Communication and Language
The key with Communication and Language is to talk with, listen to and respond to your children.
Sharing a story is very, very important, try to make time in the day as well as at bed time to share a story with your children. Make this part of your bedtime routine and don't be afraid of reading the same story for several nights, especially if your children are enjoying it, or are settling down to sleep after or even during the story.
There are lots and lots of stories available, personally I enjoy sharing the stories of Julia Donaldson, Michael Rosen (Bear Hunt and Little Rabbit Foo Foo) The Tiger that Came to Tea by Judith Kerr is my favourite. However if your child prefers popular children's tv books, Paw Patrol, Mr Tumble or even Superhero stories this is fine.
Other simple communication activities include:
- Turn taking games, this can be done with cards, a simple game of snap! or Happy Families. My turn your turn when passing a ball.
- Talking through your cooking or even sharing the cooking with your child, so for example, if making beans on toast, ask your child to get the bread, even for 2 slices of bread, to find the beans and the butter. Then talk through spreading the butter, stirring and pouring the beans. You could even ask what has changed about the appearance of the bread, butter or the temperature of the beans.
- Taking time to eat with your family is a great way to encourage turn taking, listening skills and the asking and answering of questions.
- Pause the TV, ask your children Who are these characters? What are they wearing? What are they doing? What has happened? What do you think will happen next? Why? This works really well with cartoons!
- And of course singing songs, especially nursery rhymes is vital. Again Cbeebies has an array of nursery rhymes to sing along with and share.
As you know we are trying to learn a few Makaton signs, keep going with the toilet sign (right hand across body, one finger pointing just below the shoulder blades.)
Small world play is fantastic, dolls, trains, cars, little people and even superheroes, provide lots of opportunities for communication. If you can, get down with your child, try to join in with their narrative.
Another nice small world activity is to hide a few toys around the house or garden, ask you children to find 'Batman' . Give them clues, this could be simply your hot (near the toys) your cold (away from the toys.) Getting colder, getting hotter and so on.
Even using the language 'Batman is on top of..., Batman is under..., Batman is behind..., Batman is near...' Then encourage you children to say where they found Batman.
Please note Batman is an example, any available toy also works well.
So yes, spend time talking, spend time sharing, spend time playing and enjoy spending time with your children!