Top five interactive games for online teaching

Are you an online ESL tutor looking for fun, interactive games to practice vocabulary? Games are a great way of making learning more fun, particularly for younger learners and children!

Check out these top five games for practicing vocabulary online or sign up for our Abridge Academy curriculum resources which incorporate plenty of fun activities like these (and more!) in our interactive slides format!

Snakes and ladders

Snakes and Ladders game for reviewing vocabulary, using the Abridge Academy curriculum

Great for one-on-one classes or small groups, snakes and ladders is an excellent review activity based on a classic board game.

Students take turns to roll the dice and move their pieces around the board. To land on a square, the student must name the object or say a sentence describing it.


Tik-tak-toe (also known as “noughts and crosses”) is excellent for reviewing grammar or vocabulary at the end of a lesson.

In this example, the student needs to say a sentence describing where the object is (having just learnt prepositions of place) in order to put their nought or cross on the square. The first student to get three in a row wins the game!

Depending on the subject and topic, you could also include:

  • Images representing new words
  • Keywords or technical vocabulary to define
  • Verbs to be conjugated
  • Words to create a sentence from
  • Numbers as answers to maths calculations
  • Short fill-in-the-gap sentences


Great fun for younger kids, puzzles can be followed up by extension questions describing the image, such as:

  • How many people can you see?
  • Who is in the family?
  • What colour shirt is she wearing?
  • What pet do they have?
  • Who is in your family?

Matching flipcards

In this example, the student needs to name the food group and explain what it does, clicking on the matching flipcards (pink). The cards then flip over to reveal the answers.

This game also works for:

  • Matching objects with the same colour
  • Matching items with the same sound
  • Matching a word with its picture

Vocabulary quiz game

A great way of reviewing new vocabulary, students simply need to click on the correct word for each picture. The fun automated rewards and time pressure helps motivate students to react quickly!

Crossword puzzles

Crossword puzzles are a great activity for practicing definitions and spellings of keywords!

This example, from a good groups themed lesson, requires students to remember and write the different food groups.

A great website for making simple crossword puzzles yourself is


So there you have it – five awesome games you can play to practice vocabulary when teaching online. Have you been inspired? Sign up for the Abridge Academy curriculum resources which include loads of fun games like these within our interactive slides format! You can also share your own ideas and learn from other teachers in our online ESL tutors forum or Facebook group.

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