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3 Fun Ways to Teach Communication Skills

by Lori Sciame | June 3rd, 2015 | Communication, Elementary

child dancing (400x400)Fun!  That’s what children crave.  It is natural, then, that kids learn best when doing something enjoyable. For instance, many Americans remember singing the A, B, C song.  The song’s catchy tune, which matched perfectly with the 26 letters of the alphabet, coaxed millions to memorize the letters of the English language.

Why not capitalize on the idea of having fun to teach your elementary aged child how to communicate more effectively?  Believe it or not, many children lack even the most basic understanding of communication: some misconstrue the meaning of facial expressions, and others underestimate the value of listening skills.

If your child needs additional instruction in basic communication skills, read this post.  I’ve listed several FUN techniques to assist a young one with becoming a more effective communicator.

Like music, art can be both fun and instructional; therefore, provide your child with coloring sheets on the topic of communication.  The idea of this exercise is not to scold him or her for coloring outside the lines. Instead, discuss the communication lesson on the sheet while he or she completes it.

The Public Broadcasting System, PBS, has awesome coloring sheets available. For instance, Barney the Dinosaur coloring sheets will help children define specific emotions, from sad to confused to happy.  Follow this link to print these fun and FREE worksheets.

In addition to using art to learn, a parent can use games. One game in particular – telephone – will help a young child to learn to listen.

The game is simple.  Line up three or four children next to each other. Whisper a short message into the ear of the first child. That child will then whisper the same message to the next participant and so on. Finally, the last person states the message out loud.

Be prepared; you will hear lots of funny final messages.  After playing for a while, state that you want the children to do their best to listen to the message so that the final person hears the exact same thing as the first person did. Believe it or not, this game teaches a young child how important it is to actively listen to another person.

Finally, teach a child about non-verbal communication through dance.  First, locate songs that fit the following categories: happy, sad, and angry.  As you play each song for your child, ask him or her to dance with you in a way that expresses the particular emotion the song portrays.

For instance, a happy song might cause one to jump, a sad song might make one move in a “droopy” manner. Finally, a song that seems angry might make one march, swing her arms, or stomp.

A child that has previously had trouble understanding the emotions of her peers will certainly begin to make connections after this fun exercise.

While coloring sheets, games, and dances may not be the only way to improve a child’s communication skills, they certainly can be helpful.  Let your child have fun while learning to be an awesome communicator.

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