our everyday life

Activities to Improve Communication in Children

by Ann Daniels

Encourage your child’s development of communication skills to help her learn the importance of interacting with others and expressing herself. Use engaging activities that are fun for your child to help her learn to communicate her thoughts and feelings in an effective manner. These skills are important for her relationships and success in school and she can also carry on these skills into her adult life.

All About Me Scrapbook

Create a scrapbook with your child. Use photographs, stickers and scrapbook decorations to fill the pages. Choose photographs of your family, home, pets and your child’s favorite things. To help improve her communication skills, talk about the items you are putting onto the pages of the “All About Me” scrapbook. Ask your daughter questions such as “What are your favorite things about your brother?” or “What are your favorite activities?” Encourage her to use descriptive phrases and adjectives. If your child is too young to write, help her write down her answers so she can place the quotes in her scrapbook next to the corresponding photographs. Also include your child’s drawings in the scrapbook. Ask your child to explain what is in her artwork so she can include the explanations in the scrapbook. Continue to use the scrapbook as a communication development tool by looking at it together from time to time to talk about what has changed.

Role Play

Make a game out of role playing to help your children develop communication skills. Practice different scenarios such as ordering a meal, auditioning for a play or making dinner. Use role playing to help children express positive and negative emotions. For example, provide your child with the scenario of opening up a gift he loves and ask him to express his emotions. Use the same role playing situation for a gift he dislikes and allow him to express his thoughts. Prompt your child to further express his emotions by asking questions such as “Why do you appreciate the gift?” or “Why doesn’t this gift meet your expectations?” Use dolls or action figures as tools to help with the role playing scenarios.

Reading

Read books with your child every day. Reading helps cultivate a child’s vocabulary and language skills. When reading a book, engage your child in conversation. Ask what she thinks the character in the book is feeling or what she would have done in the same situation as a character in a book. Discussing the story with your child helps her develop communication skills and also encourages her to think about abstract ideas, according to Reading Rockets' Reach Out and Read program.

Directions

Find an activity your child enjoys and ask him to provide directions for you to do an activity, such as decorating a cupcake or coloring a page in a coloring book. Follow his directions as you do the activity. Encourage your child to give as much detail as possible. Prompt your child to further explain the activity with open-ended questions such as “What should I do next?” or “How should I decorate the flower in the coloring book?”

About the Author

Ann Daniels has been a professional writer for more than 10 years. Her work has been published in many national health and wellness publications. Daniels holds a Master of Arts in communications from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Photo Credits

  • BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images