This is the first blog post on our BRAND NEW Kirkby on Bain Nursery Blog; welcome! The aim of this blog is give parents/carers ideas about their child’s learning and development, whether their children attend our setting or not! As a staff team, we are passionate about providing children with the very best experiences so they achieve their potential AND do so in a fun, playful way. There is enough stress to come later on in life without piling the pressure on when they’re in the early years. That said, the early years are the foundations on which all later learning will build. Children of this age soak up new learning like little sponges, so this time is precious, valuable and should NOT be underestimated.
Communication is a HUGE concept and much more than just learning to say words. At Kirkby on Bain Nursery, we’ve had a lot of experience in supporting children with their communication development. This first post focuses on covering ways in which to encourage MORE talk and how this also links to the rest of the Early Years curriculum. You may be thinking your child is a chatter box and doesn’t need much more encouragement to talk, however… sentence construction, tenses, questioning, answering questions, describing their knowledge, recounting past experiences, widening their vocabulary are ALL skills that ALL children need to develop every day.
Our day begins with a ‘Tiny Talk’ session that covers SO much that we will do another post about that at a later date. This post is simply about our ‘Communication Station.’
Our ‘Communication Station’ is possibly the most popular and has the HUGEST impact on learning. Full of REAL things to encourage speech… phones, walkie talkie’s, microphones, remote controls, laptops, letter writing! It’s just FAB!
Within this station is the magical element that engages, excites and enthuses even the most reluctant of talkers… REAL STUFF!!
- REAL phones of all shapes and sizes.
- REAL walkie talkies.
- REAL microphones
- REAL laptops
- REAL remote controls
Also within this section are pens, crayons, pencils, paper, clipboards as this is another way we can communicate and we have these resources EVERYWHERE so that all children (wherever they are playing) have access to mark making materials.
Phones: As every parent knows, children role play talking on the phone from a very young age. They don’t even need a phone, a banana, a pencil… anything can be a phone. That said, as children get a little older, their imaginations are ignited when they see a real phone. Having lots within our setting means the children are constantly talking. Sometimes to an imaginary person and other times to their friend sitting next to them on another phone. It’s FAB! As well as this, they are developing listening skills, conversation skills and even number recognition. Next to our phones is a phone book. It features all the staff, their favourite characters/toys/pets and one another. Each photo has a three digit number that they have to dial to ‘get through.’ Simple, fun, effective and not a worksheet in sight!
Walkie Talkies: Great for those children who are role playing, going on adventures and whatever their imaginations decide. They have to listen to one another to communicate. They also require operating, pressing buttons, sliding mechanisms… all of which are skills we may take for granted but children need to experience.
Microphones: Children love to sing and the microphones enhance this massively. Even our most reluctant of talkers can’t resist picking one up and singing a tune. Sometimes they aren’t able to use real words but hum and sing tunes they know. Music is a HUGE part of learning; making links from one side of the brain to the other. There is something quite magical when a usually shy, reserved child picks up a microphone and starts singing their heart out!
Real laptops: Communication is also in written form and whilst we’re not writing about this today, I’m yet to see a child who doesn’t chatter as they tap away on a keyboard. A lovely role play resource and the fact it’s REAL like their parents is just magical for them. Put the laptop and a phone together and they’re transported in to the world of work!
Remote controls: As well as enhancing role play; ‘arguing’ over the channel they want to watch, they also allow for children to talk about the ‘programme’ they’re watching, favourite characters etc. It is also amazing how suddenly a child recognises numbers when a remote control is in their hand!! TV is NOT a bad thing. Using their interest to engage and excite is a great way to develop talk. I once taught a 4 year old girl who learned to speak FLUENT English over a summer holiday from watching TV.
Hopefully, what you’ve got from this first post is that simple things can encourage more speech and learning in SO many ways. As Bob Hoskin’s once said, ‘It’s good to talk’ so the more you can encourage this, the better!
Please do have a look through our new blog, particularly our gallery: Have a click on the photographs to see what their purpose is and what the children have access to.
Until the next blog post, please get sharing… Thank you