3 – 4

Every picture tells a story

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Every picture tells a story

What to do with this activity?

There are pictures everywhere - in story books, in magazines and newspapers, on birthday cards, and social media. Look at pictures with your child and talk about them together. Make comments, ask questions, and listen to what your child has to say. 

A lot of pictures have a story attached to them. Ask questions like - "what do you think is going to happen next?" (especially if it's a sports action picture), or "what's that person thinking about?". Pictures of animals or children are a good bet for engaging your little one. 

Let your child make up their own story about a picture. For instance, look at the picture above and think together about what might be happening. What are the two people saying to each other; what are they doing? There are no right or wrong answers - it's whatever you say it is. This is a good way of encouraging your child to talk, and to learn to structure little stories.

For a child with a vivid imagination there are story books with no words - you have to tell the story yourself. Look for "Journey" by Aaron Becker, perhaps at your local library. Get a taste of it here. Your local library will have picture books that you can borrow for free. 

  • Why am I doing this?

    Children’s ability to think and understand experiences develops by listening and speaking. As a child’s language becomes more complex so does their ability to understand more complex thoughts and ideas. The family is the child’s first source of language and learning and there are lots of everyday activities that occur in the home, which can help children’s language skills. Your child will get better at using words when they practice words and hear the sounds of words.

  • How can I do more?

    Just keep talking and listening. Normal routines provide lots of opportunities for conversation and for all the family to learn new things. If you are walking down a street, point out things you see and talk about them. Explain new words, show the colours or point out shapes. Ask your child what animals or buildings they like. There’s no end to what you can talk about together.

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