12 English Tutoring Games To Make Your Life Easier

We all know too well that frugal side hustle in China that we call tutoring the youth of tomorrow. But while teaching English as a second language does come with many perks, no one said it was going to be easy!

If you find yourself in your student’s home and completely blank about what to do next, we suggest pulling out one of these super handy educational games. Whether you’re trying to get your student to stop crying, or just want them to stop rolling around on the ground, whip out one of these suggestions and it’s guaranteed to make the time go by just a little bit faster. And best of all, your students will most likely tell their parents they have the greatest English teacher!



Nothing spells fun quite like...Bananagrams. This is a great game to help your students with spelling, and it can also double as a game to play on Wine Wednesdays with your buds.



For the younger kids who are just starting to learn English, this game is full of possibilities. You could play this game again and again and they will not get bored!

Rory's Story Cubes

From ¥32.45

These pocket-sized creative story generating dice provide hours of imagination-fueled fun. Often you'll find that the kids will make up weird, and potentially alarming stories, but nevertheless keep on encouraging that creativity!

Guess What


In this classic twist on charades, "Guess What" gets your students out of their seats and using their acting skills to figure out the cards on their forehead. As an added bonus, the cards are in both English and Chinese!

Memory Chess


If you have a young student who has a hard time staying in their seat, put this game on the ground and start up a healthy competition with your student to see who can get the most matches.


From ¥4.10

Honestly, who doesn't love UNO? This is a great game to pull out during lesson breaks. And here's a pro tip: Even if you're about to win, just pick up a couple cards to keep the game going when your student isn't looking.

Who is it?

From ¥21.95

"Who is it?" is a perfect game to practice asking and answering yes or no questions. Even though there are dozens of characters to choose from, most likely your student will pick the same character over and over again. Keep guessing anyway.

Speedy Words


If you have a few extra minutes to kill before your tutoring sesh is over and don't know what to do, "Speedy Words" is a great way to use up spare time because it's fast-paced and entertaining.

This game is perfect for beginners and younger students to practice reading, writing, and spelling. With dozen of cards to choose from, your student makes the connection between pictures and their names while having fun with the flashcards and letter cubes.

Whack it


Although you'll put yourself at risk of getting hit a couple of times by the "hammer", your student will love this game. It's also a great way to channel all that pent up energy they have and focus it towards mastering the English language!

For students who are just beginning to learn English, this is a great puzzle for learning the ABCs. But let's get down to the facts... There are 26 letters to find, and if it takes 1-3 minutes to find each letter, you're practically already half way done with the lesson by the letter "P".  



"Stackers" is a perfect ice breaker game to start your lesson with, because your student will love to try their hardest not to knock over the tower. You might find yourself spending more time picking the pieces off the floor and re-stacking than playing the actual game.


Guest blogger Ellie Olitsky has been tutoring around China for two years, and she always has an UNO set on hand. She enjoys arts and crafts and anything with glitter.