In a world where technology is taking over our lives, talking to our children has never been so important.
Communication and Language is a Prime Area within the Early Years Foundation Stage. It starts from when a child is born with the first aspects looking at babies responding to sounds, their own name and by making noises such as crying or babbling. From the moment they are born the way in which we give children our attention helps their skills to develop.
The Book Trust states ‘ Sharing a book with a child is fun – it’s a time for closeness, laughing and talking together. It can also give children a flying start in life and help them become lifelong readers’
By making time to read to your child every day they will hear thousands of new words, make strong bonds with you, develop listening and concentration and learn to appreciate and have a love of books.
A love of books leads to better understanding and language skills, as well as learning a breadth of information from the book itself.
As well as stories, songs and rhymes can be used, especially those with repetitive words or phrases. Children will try to copy what is said and the more a word is said and heard by a child, the more likely they will repeat and understand that word. Children love listening to simple rhymes and songs as the music and beat will engage them. The sounds and syllables heard when words are spoken will help children later in life when learning to read.
World Nursery Rhyme Week happens annually and their website www.worldnurseryrhymeweek.com has videos of nursery rhymes if you are unsure of any. Also all the practitioners in our nurseries are more than happy to teach you a rhyme or two.
With older children you can begin asking questions to children about stories that have been read, and generally throughout the day. Children are naturally curious and their minds are constantly working to try to understand everything around them. Listening to these questions and helping children to find an answer develops their understand and learning. Allowing them to find answers and learn independently.
Once children have the confidence to speak clearly in sentences the discussions are endless.
Although they can talk constantly, this is a great skill for children to have and being available to be spoken to and discussing topics with your children builds your bond. In turn this allows the children to be confident to come to you about any issues and ways they are feeling promoting positive mental health.