In the period of lockdown, parents are always looking out for fun activities for their kids, so they can be kept engaged while the parents discharge official duties and manage other household chores.
As such, the British Council has developed some special content that parents can use to help kids learn English and keep busy with other activities and fun-based tasks.
‘LearnEnglish Kids’ has lots of activities that are related to the topics that children study at school. Most of the pages are designed for them to work through independently. Look at your child’s English books to understand what topics they have covered this year, and then look for those topics on the ‘resources’ page. Using this, you can choose some activity for your child to do.
Challenge a friend
Being in touch with school friends can help children feel less isolated. Ask your child to ‘challenge a friend’ over a chat or a video call. If they can make the call in English themselves, even better! Here are some challenges you can throw:
– Who can get most points on ‘School Run’ or ‘Wordshake’?
– Make a story (‘Story Maker 1’ or ‘Story Maker 2’) or design a hero or a teddy bear together.
– Who can say tongue twisters fast?
Do some crafts
Crafts are fun, and following videos and instructions in English can help children learn. The activities require you to use basic materials that will probably be available at home.
– How to … videos: These videos show children how to make or do something, with online or printable exercises that they can complete independently. Ask your child to choose a video, and complete the exercise.
– Craft printables: Many craft activities have printable templates. Ask your child to choose a craft and make it. Then they can use it to practise English as well. For instance, if they make a skeleton, ask them to tell you or to write the names of all the body parts they know in English. If they make a crocodile puppet, pretend to have a conversation with the crocodile.
– Flashcards and colouring pages: Younger children will enjoy making flashcards and colouring pictures. Choose a topic your child has studied at school and print out the materials for them. Ask them to make the flashcards or read and colour the picture. If they make flashcards, they can play memory games with other members of the family.
There are many ways to strengthen the vocabulary at home. These include:
– Word games: LearnEnglish Kids has many picture-word matching games on different topics. Each game has audio, so children can practice pronunciation. Ask your child to play three games of their choice and write and draw the words that they didn’t know before.
– Songs and stories: Songs and stories are also great for the vocabulary. There are preparation vocabulary games for children to play before they watch the video, to help them learn new words. Ask your child to choose one song and one story, and play the game. When they watch the video, they can stand up when they hear the words that were in the game.
– Word bags: Ask your kid to look into their English textbook and choose five words from each unit they have studied so far, or words from activities they have done on LearnEnglish Kids. Ask them to make mini word cards by writing them on small pieces of paper. Put the words in a bag. Every day, after dinner, take out five words and ask your child to spell them, define them, translate them, draw the words, and tell a simple story using them.
– Sticky notes: Give your child some blank sticky notes and ask them to go around the house and label everything they can in English. If they don’t know a word, encourage them to refer to a dictionary. When they finish, ask them to give you all the sticky notes. The next day, give the notes with the new words back. Can they remember what things to stick them on?
Set one of the following missions for your child to do on the website:
– Listen to three songs and choose the favourite. Listen to it a few times and sing along. Be ready to sing the song to others.
– Watch three stories and choose a favourite. Watch it a few times and decide what the main events are. Can they then explain the story?
– Listen to three poems and choose a favourite. Do all the tasks mentioned on the page. Practise saying the poem together with the recording. Then read the poem aloud to others.
– Go to the ‘video zone’ section and watch some videos. Choose one video for each member of the family. Then let them know which video has been chosen for them and why.
– They can choose a grammar topic that they have studied, and do some exercises.
– Choose three ‘your turn’ topics. Then read the questions and think about answers. Write them in English as a comment on the page (your child will need to have a LearnEnglish Kids account and be logged in for this). Read the answers from other children and reply to one of them. Go back to the pages the next day to see the published comments.
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