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Toys and Games for Young English Learners

Toys and Games for Young English Learners

Although there are many different ways to learn, one way that's very effective for children is called "kinesthetic learning." This method involves learning through experiences and activities rather than things like reading or writing.

Because kinesthetic learners want to move and touch things, toys and other physical objects are a great way to get them excited and engaged in their education. So let's take a look at a few fun learning tools for the young English students in your life.

Alphabet blocks

These are classic toys that you can see almost anywhere you find very young children. They let kids physically connect with language by moving blocks around to spell simple words. They can help children understand the differences between letters not only visually but also by feeling the shapes. This helps to form two connections in their minds instead of just one.


A child learning English by studying with flashcards

Flashcards are simple tools that don't cost much money but offer great value. It’s not always convenient to carry a textbook, but keeping a small stack of cards in your pocket or bag is easy!

Flashcards don't require preparation or study partners, and they can be used to practice vocabulary (like recognizing pictures of animals) or for grammar (simple sentence structures, for example). Studying with them is also a great way to strengthen "active recall," which is the ability to remember information without any extra clues or context.

Word games

There are a variety of party games that focus on language, such as Scrabble, Boggle and Bananagrams. These games are all about vocabulary, spelling and word recognition. Because you need to be fast when playing against others, learners have plenty of motivation to master English so they can use it quickly to win!

Many of these games can be played digitally, but as we mentioned earlier, adding a physical experience can lead to stronger connections in the mind and deeper understanding. Physical games also mean less time spent looking at screens, which is healthy for both children and adults! And speaking of adults, word games — just like flashcards — are great for all ages.


Puzzle pieces spread out on a table

You may not think that puzzles are especially useful for learning language, but you'd be wrong!

Imagine a puzzle that forms a picture of an animal or scene. By talking while putting the pieces in place, children can learn new English vocabulary and practice using it to describe what they see. And when they've finished, they have a nice picture that they helped to create.

You can find puzzles with many different designs, themes and characters, so there is something that will appeal to everyone.

Magnetic letters

Similar to alphabet blocks, magnetic letters are another great tool that lets kids get hands-on with language. Also, their ability to stick on surfaces means they can stay visible and act as reminders for things they've learned. Your refrigerator door may get a little messy, however!

Picture books

A mother reading an English-language picture book with her son

Simple stories can help kids gain new vocabulary, improve reading and comprehension skills, and learn how to describe basic situations and emotions in English. But that's not all; reading has many benefits that go beyond just language, including improving focus and helping to develop a longer attention span. These are things that even many adults need help with!

Sequencing cards

Sequencing cards let kids use pictures to put things in order, recognize patterns and make predictions. This gives them the tools they can use to start retelling stories and even creating their own by describing the beginning, middle and end of events in English.

Just like puzzles, sequencing cards come in a variety of themes for you to choose from. And like all of the suggestions on this list, they are inexpensive. You can even find card sets that you can print for free at home.

Potato Head

This is another classic toy that generations of kids grew up playing with. While interacting with the various pieces, kids can learn and practice vocabulary for different parts of the face and body. You can also use Potato Head (which used to be called "Mr. Potato Head") to talk about what each part of the face and body is used for in English.

Playtime is study time

Games and fun activities can also be educational. The suggestions we’ve listed here are great for helping children learn new words, improve their memory and strengthen their social skills. These benefits are not only excellent for developing English ability but also for general skills they can use in all areas of life.