This week we played “Pizzeria” which is a favourite game with my Monday boys. The biggest draw to the game is my collection of telephones. I have a few old cell phones and in this game each child gets one. They LOVE this, because they aren’t old enough to have their own phones. Sometimes when we don’t have enough I will even let them use my phone, but the screen has to stay locked. 😉 This activity work best with a small group, two to five children, I would say. It’s a great one to play at home with parents, nanny or grandparents. You might call it the “English Pizza” game.
What you need:
- Old cell phones, but you could also use blocks, or other pretend objects.
- Pizza making supplies -I use this free printable from education.com, there are five full sheets of toppings! It does take a bit of time to cut out all of the toppings, but the kids can help with the larger ones, and it’s a good way to learn the vocabulary as you work together.
- Optional: a small pizza box to deliver the pizza in, a menu, pretend money or credit cards to pay with, a play pizza oven… the list is really endless, but honestly, we usually just play with the cell phones and the free pizza printable.
How it works:
children get to take turns being the pizzeria and the customers. The customers call to the pizzeria and then need to have a conversation over the phone, and communicate what they want on their pizza. There are so many things that I love about this game, but my favourite is that the children speak naturally and because they are using a phone, they don’t feel pressured by me (the teacher). They get caught up in the game and the learning happens naturally. I am quick to offer vocabulary when they are struggling to remember words, but I don’t correct their efforts if they are communicating effectively in English. That’s part of learning a language -you need to be able to communicate, even if it isn’t perfect. The children also enjoy delivering the pizza, or going into the pizzeria in person and picking up the pizza and paying for it with imaginary money, or you could use some play money or credit cards. I also have a collection of “credit cards” which are the fake cardboard ones that come in the mail when a company is trying to get me to sign up for a new credit card.
And that’s it, a simple game that the kids love. There are a lot of free printables for pretend play on the internet, and you can expand this idea into many different lessons. Over the years I’ve played veterinarian, restaurant, airport and postoffice to name a few, all while helping children learn English.
Get creative and have some fun! You might even want to make a real pizza after playing this game.