It is common knowledge that schools, and parents correctly emphasize the importance of reading stories to their children as a way to increase vocabulary and begin language development, in both native and second languages. However, it is also vital that educators and parents expand their activities to be engaging and, quite literally, hands-on so that children find meaningful ways to express themselves and learn new vocabulary. One hands-on activity is making art.
Young children love to make art. Children love to touch and play with objects. Hey – even adults do too! Children use paint, glue, glitter, stickers, crayons, or markers to observe and show the world around them. Through this process of creating art, it also teaches children to use words about colors, shapes, verbs, nouns, and textures.
By following instructions to make the craft, it introduces children to prepositions. For example, “put the sticker on the tree”, “put the stick through the witch”, “place the mouse inside the house”. Thus, allowing young English language learners to instinctively and naturally learn one of the more difficult parts of speech. Furthermore, they learn to use imperatives and use verbs when putting their craft into action. Finally, children are allowed to make sense of the world around them, be expressive, be given instructions, but have the autonomy to deviate from making the exact same craft as the student next to them.
Teaching language is not only about sitting at a desk with worksheets or learning from flashcards. Through art children will not even know they are learning a second language as they are simply just having fun.