Many parents worry if their child will be able to tell the teacher if they need something, or if they will be able to make friends - good communication skills will help this. We know that parents have a huge impact on their child's talking and listening development and the period before starting school is an excellent time to try out some simple language boosting activities.
Listening and Attention Skills
Children have to follow many spoken and visual instructions throughout the school day and they also need to shift their attention to many different things. Going on a listening walk around a park or in the town is a nice thing to do. Can they tell you all the different things they can hear? Jot them down and when you get back home, see if they can remember where they heard the different sounds.
Understanding Spoken Instructions
Play a simple game of 'Simon Says' on a car journey. Can your child follow simple instructions? The game can be made more challenging by building up to instructions with 2 or 3 steps.
At school we will start to extend your child's vocabulary so it's a good idea for you to encourage your child to use new words. Play sorting games when tidying up a room or packing a suitcase (hopefully you will be able to pack your cases this summer! ) or if out on a walk, identify and name new things that they didn't know before. At home, put items in a bag and get them to reach in and feel them - can they describe what an items feels like and tell you what it is?
If your child uses baby talk, please start to encourage them to speak with a normal voice like they will do when in school and start to model how to use full sentences, especially when asking for something.