Playing games in English is a great way to help your children develop confidence and fluency, while having fun with the language! As a parent, you are in the perfect position to encourage your children to love English from an early age. You can do this at home through interesting games and activities, even if your own English isn’t 100% perfect. We’ve written this guide to help you!
The best time to start learning English is in childhood. Kids learn languages much faster than adults, and a skill built in childhood is a skill that stays with us for life. It’s about developing good language-learning habits early on and encouraging your child to use English to do fun things every day.
Formal lessons are important, but children can easily get tired of studying in a traditional classroom. Textbooks and tests are useful, but to get children really interested in studying English, it needs to be engaging and interesting to them!
Luckily, the internet is now full of excellent resources for learning English at home. There are dozens of websites to help you find fun worksheets, interactive books, videos, and most importantly, games! Many of them provide free content, making it easy to get your children excited about learning English!
Most of the available resources online are in American English, but we have included a balance of websites from the UK, USA, and even Australia! Listening to English in a variety of different accents will give your child a better ear for picking up new words, and will build a better understanding of native speech across the English-speaking world.
Our Top 10 Websites with English Games for Kids
This website should be your first stop for teaching your children English at home! As well as simple and clear resources for learning spelling and grammar, this website has loads of great games, puzzles and activities. These are sorted into over 70 topics from animals, space and football to traditional British stories and songs!
Best of all, this website has several forums where you can speak to other parents who are teaching English to their children. Your children can also meet other kids from around the world who are learning English at home!
Try the “Your Turn” feature, where the site will ask about a particular topic, such as Halloween, summer holidays, or swimming. Your child can write comments telling others what they think of it! “Getting started for parents” is an excellent page if you’re teaching your children at home for the first time.
Our favourite game: We really enjoyed the Space Adventure! Lots of words in English look different but sound the same, so you have to listen very carefully to succeed in this adventure! How far can you get? Give it a try!
Suggested age range: 3-16 years
CBeebies is the children’s channel of the BBC, the state-run television and radio broadcasting company in the UK. Their website allows you to watch many of their shows for free, as well as having hundreds of games and activities for younger children! Many of their shows are designed for babies who are just beginning to learn language, especially Teletubbies, one of the top-rated shows in the world for teaching babies to talk!
Try the “Join In” feature, where kids can enter their art, singing and pets into competitions! The “Radio” feature offers lots of great shows and songs in clear, easy-to-listen English, which could be useful to put on while doing other activities!
Our favourite game: We had fun making our own pirate and looking for treasure in My Swashbuckle Adventure! The game has a fun story that’s easy to read! Who doesn’t like being a pirate?
Suggested age range: 0-9 years
PBS is America’s top free broadcasting company, and their website allows you to watch dozens of shows for free, as well as having hundreds of games and activities! Much like Cbeebies, it has several shows for babies and young children who are just learning to talk! There are loads of games focused on reading, maths, music and science!
Try the “Hard Games” feature for older kids who want more challenging activities! The “PBS Parents” page will give you loads of tips for teaching your children at home, and always has seasonal advice for how to celebrate different American holidays with your kids!
Our favourite game: Digging deep in the “Dinosaur Finder” to look for fossils is very exciting! You never know which dinosaurs you’re going to find. Some of them are very difficult to pronounce, even for native speakers, but they’re lots of fun to read about.
Suggested age range: 2-12 years
Nickelodeon is a great international children’s TV channel! On their website, you can watch thousands of hours of cartoons and kids’ TV in English, for free! Each show has several games attached, so your children can play with their favourite characters! The Nick Play app makes it easy to watch shows and play games on the go!
For younger kids, try Spongebob Squarepants or Avatar: The Last Airbender. Older children and teenagers might enjoy Drake & Josh or iCarly!
Our favourite game: “It’s Pony: Coin Collector” is difficult, but you can get a super high score if you keep trying hard! Can you keep count of all the coins?
Suggested age range: 6-15 years
Bluey is a popular Australian show about a family of dogs! Their website allows you to watch many episodes and clips from the show for free, as well as having loads of games, crafts and activities! There are regular competitions and challenges for your kids to take part in too!
Try the “Make” feature for crafts, colouring pages, and even recipes to do some cooking together! Find competitions, challenges, and games for the whole family on the “Grown-Ups” page!
Our favourite game: We love bouncing balloons with Bluey’s family in “Keepy Uppy!” It’s a lot of fun to play in real life too! Try practising your vocabulary by saying a different animal or colour every time you bounce the balloon.
Suggested age range: 5-10 years
ABC kids is another great kids’ broadcasting company hosting shows from America, Australia and the UK. Find famous top-rated educational programmes like Peppa Pig and Sesame Street, play games in English with your children’s favourite characters, and make loads of cool arts and crafts! The website can be used on desktop or, through apps, on a tablet or smartphone!
Try “Andy’s Wild Workouts” to practise English, learn about different places in the world, and get some exercise! Listen to the “Lullabies” channel to learn some songs in English for the end of the day.
Our favourite game: The “Sesame Street Alphabet Hunt” is very challenging because the letters are very cleverly hidden! This is a great game if your native language doesn’t use the same alphabet as English. Learning the shapes and sounds of English letters is an important first step.
Suggested age range: 0-12 years
The Beano is one of the most popular children’s magazines in the UK, and it can be just as much fun for children learning English as a second language! The website has over a hundred games in English, starring the characters from the magazine, as well as loads of games, jokes and quizzes.
Try the “Jokes” feature to find thousands of jokes in English hat will make you laugh. The “Help Hacks” feature has lots of interesting articles and videos made by kids about animals, school and friendship.
Our favourite game: You have to move very carefully to win at “The Bash Street sketchbook”, and you need to read the instructions very carefully to make sure you don’t get caught in a trap!
Suggested age range: 6-12 years
Highlights is a popular children’s magazine in America which often features stories, songs and articles written by children. The website has dozens of games and hundreds of activities, most of which are also available on the Highlights Kids app! Look out for Goofus and Gallant, a famous series of comics about two boys – one demonstrates good manners in America, and one is very badly behaved indeed!
Try the “Explore” feature, where you can learn about science and history in English! Look for the link to “Highlights Parents”, where you can find lots of great free resources and advice for teaching your children English at home!
Our favourite game: A lot of the “Hidden Pictures” are very funny, and they can introduce you to many interesting new words! Can you find a slice of pizza on the moon?
Suggested age range: 10+ years
Funbrain is a website full of games, books and videos to use when teaching English, maths and problem-solving. Furthermore, they’re divided by grade, making it easy to find activities for your child based on their age and English ability. This website introduces new material almost every week, so there are always new games for you and your children to try!
Try the “Pre-K Playground”, which has visual games aimed at children under 3 years old to help them learn colours, shapes, and animals. The “Reading” tab allows you to read full children’s books completely free.
Our favourite game: “Math Baseball” can be very easy or very challenging – it’s up to you! If you can read all of the problems and answer them correctly, you might score a home run!
Suggested age range: 2-13 years
Cambridge university, in England, is perhaps the number one institution in the world for teaching English. It’s most famous for its English assessments for adults, but they have resources for kids too. They have a range of free games for children who are learning English that get steadily more difficult the more you do. The games work on a desktop or a tablet, so you can play them anywhere!
The “A1 level activities” are the best place to start for beginners! The “Sing and Learn” videos are also great for younger children!
Our favourite game: Who doesn’t like the holidays? “Special Days” allows you to see lots of fun places and activities if you listen carefully!
Suggested age range: 5-15 years
Online Teachers UK offers specialised English lessons for kids via Skype. Contact us today to see how we can help your child develop their English speaking, confidence and general fluency from the comfort of your own home!