The KABOOM game really makes the kids laugh. This gets even shy kids to open up and start talking. It was taught to me in training for my first teaching job. I still use it fairly regularly and even kids who have played it before still enjoy it every time. It works best at the beginning of class, during circle time. Or as an ice breaker with new students. Actually, it’s one of my favorite games to play with new students as it surprises them and gets them to feel more at ease around you. It’s more fun when the kids don’t know that a KABOOM is coming.


Target English: short conversations/questions and answers
Things You Need: a bag, small toys that are the same size, but different colors
Age: 10 or younger
English Level: any (You can tailor your questions to their ability level.)

Game Outline:
1. Before class, decide which color is the KABOOM color and put more pieces of that color in the bag. Let’s say that you’ve got red, green, yellow, and blue pieces. Red is the KABOOM color. You’d put about 10 red pieces in the bag, 2 blue, 2 yellow and 1 green.
2. With the kids sitting around, shake the bag a lot and let them wonder what’s inside it.
3. Open the bag and take out a blue piece. Ask them what color it is. When they say blue, say “Blue is…. safe!”
4. Take out a yellow piece. Ask them what color it is. When they say yellow, say “Yellow is… safe!”
5. Take out a green piece. Ask them what color it is. When they say green, say “Green is… safe!”
6. Take out a red piece. Ask them what color it is. When they say red, say “Red is… KABOOM!!!!” Shout the KABOOM as though it is a big explosion. This will surprise them, but hopefully they’ll then start laughing.
7. Have the first student pick a piece out of the bag without looking. If they pick a red piece, shout KABOOM. Then they have to answer a question.
8. After they answer the question, have them put the piece back in the bag. Then they get to shake the bag and pass it to the next student.


  • Very young kids may be too scared by the KABOOM noise. For them, try making a silly sound, like blowing a raspberry or making a siren sound.
  • Sometimes you’ll get kids who cheat and look at the pieces so that they can pick a “safe” piece. This is why I don’t put very many “safe” pieces in the bag. If you’ve got peekers, don’t allow them to put the “safe” peice in the bag. Have them give it to you. After a few times, there are no longer any “safe” pieces.

Hope you and your kids have fun with this game.

Click here to return from the KABOOM Game to the Main ESL Games page.

1 Comment

  1. I just found your website through Pinterest. I’m new to teaching ESL and haven’t found my groove yet. Your website has helped so much! I can’t wait to see what other content you’ll add. Great work! Keep it coming! Arigatou (thank you) from Japan!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.