#8 Props, Please!

Toys are the tools of children’s work. Yet certain toys, and other materials, can also be helpful in providing children with opportunities to practice their communication skills. By choosing materials that can encourage children to talk or listen to an adult or a peer, teachers can supply children with “props” to help support children’s language development. These props are objects that may stimulate conversations and include old phones, cell phones, puppets, dolls, wordless books, familiar books, pictures, play dough, and felt board cutouts.

#6 Read Interactively

Reading books to children is one of the most effective ways to provide children with opportunities to develop their language skills. Books often contain words that children may not commonly hear in everyday conversations, along with pictures that help illustrate their meanings. Adults can use books to start discussions with children about the stories and pictures presented and connect the stories and pictures to children’s lives.

#1 Get Chatty

Chatting with children is a great way to give them lots of examples of how we use words to share ideas and get information. The words adults speak to children make up the language “input” that children need to learn new words and ideas. The more input adults give children, the more opportunities children have to learn how to express themselves and understand what others are saying.

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