What to do with this activity?
- Just chat with your child. Talk about whatever comes up and listen to your child. Use times when you are already together – on journeys to a friend’s house, to after school activities or on walks together.
- 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 “So what you are saying is...”.
- If your child’s friend is visiting and they are watching television, a DVD, or have just been to the cinema, ask them about it. Take an interest in their discussion about what happened. Expressing their opinions out loud helps build their listening and speaking skills.
- Give your child opportunities to give instructions - explaining the rules of a game or showing you how to do something on the computer.
Children gain confidence in speaking through demonstrating their knowledge to others. Chatting and listening to your child will help build their communication skills. Talking about words and their meaning in everyday life will also help build your child’s vocabulary – and your own!
Funny stories are interesting and a good excuse to get your child talking. At mealtimes, each family member could tell something interesting or something funny that happened during the day. Watching TV together can also provide a good opportunity for chat and to discuss what you are watching. Check if your child understands different things they hear and encourage your child to teach you new words and things they have learnt.
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