It is vital that your environment for school children encourages communication. In fact, it is very important that your environment is filled with communication materials that enhances play and communication skills.
Children must be exposed to a variety materials that encourage them to communicate, such as: computers, a variety of newspapers, magazines,signs, language games, reference books and many other materials that will help them to learn communication skills.
Here are 5 ways to promote and build communication skills in your school-age program:
1. Quiet Area– Provide children with a quiet place to read, write or type on a computer. Be sure to stock the area with plenty of paper, notebooks, pens and pencils.
2. Dramatic Play- Adding markers and writing materials to the dramatic play are will enhance the play. Play themes that promote communication includes: patient sign-in sheets, message pads, appointment books, phones books,etc.
3. Block and Construction- Along with a variety of blocks, add road signs, blueprints, instructions for building homes or bridges. Also, add materials for making signs and maps.
4. Board Games and Tables- Arrange tables so that the children can gather in small groups and play games such as: Pictionary or Scrabble. Encourage the children to write down their own rules for playing the games.
5. Science Area– School-age children love to experiment with a variety materials. Be sure to encourage them to chart their findings and observations with poster board and markers.
As you began to add any of the items above, observe how the children experiment with the communication tools and ask open-ended questions about how they are using the materials. For example: How many rules do you think we need for the game area? Should have a dictionary near the game area?
Thanks for encouraging communication!