Updated: Apr 10
Play is often the best way to encourage and improve your child’s communication skills!
Here are our favourite games to do just that:
Match the length and the complexity of the message you whisper in their ear to their age and ability. Keep it light-hearted and laugh together if they get it wrong. There is no limit to the number of players you can involve in this game, but it is still a whole lot of fun even when it’s just you and one child. If you want to make it even more interesting, spend a few minutes on making a ‘telephone’ from plastic cups or tins and a piece of string.
This game works best with three people so ask a sibling or friend to join in. Grab a tub of yoghurt or something deliciously messy. Blindfold the child who wants to be the feeder. Now have the other child give them instructions on which way to aim the spoon when trying to feed you. (Remember not to wear your favourite top – this will get messy!) Soon you’ll all be in hysterics as the snack makes its way to your cheeks, chin and nostrils, but your children will learn valuable lessons in giving and listening to instructions.
Get noisy with your little one! Pick a household utensil or piece of kitchen equipment and ask them to close their eyes and listen very carefully. Now make a noise with the chosen item. You can, for instance, bang a spoon against a pot of swish a mop in a bucket. Let your child guess what they are hearing and give them a few clues if they get stuck. This will teach your clever kiddo to really pay attention to what they are hearing, helping them to listen more intently in the future.
Once Upon A Time …
Most children love stories! But why stick to the plot when it can be so much fun making it up as you go along? Read your child the first half of their favourite story or start saying a nursery rhyme. Now let them finish it in whatever imaginative way tickles their fancy. You’ll be amazed at what they can dream up and how eloquently they might be able to express themselves.
Have A Treasure Hunt
This game can be played outside on sunny days or inside when the weather is gloomy. You can even go on an outing to the beach, park or aquarium and play a very simple version of it there. Draw up a list of items to look for and specify where you are allowed to search. You can look for a round item, a red object, a soft toy and many more. The idea is not to struggle to find the ‘treasures’, but to develop your little one’s listening and communication skills.