Children Celebrating Their Parents: Activities & Tons of Resources

“A father’s goodness is higher than the mountain, a mother’s goodness deeper than the sea.”
—Japanese proverb

All over the world, children celebrate their parents on special days. On May 8, many children  will gather to appreciate their mothers with greetings or flowers. On June 19, many children will give gifts of appreciation, like cards and ties, to their fathers. Some countries celebrate both parents in May or in June. Children get excited about creating imaginative gifts and are motivated to express their love in different languages. Free digital tools and apps help children design beautiful books, projects, greetings, and crafts and also enhance their English skills. Make English learning meaningful this month for your young learners by getting them to appreciate their parents in English with the following gift ideas listed below.

Express It in a Word Cloud

Word clouds help children learn vocabulary. Children can create a word cloud of adjectives and phrases they associate with their mother or father. Free digital tools to create word clouds include ABCya, Wordle, Tagul, and Tagxedo. Print out the word clouds on t-shirts, ties, or coffee mugs or include them in a design for a virtual greeting.

Create a Coloring Book

Adult coloring books are all the rage to help grownups relieve their stress. Get your young language learners to create a list of their parents’ favorite items. Students can practice speaking by interviewing their parents about their favorite things. Categories can include favorite dessert, food, animal, vehicle, outfit, and plant. These favorites will be included in a coloring book printed for parents. Keep in mind the students will be drawing these favorites, so stick to answers they can draw. They can use Google Draw and Docs or Slides to draw these favorites and share them in a coloring book they plan to print for parents. Print these in black and white to save ink or make a mobile tablet coloring book if the technology is available to the parents.

Often, it is easier for children to draw on a tablet with a stylus pen. Check out this post full of drawing apps: 25+ Apps and Tools to Create Colorful Learning Experiences for Children.

If you don’t have much time, have the children use clipart from sites like iClipArt or OpenClipArt, which are both royalty-free. There are also many free apps to upload pictures and turn them into coloring pages. These include the Crayola Lights iOS app, the Colorscape iOS app, the Color My World iOS/Android app, and the Really Color website.

Create a Board Game

BogglesWorld has various free blank templates for creating board games. Get children to choose a template to create a board game for their parents where they can land on favorite places, collect mementos, or perform tasks like giving a hug. This will be great fun for the family and also helps young language learners with verbs, prepositions, and speaking English at home!

Show It in a Coupon Book

Children can use templates for coupons that entitle their parents to getting the dishes washed, having the garbage taken out, or any other activity to show their appreciation. DLTK has a free coupon book generator. Find another coupon generator here.

Illustrate It in a Digital Book

Children can express their love by creating books full of stories, quotes, drawings, or personal images. They can choose from a library of art and include text and their voice. Recommended web tools include Storybird, Little Bird Tales, Toondoo, and the Book Creator iOS/Android app.

Send a Digital Greeting

Children can send a virtual greeting with Red Stamp (web/iOS/Android), Fotobabble (web/iOS), YAKIT for Kids (iOS), and Chatterpix for Kids (iOS). Children can send virtual poetry accompanied by art with the Lark iOS app or PicLits. Have students write down their greetings and edit them to get the greeting grammatically correct. With some of these apps, learners will add a voice to the greeting and should practice pronouncing the words correctly.

Visualize It in a Slideshow

With web tools and apps like Kizoa, Photopeach, Voicethread (web/iOS/Android), and Magisto (iOS/Android), young learners can upload images and describe their memories in slideshows.

In what ways do you get your young learners to value their parents?

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Shelly Terrell

Shelly Sanchez Terrell is the author of Learning To Go and The 30 Goals Challenge for Educators. She is also an adjunct professor, teacher trainer, and international speaker. She has trained teachers in over 25 countries and is a founder of the Bammy Award-winning #Edchat, the ELTON-nominated ELTChat, and The Reform Symposium E-Conference. She is the host of American TESOL’s Free Friday Webinars and shares regularly via TeacherRebootCamp.com, Twitter (@ShellTerrell), Facebook.com/shellyterrell, and Google.com/+ShellySanchezTerrell. She has taught toddlers to adults English in various countries including the US, Germany, Croatia, Slovenia, and Greece.

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