Grandma’s Closet | Drama and ESL Game

Grandma’s Closet is a favourite drama game across all age groups and encourages creative thinking.

COVID-19 Update!
Mark a space for your students to stand when making their objects to ensure they remain two metres apart. This is a perfect game for social distancing!


  • Ask students to find a space in the room.
  • Using your best grandma voice, tell the students ‘In my closet, there is…’ and finished the sentence with an object of your choice.
  • Independently, students should create the selected object using just their body.
  • The teacher then investigates all of the objects and decides which is the best or ‘their object’. Try to choose someone who has thought outside the box.
  • The selected player then becomes the grandma or grandpa for the next round.

Top tips:

  • Try to continue the game until everyone has had a chance to be grandma.
  • To encourage inclusion in larger groups, only allow students to choose a player who has not already had a chance to be grandma.

In my experience:


Grandma’s Closet has always been a favourite game for many of my students.

When directing one of my first preschool shows, I used this game to introduce tableaus in a simple form to the students. By creating objects in each scene, the students were engaged and active througout the show and ultimately, it was a more enjoyable experience for the audience.

I have since been using this game as a tool for blocking a performance with a variety of age groups and it has yet to let me down!

Years after my tableau discovery, I found another use for the game! In my TEFL/ESL classes I began to use the game to test vocabulary. When the students physically have to create the word, they’re less likely to forget it!

I have found it to be a fun and effective way of teaching vocabulary and have even had success using this method with teens.

Mark a space to keep your students socially distant (without damaging your floor)

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Rebecca is the founder and chief executive officer of Silly Fish Learning Ltd. She is a children's playwright with a vast and varied career in education, primarily teaching drama and English.

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