Yesterday, the parents and caregivers were standing outside the school waiting for the door to open, talking and visiting. Talking helps children connect with the world and is one of the ways that parents can be involved in helping develop kindergarten readiness.
Long before children have begun to use any words on their own, parents are talking to them and explaining the world. Conversations with babies might go like this “Is that a smile? Yes, that’s a smile. I see a big smile. You have lots of smiles this morning.” The baby doesn’t understand the words but certainly figures out the warmth of the connection. For some conversations with toddlers, there’s a series of very, very funny Youtube videos, called Convos With My 2 Year Old. Kids learn to talk from the words that they hear from others. By listening to us, kids not only learn the language, but they learn how to express themselves. Talking is how we interact with others.
At kindergarten, kids will be talking far more independently. They will have to share news, ask for help, make friends, play with classmates, ask and answer questions, and there will be no adults there to finish the sentences for them. Doing lots of talking at home beforehand will give them practice with language and ways to use it. Sharing stories and singing songs are easy to think of and do. For more fun, be the voices of everyday objects that have a conversation such as a fork and spoon, or two socks. The table can call the kids to supper or the bathtub can ask a grownup to check that the water isn’t too hot. The car can suggest that it needs some gas in the tank. Puppets and toys can talk to each other. These are just a few ideas for talking and language activities.
Just like the grownups connected this morning with conversations, kids need to lots of conversation practice and interaction too. For a play-of-the-day, can you and your child have some talking fun and learning?