What to do with this activity?
It's important to spend time with your child, and to talk, listen and respond to them.
- Chat with your child - encourage your child to give their opinions and to ask questions.
- Ask questions which encourage your child to give more than a yes or no answer such as “What do you feel about that?”
- Listen to what your child is talking about and help your child make decisions by discussing their ideas.
- Encourage your child to retell a story they have heard. This could be a story about something that has happened during the day, or from their favourite book or movie.
- Call out a list of directions - for example, “Go upstairs, find your bag and bring it to me please”. Praise your child when they follow your directions.
- Ask your child to teach you something they have learned. Pick something you know your child can do – they are often better at things.
Children improve their language by hearing how words are used in everyday life. Chatting to your child helps build their communication skills. Getting your child to tell you stories or explain things, helps them to put ideas in the right order. This is an important skill for listening and speaking.
When you’re out and about with your child ask them to recall little things that happened on previous trips. For example, “Do you remember what we saw here yesterday?” This helps your child to recall, listen, speak and to become more aware of their surroundings – good skills for listening and speaking.
But remember, to listen well, first let your child finish what they are saying. Avoid too many questions that might interrupt their train of thought. Try not to think about what you want to say next. Concentrate on what your child is saying. Check with them that you understood, for example, “So what you are saying is…”
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