With a lot of young children starting their journey into “Big School” a huge emphasis will now be placed on your child’s language skills. School is a place where a big emphasis on language comes into play. Children need their language skills to help them:
- Follow Instructions from their teacher
- Have good listening skills in order for them to participate in class
- Communication skills in order for them to form new friendships and be able to express themselves with their peers.
This is a new chapter in a Child’s life and there are some practical things that parents can do to help them on this journey.
Starting off in the morning:
Take notice in the morning when you are getting ready how many items (keywords) your child can remember to get while you are getting ready. So start off by asking them to get their shoes and see if they can do that easily if they can move onto asking for two items so their shoes and their bag. If you find that they struggle to remember the second thing come down to their level and repeat shoes and bag.
Don’t add too much language here as it can actually drown out what it is you want from them. If they come back with what you asked for PRAISE, PRAISE. This is helping your child to follow simple instructions once you think they have the two items mastered move onto three and so on. You can add language in here by asking for the “Blue Bag” or “Shoes under your bed”.
Not all children will have concepts at this stage such as under and over so introduce them gently. Another great way of using language in the morning time is when they are getting dressed name all of their uniform parts as they are putting it on. By labelling items you are increasing their language base.
To Encourage Listening Skills here are a few examples of games that can increase their skills in listening.
Simon says- start with 2 things, then move to 3 things: Apples and oranges- great if there are 2 or more. Explain the rules. Hide and seek- good to work on prepositions, and also colours, shapes and sizes. Shopping- if your child can find the ‘food’ then see if they can find it by the description- so go to the shop and get me something that is orange and round, and you peel! These games can be played for even 10 minutes in the day would be beneficial.