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Since so many people are teaching online due to Covid-19, I thought I’d share the top five props that I found to be the most helpful.
- Mr. Potato Head
This is such a classic toy and just so versatile. I find that it is so helpful for teaching body parts (eyes, nose, ears, mouth, hands, feet, hair) to kids ages 3 to 8. Plus, you can adopt a silly voice, stick Mr. Potato Head in front of your camera, and let the kid talk to it. The fact that it is so colorful makes it eye catching, which is a must when trying to teach online to kids!
This is another prop that I use almost every day when teaching my students. I often ask them “do you like to play ball” or “what ball do you have/like.” I have a small basketball and soccer ball that I use to demonstrate kicking, throwing, or dribbling. Pretend to throw the ball at your camera and your student can pretend to catch it. It’s a great way to get your kids moving and on the go when online learning is just so stationary.
3. Construction paper
Okay, okay, this isn’t really a toy. But there’s just so much you can do with it. You can use it to make a toy, if you like, or draw an apple or banana or a triangle or a square to show to your students to reinforce fruits or shapes. But what I like to use it for is to show colors. Try cutting the construction paper into long strips. Do it for every color. You can then ask the student what color it is to help reinforce the material.
4. Rabbit ears
Every child loves rabbits. It’s a bonus when a teacher comes in front of the camera wearing one of these ears. It makes learning fun to have a couple of these lying around. I have Mickey Mouse ears and cat ears. Kids, especially young kids, have to look at your face so why not make it more fun by pretending to be an animal. Kids love animals. Kids especially love it when adults pretend to be an animal.
5. Teaching Clock
If you teach ESL, you will probably have to teach your kids the numbers or how to tell time. Having a play clock is the perfect way to do that. Plus, this one is super colorful and is bound to attract their attention. Point to the numbers and teach them how to say the numbers. Have the minute and hour hand point at random numbers and ask what time it is.
What are some toys or props that you use in your online classroom?