Weather games for children

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 Strange Weather

Materials: Weather FCs Ghost / Spider / Monster

To play:
Not so much a game per se, more a way to wake up apathetic kindy kids. When you are reviewing the weather and your students are not paying attention slip in a scary card, like the ghost, to wake them up. Briefly chase them around the room, then sit down and continue reviewing the weather FC like nothing happened. They will be happy for no reason.

2. Rainy Day Dance

Materials: Animals FCs/ Rainy Card
To play:
Demo the flashcards, show TPR for each of them. Show the action for one weather card. Spread the kids out around the room. Get them to follow your lead in doing one of the animal actions. When you do rainy, make the kids run to one side of the room and mark it as "safe". Tag one of the kids, make them "it". Get everyone to come back out in the room. Shuffle the cards, show only the "it" kid the top card and start the music, having them do the "dance" for that card, everyone follows. It the rainy card, then that child must do the dance first, getting everyone to run, then tag someone to replace them. Repeat until they are bored stiff or out of control.
Depending on how keen the kids are, this can be a quick game, otherwise it can take a while to set up.

3. It's My Island

All Materials: Weather and Animals FCs and 2-4 pre-prepared island cards (hand drawn in A4 or A4 paper) with a unique flag an interesting name.
From: Tim D Divide the class into 2-4 groups depending on its size. Each group become the island that is handed out to them. 1 person from each group come together and junken. The winner gets to choose a weather card for their island. This is repeated until all the weather cards are gone. Next the same is done for the animals FCs. 1 person from each group comes up and junkens. The winner gets to choose an animal card for their group. The island with the most cards is the winner.

4. Showdown

Materials: flash cards, boxes or blocks
Time: 6-8 minutes
Receptive Language: instructions
Productive Language: flash card vocab
Game Explanation: With the students sitting in a circle, construct a tower out of boxes or blocks, with flashcards stuck in at various points. The students must remove the cards one at a time & name them without knocking the tower over.

5. Snakes And Ladders

Materials: whiteboard & markers or a Snakes & Ladders playing sheet
Time: up to 10 minutes
Receptive Language: instructions
Productive Language: various (including ‘My turn!’, numbers, up, down, snake, ladder, etc)
Game Explanation: Draw your own S&L grid on the whiteboard or use a prepared playing sheet. Explain that landing at the bottom of a ladder or on the head of a snake will carry the students up or down. Play until either one or all of the students have reached the final space. If you feel that there isn’t enough English being spoken, make some of the squares review or action squares requiring the students to answer a question or follow a command before they can continue.

6. Weather Bingo

Materials needed: (White or Blackboard, whiteboard markers or chalk)

Review flashcards. Choose weather appropriate for the day. Write S U N N Y up on the board making sure to underline each letter.
Sing using actions as modeled at meeting-

There was a day and it was ?hot?
And ?sunny? was the weather
S U N N Y
S U N N Y
S U N N Y
And sunny was the weather.

Erase one letter yourself or get a child to do it. This will help aid as a prize for big voices when singing. Repeat above but clap on the letter that has been erased instead of saying it. Finally after erasing all 5 letters you will just clap 5 times.

7. Weather On The Board

Materials: whiteboard, marker
Time: 3-4 minutes
Receptive Language: weather vocab, ‘Is it...?’
Productive Language: ‘Yes it is / No it isn’t’
Game Explanation: Draw some weather symbols on the board: a big sun, a fluffy cloud, a snowman, an umbrella & a tree being blown over. One by one, ask the students to identify each symbol & ask ‘Is it [...] today?’ Select one student to come up & erase each incorrect symbol from the board. When only one symbol remains get the students to say ‘Today it’s [...]!’

8. Rainy Days And Sundays Always Get Me Down

Materials: Weather FC, lots of expressions and gestures
To Play: Go through the weather cards and for each one come up with an appropriate expression; smile for sunny, frown for rainy etc.., it's up to you. Placing the cards around the room have the class ask you "How's the weather?". You look out the window and with dramatic effect show your reaction. The kids have to run/gather/congregate under that card and say "It's cloudy". Other kids can be the teacher using their faces to full effect.

9. Saved

Materials: flashcards, whiteboard, marker
Time: 5-7 minutes
Receptive Language: instructions, various
Productive Language: flash card vocab
Game Explanation: Two teams. Divide the whiteboard in half; on each side of the board draw a boy or girl (or the class members, if you like) floating in the air supported by a bunch of balloons, while a hungry shark (or monster, alligator, etc) waits in the water below. Teams compete to name flashcards. If Team 1 answers first, erase one of the balloons supporting Team 2’s floating character. The losing team, obviously, is the first to fall into the hungry jaws of the beast below. Feel free to draw the appropriate gore when this occurs.