A bucket full of stuff!

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Prepare two boxes containing the same types of items. The leader takes on the role of distraught child and describes/ gestures/ acts out the item to appease them. The groups have to identify and produce the right item from the box.


Box full of bits and bobs (1 box per team) (the boxes must contain the same type of items)


This is a great game to play as an opening activity for a new language lesson.

Prepare two boxes containing the same types of items. You can have everyday objects like keys, rock, book, soap, etc. The items don’t need to look exactly the same, as long as they’re there. (Tip: You can also put curveballs in there, objects that really don’t have anything to do with the game, but muddle their options and make the game more exciting.)

This is like the “Bring Me” classic game, where the Leader pretends they are a distraught child in need of items found in the box. So you’re going to have to wear your thespian hat for this one.

So you’re a distraught child, and the only way to make you stop crying is to bring you specific items requested. You describe the item and its uses. You act it out and gesture about, and the scouts deduces which item you’re looking for. The group who first zeroes in on those clues and brings you the correct item gets the point.

With beginners, you’re going to be more upfront with your clues. Give them clear hints as to what you need. If you need a comb, gesture appropriately. (For advanced language learners, you can be coy. You can say, “I need something to make me look beautiful.”)

Because the game is played before the actual lesson, you’re really helping the kids hone their linguistic deduction skills, negotiating meaning from the clues given. (We all know learning a new language involves a little bit of guessing!) And as long as you don’t make a big deal out of their mistakes and you encourage the group to keep looking inside the box, the children will see that making mistakes is part of the game, part of learning. And they’ll all be the better for it.

You can still play this game after the lesson, but that would now be for review purposes.


  • games
  • groups activity
  • language

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