Teaching English Through Play

Fairy House and Garden


Building a fairy garden allows children to learn and practice English in an unusual way. While working on the fairy house they can practice the words house, roof, door, window, flower, colours, fairy, paint.


How can we make a house of this pot? How many windows are there? What colour is the roof/door? What do you use to paint the roof? What do you use to decorate the house? How many flowers are there?


We put soil and plant some flowers into two out-of-use biscuit pans, then place the fairy house into the garden, make a pathway from pebbles and put some pine cones and rocks into the garden. Now it is ready to be inhabited by a fairy!


Words that we learn and practice: garden, fairy, pathway, pine cones, pebbles, rock, plant, daisy.

Let's put the fairy house into the garden. Look, here are some pebbles. Let's make a pathway among the plants. Would you like to add some pine cones and rocks? It's so wonderful!



Blowing Bubbles


Blowing bubbles is not only an easy way to have fun with children, but it’s also an amusing way to work on a lot of developmental skills, such as fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, visual tracking skills, gross motor skills, social and communication skills and much more.  After letting the girls delight in their bubble blowers, I give them directions on how to pop the bubbles.


Clap the bubbles, poke them, squeeze them, jump on them.  Pop with your finger, your elbow, your knee, or your nose. The bubbles are going up (or down). They’re going fast (or slow). There’s a bubble in front of (or behind) you. I see one next to you. There’s one above (or below) your head. It’s to your right (or left). That’s a really big (or little) bubble.


Play-dough pretend play


Cooking with play-doh is one of our favourite activities.  Using this amazing material is a never-ending tactile learning experience. It also fosters cooperative play and helps to understand the importance of share.


What do you cook this time? Do you make cakes? It sounds great? So, you first make a ball, put it in the cake pan and place it in the oven. Who's got a birthday today? What kind of cake do you make? Yummy! It's a delicious strawberry cake! Thank you. I am full. I am hungry! Do you cook soup, too? What do you put into your soup? Put it on the cooker. Don't forget to stir it with your wooden spoon.  Roll the play-doh out to make a snake. now, chop it with your knife. What will you cook from the little pieces?  


Vocabulary: cook, bake, make a cake, soup, stir, roll, chop, raspberry, strawberry, apple, grapes, pumpkin, broccoli, chocolate,  corn, salad, plate, pear, oven, cooker, knife, cake pan, wooden spoon


Play-dough dress-making is our other all-time-favourite activity and provides a great opportunity for practising English. You can talk about appearance, clothes and accessories. Usually, the princesses go to a ball in their new dresses where they sing songs like Ring a ring o' roses, Skip to my Lou, etc.


Who is this princess? What dress have you made for her?  What dress is that one wearing? Yes, a sparkling purple dress with flowers in the front. What colour dress will you make her from play-doh? What moulding tools do you need? How will you decorate the dress? This is such a great fashion design!


Vocabulary: colours, names of the princesses (Ariel, Rapunzel, Sleeping Beauty, etc), dress, skirt, top, moulding tools, print a butterfly, decorate with ribbons, flowers, roses, hearts


Building a Sand Castle


Playing in the sand has many benefits: children use their hands to explore, dig into imaginary play, practice social skills and collaboration and it's a great amusement for all of us.


Let's build a sand castle! What do we need for building a sand castle? We need buckets, shovels, cups,  sand, water, pebbles and pine cones. Can we build the castle from dry sand? Let's try it. Shovel some dry sand into the bucket. Is it full? Turn it upside down. It doesn't work. What should we do? What happens if we add some water to the sand? Fill your bucket with wet sand now. Turn it upside down, again. Yes, it works! What will you add to your castle? How will you decorate it?


Nature Scavenger Hunt 


Nature scavenger hunts are perfect for outdoor play and a wonderful way to encourage children to slow down and observe their environment. They have many benefits on health, gross motor skills and provide great opportunities for language learning. There is an excellent printable on Stay at Home Mum's website and it's for free!




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Hi! I'm Natalia!

Welcome to NatiEnglish where you'll find fun and engaging learning activities and ideas to encourage young English language learners in the 21st Century.


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