When children of different ages play together, there are lots of opportunities to encourage language development. Our two year old Preppies children loved visiting the babies where they participated in exploring animal sounds together. The children were confidently sharing the names of the animals with the babies, introducing lots of new words and sounds.
We have a huge resource of activities we share with our children at nursery to promote language skills and one of the favourites is always “What’s in the bag?” We collect lots of different, interesting objects and pop them all into a bag. We then sit down as a group and sing together, “What’s in the bag?” before asking one of the children to choose a surprise from the bag.
This encourages the children to tell us what the object is and we then all talk about the object together as a group. It’s a very animated and energetic game, so the children often become excited and participate well and so this helps extends the learning opportunity. It is a very simple, effective way for practitioners to introduce children to new vocabulary and we often suggest this one to parents and provide alongside a home learning bag so that they can enjoy the activity together at home.
“The child begins to perceive the world not only through their eyes but also through their speech.” – Lev Vygotsky
Check out these fantastic activities from the National Literacy Trust on the smalltalk website that you can easily enjoy at home with your little ones!