into this category.

Give me five!

Materials: spacious room.

How to play: 

The teacher divides the students into two teams, which stand in two rows, facing the opponents. Each student has a partner who faces him. The teacher reads statements such as "I like cats", "I like pizza", and students think about the answer. 

  • If the answer is "yes" — the student must take a step forward, if "no" — a step back. 
  • If both students standing opposite each other answer "yes" at the same time and take a step forward, they "give each other five" by clapping their hands. 

After each statement, students return to the starting position.

Colored topics

Materials: coloured paper clips.

How to play: 

The students choose 3-5 paper clips of different colours. The teacher divides them into mini-groups or pairs, and they have a minute to talk about the topics which correspond to the colour of the paper clips they have chosen. For example: 

  • red — a favourite food, 
  • green — a hobby, 
  • yellow — a favourite movie,
  • orange — a favourite place, 
  • white — any topic to choose from.

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Enjoy your classes!

Article authors & editors
  • Yulia Chorna

    Yulia Chorna

    Author

    DELTA Module 1, CELTA certified teacher of General & Business English

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