As I already mentioned in a previous post, I keep most of my university classnotes and I often check them to come up with new ideas or refresh them. I’m very happy not to be one of those people who feel like they didn’t learn anything at all at university 🙂
This time, I would like to share with you some games that you can play with your preschoolers when teaching English. They are very simple and short games, but very effective! Little children need clear instructions to feel confident when doing the task they have been asked to do.
Here there are 10 classroom games that I was told at Didactics class:
1. Follow the leader: Get the children to stand in a line behind you. Say e.g.Walk … now jump! Move round the classroom and the children follow imitating everything you do.
2. Maracas: Say We’re … , name an animal and clap your hands or shake a maracas. Children pretend to be the animal you name and move around the classroom. As soon as you stop clapping or shaking the maracas, children stop and freeze.
3. Colour dice: Make two large dice by covering two boxes with paper and colouring a circle of red, yellow or blue on each side. Children take turns to throw the dice and call out the colour. When the colours on both dice are the same, everyone claps.
4. Changing places: Children sit in a circle. Go round the circle and give each child a name e.g. apple, banana, biscuit, sandwich etc.. Say one of the names. Children with that name respond by exchanging places with another child in the circle with the same name.
5. Pass the secret: Children sit in a circle. Whisper a word to one child e.g. Mouse! That child whispers the word to the child next to them and so on round the group. The last child says the word that they have heard.
6. Listen and count: Clap, nod, or stamp your feet one, two or three times. Children repeat the action and call out the number.
7. Musical bumps: Play any music and children dance. Every so often pause the music and say a colour e.g.Red! Children with red on their clothes sit on the floor. Repeat the procedure several times naming different colours the children know.
8. Smiley or sad: Put a picture of a smiley face on one side of the classroom and a sad face on the other. Say e.g. I like bananas! Children repeat the sentence and go to the smiley face if they like bananas. They say nothing and go to the sad face side if they don’t like bananas. Repeat the procedure naming different foods or other familiar vocabulary.
9. Louder and softer: Children say a rhyme or sing a song they know in a whisper. Raise your hands to indicate they should say/sing it loudly; lower you hands to indicate that they should say/sing it softly. Use your hands to vary the volume with increasing frequency as the children become familiar with the game.
10. Circles in the air: Move your index finger in large circles in the air and get the children to do the same. Say e.g. Touch your ….nose! and move your finger to touch your nose. Repeat the procedure several times alternating instructions for children to touch different parts of their body and to repeat the word each time.
–> Remember not to play the same game for a long period of time, otherwise they get bored and lose their interest. It is better to have a couple of games ready and change them as soon as you see they lose their interest. Keeping them amused and interested is the best way to have their attention and motivation switched on!