Inside and outside objects games

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. Bradley’s Basket Game

Flashcards to use: Inside and outside objects flash cards
Class size: whole class
Set up: You need a basket or a box. Explain inside and outside. Pull the flashcards and have the children choose if it goes inside or outside the basket. You can explain inside and outside by drawing a house on the board. The basket then becomes the house. The kids come up and place the card either inside or outside. Then count to 20.

2. Inside Outside Quiz

After introducing the concept of inside and outside divide the class into girls and boys and have a quiz. Write two boxes on the board to tally points, one for boys and one for girls. Use object flash cards from this month and also get some you have used in the past (not future!) topics that clearly belong outside and inside. Quickly reveal the cards so both teams can clearly see. Award a point to the first team to call out the correct answer, that is, "inside" or "outside", first and / or most clearly. When you have gone through all the cards celebrate with the victors and console the vanquished.

3. Inside Outside

Materials: whiteboard, markers, Inside and outside objects flash cards
Time: 6-8 minutes
Receptive Language: instructions
Productive Language: inside, outside, flashcard vocab

Game Explanation: Draw a simple house on the whiteboard and explain inside & outside to the students. Divide the students into two teams & demonstrate that one student from each team will compete at a time. Reveal a flashcard. The competing students must say whether the object on the card you’ve revealed is to be found (generally) inside or outside. Have the quicker student identify the object on the card as well (this can also be used as a useful tie-breaker).

4. Puzzle Action

Get a large children's puzzle at the 100 yen store or toy store. Show the puzzle to the children and take out two or more pieces of the puzzle and give them to some students. Children then race to see who can put the proper piece in its right place first.

5. Over There!

Materials: Inside and outside objects flash cards
Time: 5-7 minutes
Receptive Language: instructions, ‘Where is the...?’
Productive Language: ‘Over there!’
Game Explanation: Place flashcards around the room & separate the class into two teams. Ask students ‘Where is the [flashcard]?’ Students must point at the appropriate card & shout ‘Over there!’ The first team to point & shout out the answer correctly scores a point. Extend the game by using various classroom objects (Where is the CD player? Where is the toilet? Where’s Bradley sensei?). Keep it fast paced & the kids will dig it.

6. Kick The Ball Game

How to:
Have the students sit in a circle and review all the cards. If you have a keen class you can extend the vocabulary, for example, "kiss the doll" and "make the puzzle" etc. Shuffle the cards and have the students shout, "Stop!" Reveal the card and as a group mimic the action or a gesture associated with the card. When you stop at the ball card everybody stands up and yells, "Kick the ball!" At this point toss a soft ball into the circle and let the students try to kick it around. It works best if the children hold hands.