The LearnEnglish Kids team want to support parents at this challenging time. Many parents around the world are spending a lot of time at home with their young children. If you're in this situation, our website can help you support your child's English learning at home.
Here are some ideas for short activities that your children can do by themselves and/or with limited guidance. Don't worry if you don't speak English – you can give your child the instructions in your own language, and at the end of the activity they can also tell you about it in your own language. The most important thing is that while they are doing the activity, they are using English.
LearnEnglish Kids has lots of activities related to common topics that children study at school, and most of our pages are designed for children to work through independently. Look at your children's English school books to see what topics they've covered this year, then look for the topics on our Resources page. Choose some of the related activities for your child to do.
Challenge a friend
Keeping in contact with school friends can help children feel less isolated. Ask your child to challenge a friend over a chat or video call. If they can call them and speak English, even better!
- Who can get the most points on School Run or Wordshake?
- Make a story (Story Maker 1 or Story Maker 2) or design a hero or teddy together. Can you agree which options to choose?
- Who can say the tongue twisters the fastest?
Do some crafts
Crafts are fun to make, and following our videos or instructions in English helps children learn at the same time. All the activities use very basic materials that you'll probably already have at home.
How to … videos
Our How to … videos show children how to make or do something, with online or printable exercises that children can complete independently to check their understanding. Ask your child to choose a video, complete the exercises and then make or do what the video showed!
Lots of our craft activities have printable templates. Ask your child to choose a craft and make it. Then they can use it to practise English. For example, if they make a skeleton, ask them to tell you or 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 especially 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 also play the memory game with another member of the family.
There are lots of ways to revise and extend vocabulary at home.
LearnEnglish Kids has got lots of picture-word matching games on many different topics. Each game has audio, so children can also practise pronunciation. Ask your child to play three games of their choice and to write and draw the words that they didn't know before in a notebook.
Songs and stories
Songs and stories are also great for extending children's vocabulary. Our songs and stories have 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 preparation game. When they watch the video, they can stand up when they hear the words that were in the game.
Ask your child to look in their school English book 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 the words on small pieces of paper. Put the words in a bag. Every day, for example after dinner, take out five words and ask your child to:
- spell the words
- define the words
- translate the words
- draw the words
- tell a simple story using the words!
Give your child some blank sticky notes and ask them to go round the house and label everything they can in English. If they don't know the word, encourage them to look in a dictionary to find out. When they finish, ask them to give you all the sticky notes that they checked in a dictionary. The next day, give the sticky notes with the new words back. Can they remember what things to put them on?
Set one of the following 'missions' for your child to do on the website.
- Listen to three songs and choose your favourite. Listen to it a few times and sing along. Be ready to sing the song to us in the evening! Can you teach us the words?
- Watch three stories and choose your favourite. Watch it a few times and decide what the main events in the story are. Can you explain the story to us in the evening?
- Listen to three poems and choose your favourite. Do all the tasks on the page. Practise saying the poem together with the recording. Print the words to the poem or get the words ready on your screen. Read the poem to us in the evening!
- Go to the Video zone section and watch some videos. Choose one video for each member of the family that you think we would like to watch. This evening, tell us which video you chose for each of us and why!
- Do you think grammar is difficult? Choose a grammar topic that you have studied at school and do the exercises. Can you find a grammar chant with the same topic? Teach us the grammar this evening!
- Choose three Your turn topics. Read the questions and think about your answers. Write your answers in English as a comment on the page [your child will need to have a LearnEnglish Kids account and be logged into the website]. Read the answers from the other children and reply to one of them. Go back to the pages tomorrow or the next day to see your comments published!
For more ideas, go to the LearnEnglish Kids Parents section. There are video tips showing families doing activities in English and top tips with short suggestions. You can also follow our LearnEnglish Parents Facebook page for daily updates!
We hope these suggestions help at this challenging time, and you might find these become new English learning habits even after your children have gone back to school!
LearnEnglish Kids team