Three steps to start learning English at home (children 4-7)
If you like teaching your children or if you just enjoy playing with them and you’re looking for some new activities to do with them, I’ve collected some suggestions in order to bring a little English into your daily routine and turn a playful time with your children into a language learning moment. The three-step path you are going to read about is especially recommended for parents of children from 4 to 7 years.
- Get yourself a puppet (like this one by Ikea https://www.ikea.com/us/en/p/vandring-uggla-glove-puppet-00216095/ or you can make one by yourself from an old sock as this video shows https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e-mfUBQE3_s). Introduce the puppet (invent an English name offer a female and a male name or a neutral one) to your child by saying that he/she is a new friend that speaks English.
- Decide the learning objective according to your child’s interests and personality - vehicles, numbers, colours, adjectives, the body, toys, clothes, animals and food) - and use everyday situations to practise the language naturally and in context. For example:
- clothes: talk about clothes when your child is getting dressed, or when you are sorting laundry (‘Let’s put on your blue socks’, ‘It’s Dad’s T-shirt’, etc.)
- toys and furniture: when you are helping your child to tidy their bedroom (‘Let’s put your teddy bear on the bed!’, ‘Where is the blue car?’).
- food : when you are cooking or going shopping. When you go to the supermarket give your child a list of things to find (use pictures or words depending on their age). Revise the vocabulary when you put the shopping away at home.
- Establish an “English time”. It’s good to make the language learning moment a routine. Having a routine children know what to expect and it provides them with clear boundaries, expectations, and consistency. Think about the most suitable time in the family’s daily routine to dedicate to a 15-minute activity every couple of days. In this way your children will love their new friend and look forward for meeting him/her and using English to play with him/her.
Set the alarm and tell your child that when the alarm rings (choose a funny tune) it is time to play with your new English friend (the puppet).Ex. Say that the puppet wants to see their toys.
Top Tip: It is also important for your child to get used to ‘English time’ language, so use the same phrases with your child each time, e.g. ‘It’s English time! Let’s sit down. Children will soon pick up phrases such as please; thank you; Can I have …?; Where is …?; Point to …; What colour is it?; It’s …; I like …; I don’t like …
(it is the puppet who says these phrases, your role is helping your children understand)
With these three steps, you can start introducing English into your family life in a relaxed and fun way. Remember that learning English must be an enjoyable experience for both you and your child, so carefully choose the right time and place. And if it is not working – try it again on another day and in another situation. It’s normal to be nervous or perhaps to feel awkward. Do it anyway. Trust me, in a week or two you will both look forward to playing with your little English friends.
What do you think about these three steps? Would you like to try them? Or would you rather have a teacher assisting you in this adventure?
If the thought of playing in English with your children appeals to you, but you fear that your English is not good enough or that you will not be able to follow them because you are not a teacher or because you are too busy… keep reading!
I have created LITTLE BEES ENGLISH a FREE 10-day challenge based on these steps, where your children will learn about expressing their emotions in English.
All you will need to do is finding 15 minutes every day where you will play, sing, dance and draw with your child. I will teach you how to play and I will support you in my Facebook group where you can meet other families from all around Europe. I will also set up an international online playgroup where your children will be able to use the language they learned while playing with other children from Europe under my guidance – how cool is this?
It is free, so you and your child can try it out and see if it’s right for you. Just invest a bit of time and make a gift to your child of fun, new friends and an amazing and important new skill: Learning English.
Sign up here ! You will get an email every day explaining the 15-minute activity you are going to play with your child.
I can’t wait to start this new Adventure with you!
If you are looking for games to play at home to improve your children's English you can dowload it here.
You could also have a look at my other gifts for you
Bye for now
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