Having props to help you teach children English online is an easy way to make class fun and engaging for our young learners.
Cambly Kids does not make it essential to use props in the classroom. However, sometimes it pays off to have something to grab when the child is inattentive or tired of studying.
I have been teaching Cambly Kids for a long time and found five props that change the tone of my classes in the blink of an eye. Plus, they don’t break the bank!
Here are my top 5 props to teach children English online
The best part is that you can use them in just about every situation or lesson!
#1. Props for a Reward System
Having some fun props to easy reach for when you want to reward a student will keep them on the edge of their seat and attentive in hopes of receiving a reward of some kind!
A reward system can look different for every student, and it’s essential to choose something eye-catching and tailored to the student.
Does your student love dolphins? Maybe you can print some dolphin photos, put a crown on their head, and place them on a popsicle stick for when your student gets an answer correct, for example.
Rewards are easy to have, make, print, and truly makes a big difference. I mean, what child doesn’t love getting a reward for their hard work?
Pro tip: You can even use a digital reward system where you have the child choose a photo of their favourite reward, and then you can gather all of the rewards they earned in that class and put them into a file to send to the parents. The parents can then print their rewards and hang them in the child’s room for motivation!
#2. Finger Puppets
Have you ever sang the “finger family” song in class with your student?
If you teach on Cambly Kids, then chances are you know this song very well and see that it’s a big hit with the kids.
What brings this song to the next level of engagement is having a finger puppet accompanying the music that dances along to the jingle.
I make my finger puppets myself with paper and coloured pencils and have had to make replacements three times because I use them so often! Finger puppets are a great go-to when a student is looking bored or seemingly inattentive.
Every time I flash the finger puppet on the screen, their eyes light up, and class is back on track again.
#3. A World Map
One of the things that make teaching English on Cambly incredible is that you meet people from all over the world, and usually, the children you meet will be living halfway across the globe in countries like South Korea or Japan.
Having a reliable map while meeting students from all corners of the world is an excellent opportunity to connect with the student by showing them where they live on the map and then where you live! The student will be so interested in the map and start asking tons of questions, trust me!
Plus, it’s pretty incredible seeing how far we are from each other and yet we can connect thanks to our good pal, technology.
Pro tip: A map is also great for testing children on their geography knowledge! I love picking a country and quizzing children on animal species, languages, or cuisine from that particular place.
Flashcards are great because you can make your own for next to no cost, or you can find a cheap pack at your local dollar store.
I am an incredibly visual learner, and I know many of my students are as well. Hence, flashcards allow them to associate an image with a vocabulary term to understand our lesson material better.
Flashcards are very versatile and come in handy in many different lessons. However, I especially like having flashcards ready to teach vocabulary for categories such as the weather, numbers, colours, shapes, animals, and greetings!
#5. Stuffed Animals or DIY Puppets
For this fifth prop, you don’t need anything fancy! A fun tutor can find inspiration in any object to make a puppet. You can draw a face on an apple, use a sock, or perhaps a spare stuffed animal you have lying around the house.
I talked to a friend a few days back, and he told me that when one of his students is inattentive in class, he will pull out a puppet, pull himself out of the camera view, and start talking to the student through a puppet voice.
As it turns out, the children always want to talk to the puppet, but not always to him! Sometimes the child even goes to fetch their own stuffed animal or cute toy to talk back to his puppet!
Puppets are cute and exciting, so we can’t blame them, right?
To find out how to keep students engaged, check out this blog on how to break the silence and get every child talking!
What props do you enjoy using in the classroom with your students? I would love to hear from you in the comment section below!