Suggest to an English teacher that he or she should play grammar games in the classroom and you will get two different reactions. A teacher who is traditional in conducting lessons will balk and give you a look that translates into, "Are you in your mind? However, an unconventional teacher will get excited and ask you what kind of games is suitable for his or her class.
I believe games are essential in grammar lessons. I say this based on several reasons. First, it makes the lesson more interesting, so lessening the fear that students feel when learning a new grammar component. Secondly, some games if coupled well, will stick in the students' minds. This absolutely will make them remember what you teach them. Finally, it shows the students that you care enough about them that you went the extra mile to prepare the games for their benefit.
Games need not be mind-boggling. It can be as simple as adapting the Poison Box game to practice the past particular. Start by writing down some verbs in the base form on small cards and place them in a box or container. Play some music and get the students to pass the box around. Whoever has the box when you unexpectedly stop the music will have to draw one card out and give the past particular form of the verb. Ideally, prepare enough cards for all so everyone will have a chance to test their knowledge. It does not hurt to prepare extra cards for those 'over-enthusiastic' ones. Not only do students get to practice their newly-acquired knowledge in a fun way, they get to relax a bit by listening to the music.
Another easy one would be the Fly Swatter game. This game can be used to practice an extended number of grammar components. All you need are two fly swatters and word cards depending on what you would like the students to practice. Say you want to test the students on the parts of speech, prepare two sets of cards with NOUN, VERB, ADJECTIVE and so on clearly written. Draw a line on the board to make two columns and stick the two sets of word cards in each column. Get the students to line up in two vertical lines in front of the board. Give a fly swatter to the first person in each line. Tell them you will call out a word and they are to run to the board (you should set a distance between the lines and the board) and swat whichever card that bears the correct part of speech of the word you called out. The person that swats the correct card the fastest earns his or her team a point. The fly swatter is then passed on to the next person in line while the first "swatters" run to the back of the lines. This game breaks the monotony of the traditional table-and-chair learning atmosphere. You are hitting two birds with one stone here – instilling the spirit of cooperation and giving them an opportunity to stretch and run around a bit. Even the adults enjoy this.
Never underestimate the power of a grammar game, no matter how simple it is. It is a powerful tool in helping students grasp the grammar concept easier and with minimal fear. The sense of accomplishment after successfully completing a game can do wonders to boost a student's confidence. The best part is students may not even realize that you are actually testing their understanding. To them it is all fun and games. Although preparing the games may take some time but do go the extra mile because it will absolutely be worth your time.