On the British Council’s site for young learners LearnEnglish Kids you will find many activities for practising the language of the playground. The topic lends itself particularly well to very young learners and primary level students. You can find the activities here: http://www.britishcouncil.org/kids-topics-playground
On this page you will find tips for using and extending the activities in the classroom.
1. Brainstorm and elicit the things your children can find in a playground-either at school or in a park. Introduce and practise key language, e.g. swing, slide, bench, see-saw, roundabout, climbing frame, with pictures and/or actions. Now your children could play the online games Paint it and matching game (matching words and pictures).
2. After completing the labelling activity online, your children could draw and label a picture of the playground in their local park. Alternatively, they could draw and label their playground at school, or their ideal school playground. You might like to give them a theme, e.g. design a pirate's playground (with a ship's mast at the top of a climbing frame) or a jungle playground (with wild animal springy). As you monitor, ask your children about their playgrounds. http://www.britishcouncil.org/kids-games-labelling-playground.htm
3. Play ‘hangman' before completing the printable worksheet playground crossword.
4. Do a playground picture dictation with your children. Elicit the question "What's in (square) 1?" from your children as a whole class. Respond with ‘a climbing frame'. The children now draw the climbing frame in square 1. Continue in the same way with the other squares. As an extension activity, give your children a blank grid and ask them to draw 4 different playground items in the squares. In pairs, they ask, answer and draw each other's playground items.
a) Alternatively, give your children a blank playground questionnaire and ask them to draw 4 playground items in squares 1-4. (If they don't like drawing, they could simply write the words.)
b) Now ask them to ask their partner, "Do you like (playing on) slides/seesaws/swings/climbing frames?" They write their partner's answers (‘yes' or ‘no') next to the playground items. Find out the most popular item in the playground with the results displayed as a bar chart.
a) Introduce the story No Dogs! with some general questions about your children's trips to the park. When was the last time they went to the park/playground? Did they go after school/at the weekend? Who did they go with? Did they have lots of fun? What did they play on? Did they see any animals in the playground? Are they
allowed to play on the swings?
b) Now ask them to watch the story. What did they see in the playground? Can they complete the printable worksheet on the story page? http://www.britishcouncil.org/kids-stories-playground.htm
a) Ask your children to imagine they're in a playground. Elicit and demonstrate the following action verbs-laugh, swing, spin, play (football/with a toy car), skip, go down (a slide).
b) Play the Playground song (Playing in the Playground) and ask your children to do the actions as they listen to the song.
c) Now place or draw pictures of the following words on the board-sunshine, skipping rope, football, toy car, slide, roundabout. Play the song again. As they listen, ask your children to match the actions to the pictures-laughing=sunshine; skipping=skipping rope; playing=ball or toy car; swinging=swing; going down=slide;
d) Now ask your children to complete the words of the song on the printable worksheet that is on the song page and then sing along!
e) Finally, watch the song again without the sound and ask your children about the playground and the children in the pictures. e.g. How many children are there in the playground? What games are they playing?
8. To extend your children's vocabulary, you could introduce or review the following key action verbs from the story and the song-have, play, go, skip, spin, jump, climb, bounce-before playing the Gapfill game. Alternatively, introduce or review the following-swing, spin, skip, hop, go, play, throw, catch, run, chase, ride-and do the matching activity in the printable worksheet Playground actions. http://www.britishcouncil.org/kids-games-gapfill-playground.htm and britishcouncil.org/kids-print-playground-actions.pdf
9. Before either of the extension activities, you might like to play ‘Simon says' or an action miming game with your children. Show half of your children a picture (e.g. a see-saw) and ask them to mime it. The other half must guess what they're doing (e.g. "You're going up and down on a see-saw")! If they answer correctly,
they win a point and mime the next action.
10. Another activity might be a survey like the one across. Can your children hop or skip? (How many ‘hops' can they do in 20 seconds?)
11. If you have a playground outdoors or plenty of space indoors, why not try out some of the games with your children?! Don't forget to practice the Skipping chants in the playground, too! britishcouncil.org/kids-parentstips-playground.pdf and britishcouncil.org/kids-parentstips-skipping.pdf
When you have used some of these ideas, why not come back to this page and leave a comment below to tell us how your class went. Let us know too if you have any additional ideas!
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