Games for colors

All the following games and activities for kindergarten, preschool and ESL students have been tried and tested in classrooms by The Magic Crayons, who are experienced teaching professionals currently working in Japan and China.

1. Colour Touch

Materials: Color flash cards
Time: 5-7 minutes
Receptive Language: ‘Touch (colour)’
Productive Language: colours

Game Explanation: Call out a colour. The students race to find & touch an object of the same colour somewhere in the classroom within a predetermined time limit.

Note: This game can be played with all of the students racing to touch objects at the same time (good for nen-sho classes), in teams, or individually. Modify as needed. The flashcard can be shown to sho. For Chu, show them the card and try to get them to produce the language as a group when they touch it. For cho just try saying the color (no f/c) then get them to repeat the language after they have identified it.

2. Shape Search

Materials: coloured shapes
Time: 5-7 minutes
Receptive Language: instructions, ‘Touch [coloured shape]’
Productive Language: shapes & colours
Game Explanation: Review shapes & colours. Pin or tape a coloured shape to each student’s back. Call out ‘Touch a [coloured shape]’. Every student must search for & touch the coloured shape you’ve called out.

3. iSpy Cars

Materials: whiteboard, marker
Time: 5-6 minutes
Receptive Language: instructions, colours, car
Productive Language: colours, car
Game Explanation: Based on another childhood road trip classic (& always more satisfying than ‘I Spy’, especially if your father thought it was funny to try & trick you & your siblings), Killer Cars requires a classroom with windows facing a (preferably busy) road. Each student selects a colour (‘White car!’, ‘Green car!’, etc). Every time a car passes the school that matches one of the students’ selected colours, that student scores a point. Whoever has the most points at the end of a pre-determined time limit is the champion.
Note: In Japan pick white if you want to win.

4. Doctor Feelgood

Materials: none
Time: 6 minutes
Receptive Language: instructions, colours, body parts
Productive Language: colours, body parts
Game Explanation: Basically an extended version of Colour Touch, Dr Feelgood is played by having the students touch various items of a certain colour (as decided and called out by you, the instructor, at least at first) with specified body parts (hand, nose, knee, etc).
Note:

5. Colour By Number

Materials: previously prepared colouring sheets, crayons
Time: 12 minutes
Receptive Language: instructions, colours
Productive Language: colours
Game Explanation: Before class, prepare some colour-by-numbers worksheets, with the areas to be coloured in identified in English (‘BLUE’). Place some coloured pieces of paper with the colour name written on each at the other end of the classroom. Students must check their colouring sheets, race to the other end of the classroom to find out what colour goes where, and race back to colour the sheet. The first student to correctly colour his or her worksheet is the winner.
Note: This can also be played as a team game, but you’ll probably need much bigger colouring sheets.

6. Love And Hate

Materials: tape or chalk
Time: 8-10 minutes
Receptive Language: instructions, ‘I love (colour)’, ‘I hate (colour)’
Productive Language: ‘I love / hate (colour)’
Game Explanation: Make a large circle on the floor with chalk or tape & tell the students that they will be disqualified if they venture outside of the circle. Begin the game by becoming ‘It’ & calling out ‘I love red!’ For ten seconds chase any students wearing red (remember to enforce the within-the-circle-only rule). Any students you tag must stand at the edge of the circle, straddling the tape or chalk line with their legs widely spaces. After the ten seconds are up, call out ‘I hate blue!’ Any students wearing blue do rock scissors paper & the winner becomes the new ‘It’, calls out ‘I love green!’ & chases any students wearing that colour. During the 10 second chase that ensues any students wearing green can free the students tagged in the first round by crawling through their legs. Continue play until all of the students have had a chance to be it, if possible.