How play activities are used to support the development of speech

Play is an important part of developing language and young children learn through play. There are some very fun activities and games that you can play with children to support their language development, these may include;

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Role-play: Having a role-play area in your setting can be fun for the children and help them communicate with other children. For example, in the role-play area in our setting it was a café, one child pretended to be the assistant while one child pretended to be the customer wanting to order some food. There was lots of conversations happening and gave me a chance to observe how well the children communicated.

Nursery songs and Rhymes/Song and Rhyme bag: This encourages children to listen, sing and communicate. With a song and rhyme bag, each child takes it turns to pick an object out of the bag and then encourage them to sing the song for that item. For example a bus for ‘wheels on the bus’, a doll for ‘Miss Polly had a dolly’, a spider for ‘incy wincey spider’.

Books: Sharing story books with adults is considered to be one of the most important ways of developing children’s spoken and written language. Books that use repetition are most effective. Picture books with no words in are also good to encourage the children to make up and tell you their own stories according to what’s happening in the pictures.

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