We have been talking about spending quality time with a child quite often here, but there is yet another area which requires to be discussed. For many, it can appear obvious (and that is just great!) that the more educational games, the better; however, couple of new ideas never harmed anyone. And these presented by me will particularly focus on learning and practicing some English. Let’s get started them!
1) Educational Snowman. I know, making a classical Frosty was never boring, especially for the little ones, but let’s introduce some pleasant variety. During the laborious process of making a snowman, try to give English names to his parts of the body and elements you use to decorate him. It is good to explain that eyes are made of coal, nose is made of a carrot and that our little friend never parts with his adorable broom.
2) Counting Snowballs. It is probably very hard to stop oneself from starting a snowball fight as soon as possible, but this Winter weapon can be very useful in terms of learning new things. Before the great finish, make as many snowballs as possible (the more, the better) and encourage your child to count them all in English. You can also make various shapes of snowballs, so that they can be divided into smaller and bigger ones. Of course, level of difficulty increases with the age – we do not want them to feel that the game is simply a humdrum. Also, do not be afraid to challenge your offspring. They will never stop astounding us with their knowledge. :)
3) Knowledge Hunt. Maybe the name itself can sound too serious, but believe me, if you have enough outdoor space, this game will be a lot of fun! First of all, choose the group of the vocabulary you want to revise with your child. The best are usually fruits and veggies, parts of the body or any other that contain a large number of words to play with. Let’s say we play with fruits and vegetables. If you have a big yard or garden, you can hide either real apple, orange or parsley or laminated flashcards to keep them in a good state. Where to hide them? Well, this is where fun usually begins and it also depends on the number of mysterious places you have in your surroundings. Give the name of the object your child has to find and add some fun element by directing him to it using the good old “Hot or Cold.” Include the reward – does not have to be something big, and for this kind of brain and physical exercise – hot chocolate will do :)
4) Collage. This time, the indoor activity. Give your child some old newspapers and ask him to find certain number of a given object. For example: “find 5 dogs in this newspaper and cut them out” or “find 3 cars and cut them out.” After cutting them out, let him glue them on a piece of paper to create a collage. Play with as many vocabulary items as you wish. Little hint: IKEA catalogue is great to revise the furniture vocabulary!
5) Melting Ice Cubes. This is the indoor alternative for the Educational Snowman, but way funnier (at least in my humble opinion). As the warm-up activity, you can discuss which objects in your house are cold and which are hot (it is always good to use contrasts). Then, make your little ones freeze for a while and while they are standing still, tell them to slowly melt away like ice cubes by moving the part of the body you name. For example: “now, the left leg is melting away” or “now, the head is melting away”, etc. When your beloved “ice cubes” are melted, ask them to freeze back again, one body part at the time.
I hope some of our dear Parents will find the presented ideas useful. Learning is not the process that has to happen only in the Kindergarten, but it can become a part of everyday activities. And Winter (even though it is really cold) should not be an excuse. :)
Absolwentka studiów magisterskich na Uniwersytecie Marii Skłodowskiej- Curie w Lublinie, specjalizacja: Filologia Angielska z przygotowaniem pedagogicznym i merytorycznym.