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COMMUNICATION & PLAY - Team Training

This month we have been talking about COMMUNICATION & LANGUAGE!


Firstly let's talk about why we say and do what we do!


80 % of children’s brains are developed by the time they are 5, which makes early years SO IMPORTANT. This is why we strive for children to be independent, give things a try and build resilience from an early age.


We believe in:


Play - Play is amazing and undervalued massively in the UK. Children go to school so early (too early we would argue!) compared to the rest of Europe and on top of this, screen time has drastically increased - meaning children are having less and less time to play.


Children learn SO MUCH from play, such as developing language, building relationships, navigating through conflicts, working through emotions or making sense of their day, listening to others, problem solving and creativity & imagination.


There's no such things as 'just play' - play is truly incredible.


Whats important at Little Sparrows?


Independence is a massive part of what we do here and starts from babyhood. Why is independence important? It builds perseverance, self esteem, resilience, motivation, attention, physical skills and gives children a sense of control & responsibility.


Co-regulating children through their emotions to help children learn how to self regulate and slowing down when conflicts arise to talk to the children about how they feel and how we can work together to resolve things. Play helps children act out and work out how to overcome stressors.


Building a sense of community through outside, forest school activities – encouraging children to help each other, work together, develop compassion and be curious in the natural world. In the 'forest' - less is more approach (less man made toys, more nature) enables children more opportunities to communicate with each other and play together in a group without distractions.


PLAY & LANGUAGE LINK


The development of play is closely linked to the development of language. This is why playing & interacting with your child is really important and needs to be apart of your daily routines. Even just 20 minutes together with your child after nursery, before the cooking & the chores can make a huge difference. It's about the quality of interactions over the quantity.


How to support your child at home

  • Have conversations with your child and wait for them to respond.

  • Ask open ended questions but not too many! Try to avoid filling the silence with another question, a 10 second pause gives your child time to respond.

  • Examples of open ended questions "I wonder" "Tell me about" "Why.."

  • At least 20 minutes of quality play & interacting after a day at Nursery before the evening chores start.

  • Introducing 1-3 new words each day

  • Narrating what we are doing at home

  • Turning off background noise like the radio & TV so your child can hear conversations & narrations.

  • Having books available during the day - not just at bedtime.

  • Regularly going to the library and getting a range of book from stories, facts and rhymes.

  • Following instructions through independence – Getting young toddlers involved from an early age in things like self dressing, taking shoes off, sitting down to put on trousers and using steps in the kitchen to help cut up food.


INTERACTION TRAFFIC LIGHT by ELKLAN





STOP – follow your child’s lead when they are communicating.


LISTEN – Watch & listen, show you are interested, notice any attempts to communicate and respond accordingly.


RESPOND – model language

  • Explaining, comment (describe what your child is doing, use simple sentences 2-3 words more than your child uses)

  • Repeating – Repeat what your child says but correctly articulated

  • Expanding – Repeat what your child says but add 2 – 3 new words

  • Questions – don’t fill the silence with lots of questions. Quality rather quantity is important when asking questions

  • Scientific questions are great for the 3 & 4 year olds!


Avoid multiple questions like “What are you doing after nursery? Are you going home or are you going shopping? Who is going with you?” – we sometimes ask more questions when we realise the first one was too difficult but then we make it more complicated and end up asking too many!

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