The Pennsylvania Department of Education clearly emphasizes communication skills with speaking and listening skills as standards. Hence, it is essential to introduce methods early to develop speaking and listening skills, and Show and Tell is perfect for getting your little learner started as early as possible.
That said, it is essential to keep Show and Tell at an age-appropriate level for young children and encourage and guide them to engage in the activity. Parental and teacher support is the keystone to helping children enjoy that fun activity that enriches their knowledge and skills.
What is Show and Tell?
Show and Tell allows young children to stand in front of their friends and speak about a topic, object, or person they love. Show and Tell can be about your child’s favorite toy or story, the class pet, or the introduction of a mystery reader. There are many topics to choose from.
So, a bit of reflection is involved, choice to make, and preparation to organize thoughts. Therefore, when parents know that they need to bring something to school for Show and Tell, it is better to prepare with your child beforehand slightly. Take this as an opportunity to learn and exchange and make it an enjoyable moment. Ultimately, it helps build confidence and develop effective communication skills that will last a lifetime.
Show and Tell is not an interview for a job application. Set the right age-appropriate expectations without adding unnecessary stress. Therefore, do not expect your child to stand up in front of you and make a speech like a professional orator. Instead, create a non-judgmental environment where your child feels well and is encouraged to share. Remember that regular practice can make it easier, and natural cognitive development also happens.
During Show and Tell, ask questions and get interested in what the child has to say. The most important thing is to keep it conversational to help your young learner acquire skills and keep their attention and focus progressively. Remember that the younger the learner, the shorter their attention span.
Why is Show and Tell Great?
It is an opportunity to practice vocabulary, morphology, and grammar and improve pronunciation and listening skills for all involved. Show and Tell helps prepare for speech development, active and respectful listening, enhances self-confidence, conceptual thinking, and storytelling, and stimulates socio-emotional development. It helps children to become independent thinkers and leaders.
It starts at the preparation phase when they choose the object they want to discuss. Hence, it is essential to involve them right from the start actively. Let them decide for themselves what they want to show and talk about. Once in front of their peers, they want to show it to everyone and talk.
In other words, Show and Tell offers children a chance to be in charge. What is more gratifying than being heard and respected for their choice?
When Should You Start?
Start as early as you want as long as you set the right expectations and understand that the method needs to be adjusted according to different age groups. In our daycare, teachers start with infants when they reach their first year.
For infants, teachers or parents play a significant role in showing toys or safe items in the house or classroom. Parents do the heavy lifting of describing shapes, colors, textures, etc. By all means, keep the activity short - just a few seconds. If the object selected is a plush, let the infant touch it and play with it. Do not hesitate to exaggerate the tone of your voice.
For toddlers, things start to become different. For younger toddlers, encourage them to listen, make choices, and introduce more directions they need to follow. Ask your toddler to pick an object in the classroom and have them show it to the rest of the class. Thank your toddler for choosing and showing the object. Positive encouragement goes a long way.
For older toddlers over the age of three, things change. They can make sentences and start making conversations with their friends. It is when Show and Tell becomes a weekly institution in the class.
For pre-k, children ask more and more questions. Show and Tell becomes a real interactive activity. It is a great age to introduce more vocabulary and coordinate interactions. The activity can be slightly longer as long as children interact.
Children will always benefit from age-appropriate experiences that are prepared, well planned, and based on their interests.
Introduce Show and Tell early enough to help young children learn at different stages of their development. Do not assume that children are too young to learn. If the activity is age-appropriate, you will notice positive changes over time that will last a lifetime. For any questions, please contact our team.
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Willowdale Children's Academy is a child care agency located in Chester County, PA, specialized in early learning with schools in Chadds Ford, Kennett Square, Avondale, and West Chester, PA. We offer programs for infants, toddlers, preschoolers, after school care, and summer camps.