Game in Japanese

The Hoops Game!

Target English: Numbers (or any vocab)
Target Grade: 1 to 6
Preparation: A "hoop" board with 9 poles sticking out, and some hoops!

Especially in Japan, but in other countries as well, the school will often have a lot of unused games and toys lying around. The best place to look is probably the special needs classroom. Many schools have one of these "hoop board" things, where, just like at the funfair, you can throw hoops and try to get them over the poles. If you don't have one, try making one! It's a great English game!


1. Split the kids into teams

2. One kid comes to the front and throws a hoop at the board.

3. If they catch a number and if they can say it in English then they get that many points for their team (e.g. if they catch the number 7 and say "7" in English, they get 7 points!)

4. The first kid from the next group has a go.

5. Repeat from 2

For a class of 30+ then 6 groups is OK.  Kids usually find the higher numbers difficult, so if they get 9 points for saying "9" it gives them an incentive!!

Keep the game moving really fast (3 or 4 seconds per go).  This makes sure they don't get disappointed if they don't hit the targets!

You can also play this with people (good for a school event such as when the older kids graduate).  You have 9 kids stand in formation and the older kids have to throw large hoops over their heads!! It sounds a bit dodgy, but all the kids involved like it!!

You can modify the game by sticking pictures next to each number. This time they have to say the word to get the points. Of course, put more difficult words on 7,8 and 9 and easier words on 1,2 and 3. This way the kids have to think a bit about tactics!

Or try changing the game by using a sticky ball or something to throw at pictures on the board! If they can say the picture they hit, they get a point. Then take that card away, so gradually only the more difficult ones are left!

Very easy and very fun!

Readers' Comments

I had played this game but by using paper planes made by the kids; I write numbers in a random order like: 10, 20, 30... 100 on the board, then students stand up in two rows (teams) taking turns and standing on a specific circle, because of the distance, each student and launches their plane towards the board pointing to a number, if the student's plane reaches a number he/she says it aloud, and gets those points to its team. The team that gets more points wins. they really like this game. - Patricia


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