Games for Language Development

Games for Language Development

  Autor Claudia Gabriela Dumitriu, psychologist Data: 19.06.2009

Games for Language Development
Since in the womb, children hear and respond to the voices of others. Usually they react most to mother's voice with is familiar to them and makes them feel safe. Therefore, it is never too early to start talking to our child. 

According to studies, children who were spoken constantly since the womb and during infancy, without taking into account the ability to understand, assimilate language easier and develop their vocabulary faster. 

Between 1 and 2 years, children usually understand more than they can express, and between 2-5 years, the child learns best, then, is a good time to intervene in enriching the language. 

From the age of 5 years upwards, linguistic skills evolve in close contact with child's social environment. Socialization is a very important factor in child development, in all respects, including language. As the child has contact with several social areas (kindergarten, school, group of friends, extended family), the more assimilation opportunities are more numerous. 

As parents, we are actively participating in the enrichment and development of our children's language, directly or indirectly. A phone conversation in his presence, a conversation with another family member or friend or a comment about a book or a program are opportunities for him to learn. Therefore, regardless of the child's age, we should be cautious about what we say in his presence. 

Here are some rules and ideas of activities and games that you can conduct with our child, to help him develop his language: 
  • Always talk with your child properly, do not distort words to be more funny or because the child is too small and does not understand them anyway. He will learn to talk like this and then it will be harder to correct him; 
  • It is better to sing to our child and read him as often as we can because this will facilitate the language learning; 
  • When he is curious what a word means, we should explain its meaning or offer him diverse examples, encouraging him to use that word in everyday language; 
  • We can use any illustrations, story books, atlases with pictures, cards, picture postcards, to create with our child stories about the viewed images, to learn new words, by images. In this way the words are more likely to bind by association with the image. The same thing we can do when we go shopping together, in the park, etc., talking to our child about objects and situations encountered in our way; 
  • It is always good to encourage socialization with other children, within the game. Children are able to learn from each other in the community. 
Examples of games that we can perform with the child: 
  • Words game. The child is encouraged to find as many words that begin with the same letter. Another way is to find words starting with the same syllable, and of course we use our imagination to invent other criteria, we can use symbolic prizes that we give to the child when we identify a certain number of words, etc. 
  • Classes of objects. There is designated a category of objects: fruits, vegetables, cities, animals, flowers, etc., and the child must find as many objects belonging to that class. 
  • Rhyme. There is a word and the child must find as many words that rhyme with that word. 
  • Opposite words. Utter a word and the child must find another word to mean the opposite told us (beautiful-ugly, rich- poor, etc.). The same we can do for the synonyms. 
  • Earth, water, sky. Each time the child hears one of the words "earth", " water "or" heaven ", he must find the name of an animal that lives in that environment. 
  • The prohibited letter. Choose a letter which is called the "forbidden letter". The child must find as many words that do not contain the prohibited letter. The game can be played with the score and when wrong, the child loses points. 
  • Elaboration of meaningful sentences. The child receives one or more (maximum three) words, with which makes up sentences with meaning. Likewise, he can receive the task to form a story. 
In choosing the games, we take into account the child's age, because if you choose a game that is too complicated for him, we risk discouraging him. 

Always be looking for ways to reward children's achievements, either through a system of awards (which we know he likes) or by a score you set and communicate it at the beginning of the game, either by praise and encouragement. 

We can also use creative resources and our imagination to invent new games, taking into account several criteria: 
  • To be funny, because thus child's interest will be higher; 
  • be age-appropriate; 
  • To have the effect of learning new words or strengthening those already known; 
  • To stimulate the interest in language and knowledge in general. 
It is also important to pay attention generally to communication with thechild, to listen to him every time he wants to communicate with us and cangive explanations whenever he asks them.

Read the English version of this article: Games for Language Development