Wednesday, 16 September 2020

Enriching Vocabulary through Games and Songs

I wrote these ideas for some of the parents, who asked how to work on building vocabulary in a fun way. I thought I’d share them with you and maybe you’ll find them useful, too.

· Sing songs from Super Simple Songs, translated in your mother tongue/the language you want your child to learn (they have extremely easy words, and sometimes you don’t even need rhymes. I suggest: “I See Something Blue”, “Open Shut Them”, “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes”, “Do You Like Broccoli Ice Cream”, “Walking, Walking”, “Can You Make a Happy Face?”, “Put on Your Clothes”, etc.)

· Try to make up songs for basic routines, such as brushing teeth, getting dressed, and sing them together while your child does those things: “We’re brushing our teeth, our teeth, our teeth, we’re brushing our teeth, with water and toothpaste.”

· Memory game with flashcards/pictures – if you have any memory game with pictures, you can use those. Or choose some small realistic toys. Choose a few words at a time and focus on those. Before each game, make sure that you say the words and that your child understands them. In the beginning, take 3 words from the same category (farm animals: horse, cow, sheep, furniture: chair, table, bed, etc.). After you show each picture and say the word (let your child repeat if he feels comfortable), then tell her to shut her eyes while you take one of the pictures away. She then has to guess what is missing. Take turns, once she hides the flashcards, then you do. This will encourage her to say which word is missing, or to agree/disagree. If it goes well, add more words.

· Jump on… game – use the same flashcards as before (if you want to reinforce the same vocabulary, use the same pictures in all of these games) and place them randomly on the floor, 20-30 cm apart. Then say a word, clap your hands, and your child has to jump on that flashcard, then say another word, and so on. You can make it faster, or slower, depending on how she’s doing. Take turns.

· Word Twister – if you remember the game Twister, it has a large board with coloured circles and you need to place one hand on a colour, the other on another one, etc. This is an adapted version: instead of colours, place flashcards on the floor in a random order. It’s more fun if the entire family plays.  First, one gives the instructions: “Dad, put your hand on horse. Then place your foot on cow…”, then your child can give the instructions. If all family members play at the same time, you will get tangled on pictures. This you should play with at least 4 pictures/person.

· Where is it game – Place three cups on the table, face down. Choose one picture (at first), then put it under one of the cups, then shuffle them and let your child guess where the picture is. When she finds it, she has to say the name of the object on it. Take turns.

What are your favourite vocabulary games to play?

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