ESL Games: Hot Potato – A Musical Flashcard Challenge to Boost Language Skills!

Quick Game Facts:

  • Name: Hot Potato
  • Recommended Ages: 4-10
  • Materials Needed: Flashcards, music player
  • Prep Time: Minimal

Hello, enthusiastic educators! Are you ready to add a musical twist to your language lessons and have a blast while boosting vocabulary and sentence formation skills? Look no further than the exciting “Hot Potato” game! This engaging activity combines the thrill of passing a flashcard with the challenge of quick thinking and linguistic creativity. So, gather your students in a circle, turn up the music, and let’s play the energetic “Hot Potato” to enhance language proficiency!


  • Objective: Pass a flashcard around in a circle while playing music. When the music stops, the child holding the card must say the word or make a sentence using the word.
  • Recommended Ages: 4-10
  • Materials Needed: Flashcards, music player
  • Prep Time: Minimal

Setting Up the Game:
Setting up “Hot Potato” is easy and sets the stage for an exciting language adventure! Prepare a set of flashcards with various words or phrases related to the topic you want to focus on. Ensure the flashcards are age-appropriate and aligned with the vocabulary level of your students. Prepare a playlist of energetic and lively music to play during the game. Try some of the Dream English free download songs or a song from Dream English on Spotify!

Playing Hot Potato:
Get ready to pass the linguistic hot potato and challenge your students’ language skills with the “Hot Potato” game! Here’s how it works: Gather your students in a circle and explain the rules. Start playing the music and have the students pass the flashcard from one person to another in a clockwise direction. Emphasize that they should pass the card quickly but without dropping it. When the music suddenly stops, the child holding the flashcard must quickly say the word on the card or create a sentence using the word. Encourage them to be creative and imaginative with their sentences. Provide support and feedback as needed. Then, resume the music and continue passing the flashcard until all students have had a turn.

Making It Educational:
While enjoying the lively game, let’s maximize the educational value of “Hot Potato”! After each student’s turn, take a moment to discuss the word or sentence created. Encourage the students to explain their choices and offer feedback on the correctness and fluency of their language use. Use the opportunity to reinforce vocabulary and grammar concepts related to the flashcards being used. Provide additional examples or challenges to expand their language skills and promote active participation.

Tips and Variations:

  1. Adjust the difficulty level of the game by selecting flashcards based on the age and language proficiency of the students.
  2. Incorporate different language skills by using flashcards with pictures and asking students to describe or make sentences about the image.
  3. Create themed sets of flashcards based on specific topics or vocabulary areas, reinforcing content knowledge while playing the game.
  4. Collaborative option: Allow students to work together in pairs or small groups. When the music stops, the pair/group must discuss and create a sentence together using the flashcard word.

Benefits of Hot Potato:
“Hot Potato” offers a range of benefits for young language learners. It enhances vocabulary retention and recall, promotes quick thinking and spontaneous language use, improves sentence formation and grammar skills, fosters creativity and imagination, and provides an enjoyable way to engage with language. The game energizes the classroom and empowers students to become confident and fluent communicators.

Dear language enthusiasts, “Hot Potato” is an energetic and interactive game that challenges students to think quickly and creatively while using their language skills. As they pass the linguistic hot potato and respond to flashcard prompts, their vocabulary and sentence formation abilities will flourish. So, gather your flashcards, turn up the music, and let’s play the thrilling “Hot Potato” to enhance language proficiency together! Stay tuned for more inspiring game ideas in our upcoming blog posts. Happy playing and learning!

ESL Games: Memory Match – A Fun Game to Teach English to Young Learners!

Quick Game Facts:

  • Name: Memory Match
  • Recommended Ages: 3-12
  • Materials Needed: Flashcards with matching pairs, table or floor space
  • Prep Time: Minimal

Calling all EFL and ESL teachers of young learners! Are you ready to inject some excitement into your English lessons? Look no further than “Memory Match”! This engaging game is not only lots of fun, but it also serves as a powerful tool for expanding your students’ English vocabulary. So, grab your flashcards and get ready to embark on an unforgettable learning adventure!


  • Objective: Find matching pairs of flashcards.
  • Recommended Ages: 3-12
  • Materials Needed: Flashcards with matching pairs, table or floor space
  • Prep Time: Minimal

Setting Up the Game:
Preparation for “Memory Match” is a breeze! Simply grab your flashcards, give them a good shuffle, and lay them face down in a grid on a table or the floor. The size of the grid can be adjusted according to the age and abilities of your students. Start with a smaller grid for younger learners, and gradually increase the challenge as their memory skills grow!

Playing Memory Match:
Let the games begin! “Memory Match” is as simple as it gets. Players take turns flipping over two cards, aiming to find matching pairs. When a match is made, the player keeps the cards and gets another turn. If the cards don’t match, they are flipped face down again, and the next player takes a turn. The game continues until all the cards have been matched.

Making It Educational:
While having a blast with “Memory Match,” why not sneak in some English learning too? Encourage your students to say the word on the card when they flip it over. To level up the challenge, ask them to use the word in a sentence. This way, they’re not only practicing vocabulary but also gaining confidence in using the words in context.

Tips and Variations:

  1. Start with a smaller grid for younger children and gradually increase the number of cards as they become more confident.
  2. For better comprehension, use flashcards with words and corresponding images to provide visual cues.
  3. Amp up the excitement by timing the turns, adding a touch of challenge to the game.

Benefits of Memory Match:
In addition to oodles of joy and laughter, “Memory Match” offers numerous benefits for your young language learners. It hones their memory skills, enhances concentration, reinforces vocabulary acquisition, and boosts retention. With its interactive nature, the game ensures maximum engagement, turning English learning into an exciting adventure!

“Memory Match” is the ultimate game that seamlessly combines enjoyment and English learning. Your little language learners will eagerly anticipate each turn, improving their vocabulary and memory skills along the way. So, gather your flashcards, set up that exhilarating grid, and watch the magic unfold in your classroom. Stay tuned for more fantastic game ideas in our upcoming blog posts. Now, let the memory-matching extravaganza begin!

How To Teach Colors with a Fun Memory Game

Welcome, EFL teachers! Get ready to add a splash of excitement to your lessons with the Color Flashcard Memory Game. Let’s dive into this fun and effective way of teaching English colors!

The Color Flashcard Memory Game:
Imagine a classic memory game infused with colorful flashcards. It’s a game that not only captivates young learners but also helps them master English color vocabulary.

Setting Up the Game:
Gather your color flashcards and create an engaging playing area. A little preparation sets the stage for an unforgettable language learning experience. It is best to use cards that the children can not see through. I have some free printable flashcards here.

How to Play:
Explain the rules of the game step by step, encouraging students to flip cards and make matches. Incorporate English color vocabulary as they conquer the game. Make sure your students say the name of the color when they flip the cards.

Learning Outcomes and Benefits:
The Color Flashcard Memory Game offers more than just fun. It enhances memory skills, develops color recognition, and reinforces English color vocabulary, all while keeping students engaged.

Variations and Adaptations:
Cater to diverse learners by adding challenges, accommodating bilingual students, or introducing additional elements like shapes and numbers. For example, a student can say “blue square” if you are using color shape cards.

Check out these videos to help you teach colors to young learners:

What Color Is It? More color songs on the Dream English Kids YouTube Channel.

With the Color Flashcard Memory Game in your teaching toolbox, you have a magical tool to make learning colors a memorable experience. Embrace this game, infuse your creativity, and watch your students thrive as they become confident English speakers.

Happy teaching!


Fun Game: Picture Scavenger Hunt

There are so many fun and creative ways to teach young English learners (ESL, EFL) vocabulary. In this blog series we will be exploring vocabulary games you can use to go along with the My First 100 Words With Matt picture dictionary book. Here we go!

My First 100 Words With Matt

Game: Picture Scavenger Hunt

Get ready for an exciting adventure with our first game: Picture Scavenger Hunt! The goal is simple – preschoolers will actively search for hidden flash cards based on a specific theme. Here’s how to play:

  1. Choose a theme (like animals or food from the book).
  2. Teach the vocabulary using the My First 100 Words Book With Matt.
  3. Prepare small game cards by either drawing a picture of the item on the card, or using flashcards.
  4. Hide picture cards around the play area.
  5. Explain the rules and let the children search for the hidden cards.
  6. When a student finds a card they should bring it back to the teacher and say what is on the card. 
  7. The game finishes when each student gets one card and says the vocabulary to the teacher.
  8. You can play several times as long as it is fun for the students and they are learning.

For higher level students you can ask them to say the vocabulary in a sentence. For example, “ I see a dog.” 

Picture Scavenger Hunt turns learning into a thrilling adventure where children explore, discover, and expand their vocabulary. Let the hunt begin!

I hope this game is fun and helpful for your classes. Check out the My First 100 Words With Matt Book available now on Amazon!

Picture Dictionary Book: Unlocking First Words with Visuals

I have been using the My First 100 Words With Matt book in my young learners English classes. In this post we will explore the benefits of using a picture dictionary book for learning language. Here we go!

My First 100 Words With Matt

Learning to speak and understand language is an exciting milestone in a child’s life. As a parent or caregiver, you play a crucial role in fostering language development. Picture dictionary books are an excellent tool for helping children learn their first words. In this blog post, we’ll explore the benefits of using picture dictionary books and provide practical tips for maximizing the learning experience.

The Power of Visuals:
Picture dictionary books are highly effective because they harness the power of visuals. Children are naturally drawn to pictures, and the visual elements in these books enhance their language learning and comprehension. The combination of words and visuals creates an engaging and memorable experience for young learners.

Sample Page from My First 100 Words With Matt Book

Choosing the Right Book:
When selecting a picture dictionary book, consider factors such as age appropriateness, illustrations, and vocabulary. Look for books that align with your child’s developmental stage and interests.

Interactive Learning:
Make picture dictionary book reading interactive and engaging. Encourage your child’s participation by asking questions and discussing the pictures together. By actively involving your child in the learning process, you enhance their comprehension and language skills.

Expanding Vocabulary:
Picture dictionary books are excellent tools for building your child’s vocabulary. Explore different word categories like nouns, verbs, and adjectives. Use the visuals to reinforce the meaning of words and help your child remember them. Repetition is key in vocabulary acquisition, so revisit the book regularly and encourage your child to use the words in everyday conversations.

Making Real-Life Connections:
Help your child connect the words they learn in the picture dictionary book to their everyday experiences. Relate the book’s content to their routines, environment, and personal interests. Encourage curiosity and imagination by asking open-ended questions and sparking discussions about the pictures.

Beyond Words: Concepts and Context:
Picture dictionary books go beyond teaching individual words. They can introduce broader concepts such as colors, shapes, numbers, and emotions. Explore storylines, characters, and plot development to expand your child’s language skills.

Picture dictionary books are powerful tools for teaching children their first words. Through visuals, interactive reading, and vocabulary expansion, these books create a language-rich environment that supports your child’s language development. By choosing the right book, making real-life connections, and exploring concepts, you can maximize the learning experience. So, grab a picture dictionary book and embark on a visual journey that will unlock a world of words for your little one!

Try the My First 100 Words With Matt book to start your child’s learning journey. Available now on Amazon.

Numbers Game: Numbers Hunt!

Numbers are an important part of a young learners (ESL, EFL) lesson. Using songs like the Dream English Let’s Count 1 to 10 is a great way to introduce numbers. Check that song out here. After singing the song, try this fun game:

The “Number Hunt” game. Ages 3-6. Here’s how you can play it:

  1. Prepare number cards: Create or print out large, colorful cards with numbers from 1 to 10. Each card should have a corresponding number of objects or dots to represent the numeral. You can also use flashcards.
  2. Hide the number cards: Hide the number cards around the classroom or a designated play area.
  3. Explain the game: Gather the children and explain that they are going on a number hunt to find the hidden numbers.
  4. Start the hunt: Encourage the children to search for the number cards one by one. When they find a card, they should bring it back to you or a designated area.
  5. Number recognition: Once a child finds a number card, ask them to identify the number and count the objects or dots on the card. You can reinforce their understanding by asking questions like, “What number did you find?” or “How many objects are on the card?”
  6. Repeat and rotate: Repeat the game, hiding the cards in different locations, and let each child have multiple turns finding the numbers.

Matt’s Tip: To avoid competition, tell each student they can only get one card.

This game not only helps young learners practice number recognition and counting skills but also adds an element of excitement and physical activity to the learning process. Be sure that you are hiding the numbers in a safe area for children.

Have a look at the popular Let’s Count 1 to 10 Video here. Happy Teaching!