Following up with our previous blog post on Part 1 of our 2-part Creative Teaching Tips series, here are more tips and ideas you can use in your home and/or school! We trust that these tips can help your child just as they’ve helped ours! (Do note that each idea can be personalised according to each child’s needs and wants.)
Bad Dog Toy
This activity is suitable for intermediate learners, but we do encourage parent supervision as well. Your child can learn turn-taking, waiting, colour recognition and labelling, and practice hand-eye coordination.
Put the dog into its sleeping position and take turns to draw a card from the deck. Using the cat claw clipper, take the corresponding bone(s) from the dog bowl. The game is over when the dog jumps up and growls, and the player who triggered it loses!
WARNING: This activity could be aversive for some kids and may cause anxiety or fear.
P.S. We all got scared, too!
You can play this game with your non-verbal child, too, as it does not require any verbal skills! This game is suitable for early and intermediate learners. It teaches them turn-taking, waiting, matching and pairing, as well as how to play group-based games.
Remove one of the donkey cards and shuffle the deck. Distribute them evenly, faced downwards, to all players. Look for pairs in your own deck and remove them, placing them in front of you, faced upwards. Take turns to pick a card from the player next to you. If it matches any of your cards, remove them from your deck. Play continues until all pars have been removed, and only one player is left with a Donkey card. This player is the loser, and must say “I am the donkey!” and shout “HEE-HAW!” three times!
This self-regulation card uses the traffic light system to teach children on their expected and unexpected behaviour.
- Read out the rules on both colours at the beginning of the session.
- Set a timer and let the child know that when the timer beeps, you will check if he/she is still on green.
- If he/she is, reward him/her with a Good Job badge (or something that is reinforcing for the child).
- Gradually increase the time for the child to be successful and reward each time the timer beeps.
- Generalise this to other family members/friends, and also to natural settings (school, restaurant, shopping mall)
Self-regulation cards for intermediate and early learners will contain more visuals. The child’s name can be written on the card itself, as this shows the child more clearly when he/she is showing an expected or unexpected behaviour.
While having a fun and engaging reading time with your child, you can teach him/her the different sounds animals make. You can also teach your child to imitate the sounds on every page!
You can purchase this book for only RM12 at Big Bad Wolf, or at Book Xcess!
Underwater Vs Not Underwater
Teach your child how to categorise the different animals (sea and land animals) with a very simple activity like this. You can also teach them to label the animals, the sounds they make, as well as the different features – “I have 4 legs, lots of wool and I go ‘Baa Baa!’ I am a sheep!”
We had found a number of websites that can help your child with learning to tell time! We used this one with one of our kiddos, and he enjoyed it! More than teaching kids how to tell time, it engages them with the fun animations and a storyline that progresses with each right answer!
DIY Puppet Show
Create your own puppet show with a box, some tracing paper and a flash light! We used this one with one of our kiddos who loves animals and shadows. You can incorporate songs like “Old MacDonald Had A Farm”, too.
Here are a few targets for your child with this activity:
- Requesting – Provide opportunities for your child to request for a specific or preferred animal they want to see.
- Labelling – With each puppet show is a great opportunity for your child to label the animal shown. You can teach your child the names of new animals, too.
- Imitation – Teach your child the different sounds each animal make, and get him/her to imitate it. This is a great way for them to learn more about a specific animal.
- Turn-taking – Be it during peer play or between you and your child, take turns with playing with each animal. You can even take turns coming up with stories about each animal.
Did you know that the London Bridge has more than just the first part to it? You can come up with different dances to the different parts of the song! For example, for “Take the key and lock her up”, incorporate a fun activity such as “locking” the child in a blanket and swinging him/her around. This can be a great play idea during song time!
Food Colouring and Milk Play
What you need: A plate/bowl, milk, food colouring (the more colours, the merrier) & liquid detergent
Drop colouring into a plate/bowl of milk (you can use different colours to see a more vibrant effect!). Drop liquid detergent onto each drop of food colouring, and watch the colours ripple out on the milk!
This is a great opportunity to practice hand-eye coordination as well as requesting for the ingredients. You can model and label the colours as well. This cause and effect activity builds interest, anticipation, engagement and attention!
Not your ordinary taboo! This version, suitable for children with advanced language and communication skills, focuses on the expected and unexpected behaviour for the child. This helps with social skills, as well as increases conversational and language skills. Include fun ones too, such as movies, sports and cars!
Let us know if you have more play ideas or creative teaching tips! We hope that this can help you daily with your child, be it as a teacher or as a parent.