For more ESL games and activities, click here.

Kim's Game

Kim’s game is a very simple game to set up and play. You simply need a tray or table of objects and a cloth to cover the objects. Alternatively, you can use a picture and just hide the image from students instead.

As well as introducing realia to your class, Kim’s game helps students to remember items in lexical sets such as food or other household items. As with many games, it is possible to adapt it for online lessons, although this will generally mean using pictures rather than realia.

kim's game
Kim's game can be played with a random set of objects or a lexical set such as fruit.


1: Bring a number of real objects to class such as pieces of fruit. These could also be toy versions of the actual object, for example toy farm animals.

2: Lay the objects on a table or other flat surface. Allow students to come up to the table and examine the objects for up to a minute. Don’t let students take notes about what is there, or take a photo on their phone.

3: Cover the objects with a sheet or cloth. Carefully place your hand under the cloth and remove an object so that students cannot see what you have removed. Remove the cloth and ask students what is missing. You could give students a maximum number of guesses.

4: Put the object back and repeat. With younger learners you may wish to have students come up and remove an object.

5: As students get better at remembering the objects, start removing two or three items at a time.


1: Instead of removing an object, you can ask students to work in groups to list all the objects that they can remember.

2: If bringing objects to class is impractical, you could play a similar game with flashcards or a picture with many objects in it. With flashcards you can still remove one picture at a time. If it is an image, making lists like in the variation above is a more workable solution.

3: Instead of simply remembering all of the objects, students could be told to try to remember as many details as possible. You can then ask questions about items e.g. “What colour was the tractor?”

4: To play this game with pre-scholars, you can spread flashcards on the floor in front of you. Tell students to close their eyes and when all are complying remove one picture.

Online: Share an image on your screen for up to one minute. You will need to time this or you could create a Powerpoint with a timed transition. Alternatively, you could hold up each object for several seconds.

Follow on:

You could ask students to categorise the items that you have been teaching. For example, fruit can be sorted by shape, colour and size.

Example Language:


Toys (e.g. animals, doll’s clothes)

Classroom objects/office supplies


Bathroom objects (e.g. toothbrush/paste, toilet paper)


Items in your bag/pockets


Obscure objects

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