Top Tips To Help Kids Master Communication
The power of communication, especially within a family should never be underestimated. Good communication between people living in close quarters can make everyone’s lives so much simpler. Less arguing, fewer misunderstandings and faster resolutions. Every parent wants that!
We’ve collected some of the most popular activities that can turn skill development into an enjoyable event for families. Kids won’t even realize they are building vital life skills when they get involved in these games!
1. Taking Turns - A classic. Often used in schools to ensure everyone - even those with less confidence - have a chance to speak and a chance to listen without interruption. Dub an object the “talking —“, this could be a self-crafted item or even a simple ball, that when it is being held only that person can speak. Others must listen, and listen carefully! Maybe after each person, one question can be asked, just to show that people have been listening and taking in what has been said.
2. Presenting Fun - Presentations will inevitably be a part of your child’s life, and the earlier they can get comfortable with public speaking, the simpler life will be. This can be turned into a fun activity, from presenting little plays, poems or simply talking about their favorite TV show or toys in front of family. You could even ask at your local care home other gatherings like church or play dates.
3. Explain it! - This game encourages kids to use their vocabulary to help someone else understand what they see without any visual help. It can be turned into a game of two teams, and one person is shown a picture. They have to describe the image without naming the object or scene directly, so their audience can recreate it as accurately as possible, or can guess the name (e.g. the image could be a hippopotamus, and they can describe it as being a big, grey animal that loves water, has a massive mouth and short legs). This is an invaluable game to help children explain their point of view to someone else in a clear way, without getting frustrated when they are not understood.
4. Listen Up - Another classic - have everyone sit together in a circle, and start with short, simple sentences. Each person takes turns to whisper the sentence to the person sitting next to them. They can only say it once, so they need to listen carefully! Once it has reached the last person, they can say it out loud and see how it compares to the original sentence - laughs are guaranteed!
5. Debate it! - A great way to get children to think on their feet, engage in healthy debate and seeing things from different perspectives. Have a selection of topics ready, perhaps in a bowl on pieces of paper. Select one at random and have kids take turns arguing for and against the topic. Even if they don’t agree, they have to do their best to defend their viewpoint - and have the chance to try out the other side too. Have someone, perhaps yourself acting as the “judge” to choose the most convincing argument with little rewards they can collect so they try their best.
6. Eliminating “um” - Most young kids experience a phase of saying too much of some utterances such as “like”, “um” or “err”. Here is a helpful activity to speak more fluently. Have kids talk for a few minutes on one of their favorite topics, whether it’s their hobby, their favorite toys or a random topic pulled from a hat. If one of these space-filling words are said it’s the next person’s turn. This game will not only help them to speak more eloquently, but also boost their confidence. You can add rewards or even fun consequences like losing one of three lives each time to make it more of a game. There are many more games you could create with your family that center around speech to help your kids to build confidence and clarity in communication - without them even realizing. It will just be too much fun!
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