Building Speaking & Listening Skills

Being an active listener and constantly talking to your child will automatically encourage your preschooler to practise and hone their speaking skills. The more consistent and the richer the visual and auditory stimuli your toddler is exposed to throughout the day, the more their own language skills will develop. So let’s get talking.

How to develop communication skills for kids
Talking to your child whenever you are together encourages them to speak. Asking specific yet open-ended questions will encourage your child to describe what they are talking about. For example, instead of asking your toddler, ‘How was your day?’, you could ask, ‘What kind of games did you play during playtime? How do you play the game?’ ‘How did playing the game make you feel?’ ‘What did you think of the game?’.

These types of questions exercise your little one’s ability to use adjectives in their speech and also allows you the opportunity to suggest words for them to add to their vocabulary if your toddler struggles to ‘find the right words’. This way you are developing your child’s communication skills and encouraging them to have opinions by expressing themselves through language.

Get digitally savvy
Do not underestimate the digital savviness of your toddlers. You could use videos to record your toddlers reading or singing. When your toddler reads a book or sings a song, they are exposed to new words. Knowing they are being recorded adds a new dimension to language development, as their confidence improves whilst reading or singing for an audience. Be sure to give them positive feedback and they will want to repeat this activity again and again!

Listening brings about listening
Show your toddlers how to listen. Be an example and listen to them when they speak to you. This will encourage them to listen when others speak.

Make bedtime stories part of your routine and ask questions about the story, offering feedback and complimenting their listening skills.

Playing fun games like Twister or DIY crafts require reading step-by step instructions with your preschooler, which will enhance and hone their listening skills, all whilst having fun!

At this age your toddler learns new languages easily, so it’s the perfect time to teach a second (or third!) language. Speak to your toddler in one language, translate it into another and ask them to repeat what you have said. This encourages integrating listening and speaking skills.