Catch And Count

In the Catch And Count ESL game, students throw a ball around, continuing a count whenever it is caught.

Students for Catch And Count ESL Game:4+Time for Catch And Count ESL Game:5-10 mins
Resources for Catch And Count ESL Game:

Students stand in a circle.

  1. The students throw the ball to each other, in a random order.
  2. Whenever a student catches the ball, they must continue a count. The count can either be incremental (with the first student starting at one) or decremental (starting at a higher number).
  3. This can become easy/boring even for beginner students, so encourage the students to build up the speed and see how fast they can go. You could also ask them to count multiples of a certain number (e.g. three, six, nine, twelve etc.).

As an extension to make the game more interesting, you could combine it with Hot Potato or Time Bomb Hot Potato. In this case the student holding the ball when the music/timer stops has to complete a challenge. See our ESL Challenge Generator for suitable pre-made challenges.

Target Language

The Catch And Count ESL game is a basic warmer or review game for young, beginner level students. Use it to practise numbers, or ordinal numbers.

It can also work well as a cross-curricular activity with school-age kids. After learning integer sequences in a maths class (e.g. geometric series, the Fibonacci sequence etc.), they could use them instead of a basic count.

For a very similar game to practise irregular verbs, see Catch And Conjugate.

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