Balloon tennis- a fun word game

This fun game, comes from Olha Madulus’s Blog!

When Olha, first mentioned the game on her facebook page , I told her that I loved the idea and asked her if I could try it in my class! She agreed and  was kind enough, to promise me to write a blog post about the game, as soon as possible!

I adapted the game ,a bit, to suit my classes ,but the main idea worked really well with my students , therefore, it is highly recommended to any other colleague, wishing to give it a try, too.

I have to thank Olha, again, for her generosity ! She is one of the most inspiring Teacher Trainers I know!


This game is suitable for all ages and levels
·       Blow up one balloon
·       Divide your class into two teams (once the students have got used to the game, you can organise them into smaller groups of 2 teams each, each group needs a balloon – but consider the space you have available. You could use the playground for this).




·       e.g. with younger learners explain that they have to remember vocabulary for food


·       One team starts with a member hitting the balloon across to the opposition team and at the same time shouting (so all can hear) one word for an example of food e.g. chocolate


·       Next a member of the opposition team has to hit the balloon back shouting a different food word


·       If no one can think of a new word or repeats a word – that team loses the point (this encourages the learners to listen carefully)


·       If the balloon drops to the floor – the receiving team loses the point


·       You can score the game like tennis


·       You can change the lexical set whenever necessary




·       With older learners you can review a topic prior to a writing task e.g. the advantages and disadvantages of the internet


·       Nominate which team should shout advantages and which disadvantages


·       Play as above


This game has a number of advantages


·       It is kinaesthetic and can energise the class


·       It’s a team game and promotes a sense of community


·       The focus is on the balloon and shyer students feel relaxed and more likely to participate


·       You can change/play with the rules to suit your class and any language you want to practise


·       The balloon is quite slow and easier to keep in the air than a ball

2015 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 10,000 times in 2015. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 4 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

The importance of blogging in ELT

My mentor to start blogging: the amazing Vicky Loras!

My mentor to start blogging: the amazing Vicky Loras!

When I started blogging a few months ago, I was just thinking about sharing my thoughts and teaching experiences. I didn’t expect to develop such a community, a friendship with other teachers from around the world.And , sometimes, I think I learn and take so much and give back so little…My motto is: SHARING IS CARING!

Many colleagues, ask me all the time about what a blog actually is or how it helps teachers …Well, a blog (short for weblog) is a frequently updated website that often resembles an online journal. It’s so easy to create and update a blog – it requires only basic access to the Internet, and a minimum of technical know-how.

Why I blog?

Blogging helps me to remember.So many times this year I said ” How did I do that?” and I searched my own blog to find out! I also used the blog to actually teach lessons- the pics from the previous year’s kids helped me to inspire this year’s bunch. Having a set curriculum, I often repeat concepts, but blogging helps me remember, teach, reflect and do better!

I blog because I enjoy sharing ideas! Blogging is an excellent way to network with like minded people and learn with them. I also enjoy the added benefit of having a written and visual record of the activities I have tried in class.

blogging kieran

By blogging, I have developed a community, a friendship with other teachers from around the world… The inspiring educator Kieran Donaghy, is one of them!

Here are some reasons for writing or using blogs:

Blogging is educational.

We are teachers, but also learners.

As an online portfolio of our classwork.

Blogging helps us to reflect.

And grow professionally and personally.

Blogging broadens our horizons.

Blogging shifts our perspectives.

Blogging motivates and inspires.

Blogging is a way to share our expertise.

Blogging is a way to find support.

Bogging spreads the word.

And makes it contagious!

Blogging is FUN!

My mentor in starting my own blog has been the amazing  Vicky Loras !

Vicky is a very inspiring blogger! I love all her posts!

Vicky is a very inspiring blogger! I love all her posts!

Now, it’s my turn….So, tonight, I offer a toast to my many dedicated colleagues with the hope that more good teachers start their own blogs. I firmly believe that all teachers should be bloggers.  I started because I felt I could no longer ignore the nagging sense that I must contribute!

The teachers get a voice other than in the class room,it gives them the confidence that they need to blossom and bloom.It would be interesting to draw the statistics as to how many teachers can actually speak publicly.Blogging will give them the confidence and chance to speak to themselves and others.


Among a bunch of greek bloggers!

I admit that, I  blog mainly  for my own reflection.I started a blog thinking I might just share some classroom teaching  ideas but as I began writing, I began to discover the joy of expressing myself. Now I’ve begun to read posts by other authors which is expanding my thinking even further. I continue my efforts to contribute to the blogging universe, I realize that I’m learning more about myself than creating a learning space for others.

We all have so much to learn from each other- how lucky we are to have found a way to connect with so many, far and wide!

As long as I teach, I will blog!

Another amazing greek blogger: Dimitris Primalis.

Another amazing greek blogger: Dimitris Primalis.

Sharing our knowledge, can make us better educators who provide a better education for children which means a better future for our world!

Finally, here’s a list of some great blogs to follow, before you might consider having your own blog….if you finally do, I’ll be really glad to know …!

blogging annie

Networking brings us closer: Annie Tsai from Taiwan and our shared project work, has been presented in a Tesol convention recently, by Vicky Loras! I am so grateful for that!