Learning Through Play
If you want a simple (and fun) way to teach your students, then there's an unexpectedly easy way to do it - learning through play! It's a powerful way of getting your students on board while bypassing their "ugh, time for school..." mentality. So it's clear why this can be a great tool to add to your teacher’s toolbox.
You've likely seen or heard of this concept before. But you might not be sure how to incorporate it into your own classroom. So we went ahead and gathered a few ideas for you to put into practice.
Learning Through Play - Easy Ways To Get You Started
Incorporate movement into your lessons
Most kids simply can’t handle sitting in one place for very long. So why not take advantage of that?
Whenever you can, find ways to add standing, dancing, and moving around into your lessons. This will help keep their minds active and alert. And can help with memorization if you make sure the movements are connected to the material.
Here's a few ways you can do this:
- For a lesson on animals, have students act out the animal movements as you describe them
- Use an interactive whiteboard or projector to display a video or image. Then have students move around the room to get a better view
- Brainstorm a list of vocabulary words as a class. Then have students stand up and do them when you read them back aloud
Let students explore their creativity with art projects
Kids love to draw.
Since that's the case, it can help to give everybody a "side project" where they can doodle and design to their heart's content. This not only helps with fine motor skills, but also allows them to express themselves in a low-pressure environment.
A simple way to do this is by letting students work on their "art project" after they finish their regular work for the day. Or, you could also set up a classroom library where students can check out coloring books and art supplies to use during free time.
Either way, giving students the opportunity to be creative will help them feel relaxed and engaged. And a relaxed student is more likely to be a happy and receptive student as well!
Engage in imaginative play by setting up a pretend grocery store or restaurant
Playing and acting out roles is a great way for kids to learn new vocabulary and practice them in a real-world context.
You can set up a pretend grocery store or restaurant in your classroom. And then let students take turns being the customer and the storekeeper. As they play, they'll naturally start using the new words and phrases they've learned.
Not only is this great for their language development, but it's also a fun activity that will get them up and moving around. As a bonus, you can also teach them how to act like an adult in these real-life scenarios. You just need to add gentle little corrections here and there to do so. Just remember to keep it light and fun!
Play popular games with a twist
These classic games are not only fun, but they're also great for helping kids learn new things.
And since most kids already know how to play them, they'll be able to jump right in without feeling lost or overwhelmed.
Here’s how to add an educational twist to them:
- Tag can be used to review vocabulary words. Call out a word and the first person to touch the right object or picture gets a point.
- Duck-Duck-Goose can be used to review numbers or counting. As you go around the circle, have students say the number that comes next (e.g. duck 1, duck 2, duck 3... Goose!).
- Red Light Green Light can be adjusted to review different colors. As you call out different colors, students must move to the corresponding color in different parts of the room (e.g. red on side 1, green on side 2, blue on side 3, and purple on side 4)
There are many different ways you can incorporate play into your lessons. By doing so, you'll not only make learning more fun and engaging for your students, but you'll also help them retain material more effectively. So don't be afraid to get creative and have some fun! Your students will thank you for it.
By the way, one other way to incorporate "movement" into your lessons is with top-level keyboard training! Luckily, there's plenty of keyboard training to improve your student’s typing skills over at KeyboardingOnline. Check it out and see for yourself!