Communication and language development

Things to do on a rainy afternoon

A rainy day in doors doesn’t have to mean a day stuck in front of the TV or computer. There are lots of activities to keep children occupied – and still learning. Painting, baking, and other arts and crafts are just some of the great ways to boost their creativity. Here are some activities that are perfect for wet weather days.

Communication and language: Question of taste

Children who can voice their opinion without fear of judgement become active and confident learners. Discussing their likes and dislikes develops expressive language skills and their understanding of their own – and others' – choices.

Born into a digital world

With some children accessing technology for disproportionate amounts of time at home, how important is it for settings to try to combat the negative effects of screen-time?

Find the right words

With proposed changes to the EYFS profile placing greater emphasis on progress in reading, Sally Player looks at how high quality reading experiences can be delivered in Reception classes.

Communication and language: Baby Brains at work

Award-winning author and illustrator Simon James is renowned for his books featuring Baby Brains, the extraordinarily smart baby. They can be used as a springboard for children to write letters, cards, lists and labels and experiment with rhyming words.

Communication and language: An open book

Book corners need to be inviting and accessible spaces to ensure their constant use. Their popularity will soar when you ask for children's input on how they would like them to be planned and stocked.

Join the Big Schools' Birdwatch

The Big Schools’ Birdwatch runs from 6 January – 21 February. It’s an opportunity for children to contribute to the world’s largest wildlife survey, the Big Garden Birdwatch, by spotting and counting birds in the grounds of the setting.

Communication and language: Vintage shopper

Teaching children the value of re-using and sharing their old toys by role-playing a charity shop will introduce them to the importance of staying sustainable while developing their confidence and language skills.

Communication and language: Keep them guessing

Karen Hart suggests guessing and memory games that will support children to explore new vocabulary linked to seasonal celebrations and make choices which they can confidently communicate to their group.

Communication and language: Upcycle old books

In part four of her series on sustainability, Hilary White explores the different ways we can reuse materials such as picture books to teach children the value of breathing new life into old objects.

Tuff decisions

Ailsa Chapman re-visits that stalwart of early years resourcing – the tuff tray, and suggests ways to extend its scope, with a range of imaginative ideas that children can take in any direction.

Communication and Language: Right at home

The experience children take from their first days at pre-school can have a lasting effect on the way they anticipate future transitions. Communicating effectively – and helping them to do the same – is key to success.

Tantrums, tears and fun

The books of Tony Ross are packed with humour and misdeeds that are engaging to young children. Use them to develop Communication and Language skills that involve attentive listening and self-expression.

Building positive futures through intergenerational contact

Bringing old and young together for meaningful interactions is now proving to have many benefits – not just for children and the elderly, but for society as a whole. Stephen and Denise Burke explain how they are working to maximise these benefits.

‘Let's get a take-away’

What is children's favourite – a cafe with healthy snacks or a pizza restaurant? Invite them to role-play their favourite eateries and support them to use new vocabulary and learn about the world.

When silence is golden

In part two of her series exploring how communication skills link to wellbeing, Paula Brown challenges stereotypical notions to do with the extrovert and weighs the cognitive and emotional benefits of silence.

Tune in to children's natural curiosities

In the part two of her series exploring high quality provision for babies and children, Yasmin Mukadam looks at the importance of them being actively involved in planning their own learning experiences.

Using messy play to promote self-discovery

Wonderfully natural and inclusive, sensory exploration leads to children's self-expression and wellbeing. Give them time to immerse themselves fully and observe how they go with the flow.

‘Let's get gardening’

National Gardening Week is an excellent opportunity to showcase to the local community what you do in your setting to grow and use produce, and to encourage a healthy and productive outdoor experience.

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