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Tips for Building Communication Skills Within Early Years


Oct 16 2015
Tips for Early Years Communication Skills

Every child thrives on attention and when a young child is entering the ‘toddler’ stage it is extremely demanding as their needs then become a little more challenging.

How an adult conducts themselves around a toddler has a huge impact on the way they act and conduct themselves in different scenarios. All children follow exactly what they see – it can be a curse at times but then at the same time it gives adults the power to mould the child into the best that they can be.

The first 5 years of a child’s life is the most important and critical stages for development. This is the time to build a concrete foundation to build on during their time through primary and secondary school. 

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favourite topics are you can then begin to talk about them.  Talking to a child about something they are genuinely interested in means you will gain their attention for a lot longer than if you were talking to them about something they have no interest in.

Any adult will know it is challenging at the best of times to keep the attention on one topic. The attention span is approx. 5-10 minutes for children aged between 25 and 48 months.

To expect or demand their attention for much longer than this can result in tantrums and upsetting behaviour.

A good tip is to ask parents about their interests at home – this may be slightly different to what they like to do at nursery or pre-school.

Once you have the ammunition you need you can then engage and interact with children on a more personal and meaningful level which will result in better communication. 

Listening to Children

Getting young children to talk is never very difficult and sometimes listening to a room full of children, who all want to talk at the same time, can be hard to decipher and interpret. 

No matter what a child wants to talk about whether it’s what they had for dinner last night or their favourite toy, don’t dismiss them. It may not be important to you but to a child, the fact they feel the need to talk to you about it means that the topic at hand genuinely means something to them.

Take the time to listen to them. A great idea to really show children you are listening is to bring yourself down to their level and talk face-to-face. By doing this you are teaching them that their words are important and they mean something.

It is important to build a good relationship with children while they are learning so they will feel more confident in their language skill and communicate better with you.  

Different Activities That Can Help

There are some fun activities that will really encourage young children to find their confidence when communicating with you and with other children.

Here are 5 great activities you can encourage within your early years classroom. 

  1. Show and Tell – Encourage each child to bring something in to class on a chosen school day. For example, Friday could be toy day, where children bring in their favourite toys to talk about to their class friends.
  2. Circle Time – This can involve anything such as playing group games like eye spy, or it can involve an object which each child has to try and describe, this is great for building team building as children love to help each other.
  3. Weather Helper – Each day choose one child to describe the weather for that day, they can all take it in turns on different days. This encourages them to talk about the different things they will experience each day throughout their lives.
  4. Group Reading – Choose a book for the term and read it together as a group. Each child will become familiar with the book characters, it will also promote and encourage reading which is vital in early year’s development as it helps to build speech, language and listening skills.
  5. Group Singing – Nursery rhymes are a fantastic way to get children involved and communicating. Singing also teaches them how to listen and move to the music, it is fun and all children will get involved.

Working on communication skills in early years builds the foundations needed for their future school years, and the rest of their lives. Without these skills children will find it hard to reach their full potential.

Communication skills are crucial for young children, it determines their powers of thinking and understanding. It also makes them feel good about themselves and the two things are intertwined – feeling good about yourself and feeling confident enough to develop your thinking and understanding.

We are UK suppliers of classroom furniture predominantly for the early years' age groups in primary schools, pre-schools, playgroups and nurseries. Here at ELF we pride ourselves on offering great value, quality products backed up by a reliable and flexible service.

For more information on any of our early learning products please contact us or call our sales team on 01733 511121.