onomatopoeia game

Free onomatopoeia game (44 cards)

Onomatopoeia game

Here is a fun onomatopoeia game for kids and ESL language learners. The original design of this activity was to be a picture and word-matching game although there are other ways to play and use it.

There are 44 different onomatopoeia words that are to be matched with their corresponding pictures. All you need to do is print out the cards and then cut them out. Once this is done ask learners to match them correctly.

For younger kids and lower-level ESL students you may not want to use all the cards, just select the ones that you think are most useful. This is a great activity that helps both children and English language learners acquire new vocabulary that is useful for both writing and speaking.

What is a onomatopoeia?

Onomatopoeia is simply words that sound like or imitate the sound that something makes. For example, A cat makes a meow, water makes a splash sound, a phone rings, and a clock goes tick-tock. Once you browse through the onomatopoeia game cards it will become quite obvious what it means.

These figures of speech are used extensively in writing and advertising. Sometimes new words are created just for this purpose, to describe a sound. In this activity however commonly known words have been used.

There are 11 separate printables in this onomatopoeia game with 4 picture and word cards each. The words AND pictures on the PDF pages are –

  1. Achoo (sneeze), Baa (sheep), Bark (dog), Boing (metal spring).
  2. Brrm (motorbike), Buzz (bee), Cock-a-doodle-do (rooster), Crack (lightning).
  3. Crash (car accident), Crunch (eating fried chicken), Ding (bell), Drip (water).
  4. Fizz (soda), Flutter (butterfly), Haha (laugh), Hoot, (owl).
  5. Howl (wolf), Ka-boom (explosions), Knock (on a door), Meow (cat).
  6. Moo (cow), Niegh (horse), Oink (pig), Ouch (pain).
  7. Pitter-patter (rain), Pop (balloon), Purr (cat), Quack (duck).
  8. Ribbit (frog), Ring (phone), Roar (lion), Shush (be quiet).
  9. Sizzle (BBQ), Slurp (eating noodles), Snip (scissors), Splash (playing in water).
  10. Squish (squeezing something wet), Ta-da (magic), Tick-tock (clock), Toot (train).
  11. Vroom (race car), Whack (hitting a ball), Whisper (talking quietly), Yawn (tired).

Different ways to use the onomatopoeia game

Besides matching the picture and word cards there are a few different things that you can do with these free resources.

Writing. Ask students to create sentences with each of the onomatopoeia words, you can even see if they can use several in one sentence.

Picture only. Provide only the pictures and see if students can come up with suitable sound words to describe them. To make it a funny exercise let them create their own new words.

Ordering. You can get the class to order the words alphabetically, or by categories such as animals, things, people, and so on.

Word association. See if learners can think of 3 more words that are related or can be associated with each of the cards that you give them.

Drawing. Use these cards as inspiration for students to create their own onomatopoeia activity where they can draw their own cards as a creative exercise.

You might also like these