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Teaching children english through play

What child do you know that does not like to play?  With this in mind, there is no reason why you should not use this to promote English language learning.  There are lots of different kinds of toys available throughout world that you can use to your advantage in motivating your young learners.  Here are some of the most common toys that you can use:
1.    Stuffed animals and dolls can be used to simulate conversations or even to illustrate prepositions of place and position.
2.    Soft rubber or inflated balls are things that each classroom should have at least 1 of.  These can be used in taking turns wherein after one learner is done answering a question they can then “select” another person by simply tossing the ball to that other person.  This will keep the teacher from “playing favorites” whenever there is an activity.  Plus, a ball can also be used in a relay fashion to signal the next learner in a sequence or game. There is no worry about dropping or mishandling a ball either because it will simply bounce a few times before returning to the game.
3.    Cars, trucks and other vehicles are toys that both boys and girls like and that can be “driven” to places in a neighborhood.  These different parts of the neighborhood can either be located in different parts of the room or at different places on a game board.  This simply depends upon the size of cars that you are using.  Obviously, small vehicles work well as place markers for a board game while larger ones work well as props in dialogs, role plays and conversations.  Of course, these cars can also be used for grammar and verb practice as well.
4.    A small selection of board games, such as just 2 or 3 games, and a little bit of imagination.  Some all-time favorite games include Scrabble, Monopoly, Checkers and even Chess.  (Both Checkers and Chess use the same alternately colored squares board, which makes it easier for you to have both games available to play in your classroom.)  These boards can then be used to create your own games to play too.  Of course, you should not forget to also have a deck or two of Playing Cards available as well.  With these playing cards you can play some quick and easy games such as War, Go Fish or even 21.

It is not a good idea to use “fake” guns, not even water pistols, in the classroom. There should also be nothing such as bats that promote aggressive behavior.  While you can get aggressive behavior from some of the aforementioned toys, this can easily be put down without a lot of trouble simply by explaining to the learners what is and what is not allowed.

Of course, you can probably think of many other toys that can be used for teaching English.  There are sure to be a lot of toys that are available in your area that can be used in your classroom.

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