Encourage your children to tell you stories about the pictures they draw. What may look like a kite to you might actually be something completely different. Listen to your child as they tell you about their picture. Ask questions. Show that you are interested. Expand on what they say. If your child says “It’s a truck”, you might say “Yes, you drew a big, blue truck!
Let them to pretend to be different people and different things. Have a dress up trunk with shirts, dresses, pants, hats, shoes and jewellery. Ask your child about the outfit he/she has chosen. Play music and pretend to be different things. As the music gets louder, pretend to be larger animals like dinosaurs or elephants. As the music gets quieter, become mice or earthworms. Talk about what you are pretending to be.
As you read stories to them, ask open-ended questions such as “I wonder why the cow did that?” or “How did Jack manage to get past the giant?” Listen to their ideas. Explain new words as you come across them.
All this will help you children develop the Language and Listening Skills needed to:
- Connect with stories as you read them, linking with their personal experiences. “I did that!” or “Dad has a truck like that!”
- Answer simple questions about the story.
- Retell the story in their own words.