Language development is a vital part of communication during a child’s preschool years. Much of that development will take place in the preschool classrooms and settings. Children will learn from their daily interactions with their teachers and peers within a language rich environment. They will be exposed to developmentally appropriate activities in conjunction with specific techniques and strategies that will help to enhance their expressive and receptive language skills.
Here are eight preschool language development activities:
- Storytelling. Children love stories. They love story time with their teachers as much as they do with their parents. By telling stories, a teacher enables the children’s participation in a story and in the process helps them build verbal skills. A teacher can also make use of stories to help children prepare for follow up related hands-on-activities.
- Playing. Age-appropriate toys and other child-friendly materials can also provide pre-schoolers with opportunities to build their verbal skills. A teacher can support children’s language development by choosing toys that will encourage them to talk or listen to adults or peers. These toys include construction blocks, dolls, puppets, pictures, play dough, felt board cut-outs, and many more. Ask them questions about the toys. Talk about size, shape, and their function and purpose.
- Music. A teacher can help children build strong verbal skills by incorporating music into everyday activities. Singing and listening to songs will help preschoolers to pronounce and use words correctly. Making music by playing instruments and singing helps them develop an awareness of sounds and rhythms. Playing musical games will stimulate dialogue between the teacher and children.
- Reading. Reading helps preschoolers develop the rhythm and structure of language as they learn and understand new words. Research shows that the more often adults read to children, the better the child’s language skills. Children learn more new words if a story is read to them multiple times than if several stories are read to them only once. They need to hear words many times before learning, understanding and remembering them.
- Puppet shows. By playing with puppets and making up puppet shows, preschoolers are able to express themselves while building verbal skills, leading them on a path of self-discovery and expression that instills confidence and boost self-esteem. Puppets shows will also help them explore the various components of language and develop a sense of story.
- Guessing bag. This is a great way to encourage children to describe objects. Put small items inside a bag or box so the children can’t see them. The children will put their hand into the bag or box to feel one of the items. You will offer a clue about the item inside. They will guess the item. Continue offering additional clues using as many descriptive words as possible.
- Art activities. Children love to draw, paint, and make crafts. Art activities provide preschoolers with a great opportunity to learn about shapes and colors, as well as express their feelings by discussing what they create. There are many creative projects that preschoolers will love. Check out my book Talk, Play, And Read With Me Mommy for lots of fun ideas.
- Dramatic Play. Dramatic play encourages preschoolers to pretend to be someone else and use new vocabulary words while using their imaginative during role play. They will interact with one another in their given roles using verbal as well as nonverbal communication to make sense of their situation.