The title, Days of the Week Games for Kids, doesn’t refer to a specific game itself, but rather a flexible way of looking at adapting some other well known ESL conversation activities, to this particular vocabulary set. Of course you can also take the same ideas here and adapt them to other topics as well.
One of the difficult things, in regards to teaching the days of the week, is that it’s boring. “What day do you play tennis?” “I play tennis on Saturday.” BORING! Snoozeville, population—your class. Perhaps it’s the fact that the days of the week are somewhat of an abstract idea, or maybe it’s the fact that obsession with the passing of time is something from the world of adults. Perhaps I just need some filler material for my introduction No, seriously, it’s fun to act like a gorilla, but how do you act like a Monday? And anyways, the list of vocabulary is quite limited—seven word repetitiously spoken over and over—sounds about as fun as dunking your head in a bucket of water. Ok let’s look at some games.
The Fruit Basket Game. Easy enough right, have the children choose some days of the week cards and play per the usual rules. Instead of fruit basket, try instead Days Basket, or Week Basket.
The Seven Up Game. Seven days, seven people, seems like the number of days in the week was designed for this game. Give each of the “Its,” a day of the week card. Everyone goes heads down and the Its choose one person and touch them. Heads up and everyone that got touched stands up. Unlike the usual Seven Up Game, children try to guess the day of the week.
The Hot Potato Game and the Whisper Game can also be used to teach the days of the week without any changes to the rules, oh and ditto for the Clap Game.
Do you know the Days of the Week Song? The lyrics are really tough:
Sunday, Monday, Tuesday
Thursday, Friday, Saturday
Sunday comes again.
Just about any song can be turned into game just by adding a rule that a particular word is off limits, Bingo style. I call this the Magic Word Song Game. Let a child choose which day of the week they like and draw a circle around that card on the chalkboard. Now instead of singing that word, substitute a fun gesture and sound. Sunday, Monday, Ki Ki Ki (monkey gesture). After singing with one word substituted, add another. On top of that, have the kids shuffle around the room with the song. Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, everyone shuffles to the left. Wednesday, Thursday, everyone shuffles back to the right etc. Two substitute words, shuffling left and right, singing in English, this game only ends in a disaster of silliness.
Maybe break the kids up into smaller groups and give them a few minutes to practice all of that and then see which group can sing the song with the least number of mistakes. This also works with the Seven Steps Song.
When it comes to teaching the days of the week to kids, this dry subject, doesn’t have to be. Granted, while there aren’t a lot of gestures to incorporate, there isn’t a shortage of games to play. That singing game is practically guaranteed to get your kids up and laughing. Even the kids who hate singing will like that one. Days of the week games, fun minus the boring dialogs. Good Luck in the Classroom