When children learn to express themselves clearly and to listen to others, they benefit from improved social skills and greater self-confidence.
Not only do children’s speaking and listening skills differ tremendously when they start preschool, but children also develop these skills at differing rates. Fortunately, preschool provides an opportunity to reduce any deficits that a child may have with these skills (the earlier the better!), so that children of all backgrounds and learning abilities can succeed in the next stage of their educational careers.
With this in mind, we have developed a resource containing no fewer than 70 speaking and listening activities – so that you don’t run out of activity ideas before everyone has mastered the developmental stepping stones linked to Speaking and Listening for the EYFS Statutory Framework.
These enjoyable and productive play activities help children to develop the skills needed to listen, understand, express themselves, and enjoy language. The vital communication skills covered in this book will not only provide children with the language skills they will need to succeed at school, but they will also enable them to develop friendships and the ability to work cooperatively.
Click here to see sample pages
You can find out more about Speaking and Listening Activities for the Early Years on our website.
Get the school day off to the best possible start with welcoming, friendly activities. These primary school activities, taken from 100+ Fun Ideas for Transition Times, can easily be continued in following lessons or completed for homework to accommodate late arrivals.
100+ Fun Ideas for Transition Times
- Monday morning smiles
- Put a piece of card at everyone’s place.
- Write this challenge on the whiteboard: Make a happy face to banish Monday morning blues.
- Ask the children to create cardboard faces – perhaps of clowns.
- Try them out later to see which one puts the quickest smile on most faces.
- Use them to make an instant happiness display, or as inspiration for poetry or story writing.
- Passports, please
- Make a passport form for the children to complete.
- Provide spaces for a picture, appearance description, personal details, hobbies, friendships and special information.
- Use the completed passports to create a friendly, inclusive display.
- Occasionally, in order to update passports, ask the children to complete a fresh form.
- The updated information may alert you to a need to change your class seating plan or grouping for volunteer tasks, as you realise that someone is feeling excluded from the friendship groups.
- Breakfast buns
- Make a durable resource for this activity by cutting out and laminating magazine pictures.
- Hang a ‘Café open’ sign above your whiteboard.
- Display today’s ingredients, for example: sausage, bacon, tomato, mushrooms, lettuce. Add or reduce the number of ingredients as appropriate to age and ability.
- Set the challenge:
- Everything is sold in a bun
- Buns always contain three items
- How many different sorts of buns can the children draw or list for today’s menu?
- Today’s words are…
- Write five to ten words on the whiteboard; make them relevant to the work to be done later in the day (for example, science, geography, history).
- Give out dictionaries. Ask the children to look up the meaning of the words. Then they should write their own definitions in clear, brief language.
- Can the children sort the words into an alphabetical glossary?
- When you begin the relevant lesson later in the day, agree on and display a class reference glossary of the words.
- Teacher in trouble
- Use your whiteboard as a notice board, onto which the Head has pinned tasks you must do this evening!
- At the side of the whiteboard, write the number of hours you have available this evening. How will you fit all the jobs in?
- Set the children the problem-solving task of producing a timetable for you.
- In numeracy, share some of the timetables to see if they work. Will you have any minutes to spare?
- For younger children, simplify the task to pictorial representation in chronological sequence.
These ideas have been taken from 100+ Fun Ideas for Transition Times by Eileen Jones, which contains stimulating ideas for the morning arrival and other difficult transition times – including register ideas, end of the day activities, and between lesson tasks.
Bring an elephant into your room. It will make people think, or, more accurately, it will make people want to think.
A wide range of over 100 good practical ideas are explained clearly in this book. It is organised into six areas of Art and Craft, from simple drawing techniques to peg-loom weaving. Each activity indicates the resources required and often suggests links to topic areas. Continue reading