When it comes to public speaking for young children we might forget that speaking in front of a class of peers can be just as intimidating for children as pubic speaking is for adults.
In my opinion it is an incredibly important life skill to develop, and the sooner children feel comfortable doing it the better.
There are a number of things you can do to make public speaking for young children fun. We learn when we are having fun and laughing, so it makes sense to use some activities that will support their learning.
Public Speaking For Young Children
I don’t know about you, but when I collect my children from school and ask them about their day, I get a very unenthusiastic, “It was fine”. When I ask what they did at school I usually get “I can’t remember”. I decided that to get them talking and to really allow them to use their brains, I would make it as interesting as possible. So now they are given one minute to describe the best moment from their day. It can be anything at all, and often it is playtime or lunchtime! Not only does this get them talking, it is also developing their descriptive language and the ability to think. Sharpening these basic skills is essential for speaking well.
A great and fun game for a child’s language development and speaking skills is ‘Observe the Journey’. Whilst driving, walking or on public transport, ask your child to describe as much of their surroundings as they can within one minute. Get them to think about shapes, colours and what is happening. Their observation skills are developing as are their language and vocabulary.
Simple exercises help public speaking for young children
Another good activity that is great to do with a group of children (great in the classroom) is asking children to talk about a specific topic. They can chose from a list of topics and are then asked to stand and talk. This can also be done on a one to one. I have done this with my six year old and she loves it if it is a topic of interest of course! Here are some ideas:
- explain why dogs are better than cats (or the other way around)
- tell us why living on planet Earth is better than living on planet Mars
- tell us what makes you a good friend to have
- why is it important to brush your teeth?
- what is the best thing about summer?
- what planet would you like to visit and why?
- what to do if someone bullies you in the playground
These simple exercises help http://www.parents.com/baby/development/talking/9-ways-to-help-your-childs-language-development/ are all ways to support your children to speak more and to feel comfortable in doing so. Making it fun and interesting will be the key to developing these essential communication skills.