After all, kids often learn better when they don’t even realize they’re doing it. Whether they play together or with adults, a wide variety of games help kids not only learn to communicate, but improve those skills over time.
Learn Non-Verbal Cues
Ask And Answer Questions
Learn How To Listen And Comprehend
Encourage game play throughout your child’s life. It’s an easy and fun way for children to build communication skills and a wide variety of life-long skills.
Why Are Communication Skills in Kids Important?
Strong communication can aid a child in just about every facet of their life as they grow, including in their relationships, educational pursuits, and careers. It can give them the resources they need to cope with a crisis.
Building communication skills involves more than just your child developing the ability to say what they’re thinking; these skills are pivotal to emotional development, self-confidence, independence, empathy, and compassion.
Teaching a child how to express themselves clearly and effectively is not a job that parents can do alone. There are a lot of steps that parents can take to help their kids develop the foundation they need to become strong communicators once they’re with their friend group or in the classroom. Playing some communication games for kids regularly is a simple but effective way to do just that.
Different Types of Communication
People communicate in many different ways. Some are clear, but others are subtler and easier to overlook.
Before you can teach your children the most effective means of communication, you must break down the ways in which people express themselves into their essential parts. And to improve your child’s communication skills, it’s important to better understand communication yourself.
Verbal communication is likely what first comes to mind when you think of how you communicate with others. It primarily involves using words to convey a message, but there is some nuance to verbal communication that goes beyond the words themselves.
Choice of Words
It’s important to consider the message you send with the words you choose. While “Excuse me” and “Get out of my way” have the same literal meaning, they will likely send two different messages to the recipient.
Tone of Voice
You can say the same phrase in a different tone of voice, and it will be received by the listener in a completely different way. It’s important to recognize how tone can alter your message and how to find the right tone to communicate effectively.
Volume of Voice
Speaking softly and gently affects the recipient of your message differently than speaking loudly and harshly. However, speaking too softly can hamper communication. It’s important for your child to learn to speak loudly enough for others to hear but quietly enough to keep the listener at ease.
Words are often the focus during communication, but your body does a lot more speaking than you may think. This exchange through body language is known as nonverbal communication, and it can shape the message you’re trying to send in various critical ways.
Nonverbal communication involves multiple parts of the body: Your hands can make gestures to emphasize the words you’re using. Eye contact and facial expressions can express the emotions behind your words.
Physical closeness and touch are also important aspects of nonverbal communication. Maintaining appropriate distance is key to conveying your message properly, and handshakes, high-fives, and hugs are all nonverbal messages that enhance communication.
10 Communication Games for Kids
Some aspects of communication can be learned as if they were a traditional school subject like history or science. But overall, communication is best learned through practice. The best way to get that practice is through fun communication activities for kids.
Below are 10 family communication games that are bound to improve your child’s grasp of the art of sharing their thoughts.
20 Questions is one of the most well-known games for communication skills. You can play it with just two people, but it can involve several more than that.
To play, one person must think of a well-known person, place, or thing. The job of the other players is to guess what that person, place, or thing is by asking yes-or-no questions. They have up to 20 questions to get the answer.
This childhood game is a lot of fun, but it also happens to be one of the best communication skills activities out there. Telephone requires at least three players, but it works better with five or more.
To play, the group will first stand in a line. Then, the first person in line (preferably you, at least for the first round) whispers a simple sentence quietly into the ear of the next person. That person turns to the person beside them and whispers what they heard into their ear, and so on.
Once the last person in line hears the sentence, they will then say it out loud to see if it matches what you originally said. Oftentimes, it does not — and the results can be quite funny!
There are many fun communication games for youth education, but most of them revolve around verbal communication. Charades, on the other hand, involves only nonverbal communication. This game can be played with two people, but it works best with a group of at least four.
Write a bunch of simple phrases, such as types of people, things, or emotions, on strips of paper and place them in a bowl. One player picks a strip and tries to act out what it says without speaking, while others guess out loud.
Rather than a silent player having to communicate the name of something to a group, as is done in charades, reverse charades involves blindfolding a single player as the group describes an object to them to try to help them guess what it is.
Removing the visual element inspires children to think more about their words and become clearer and more concise in their communication. This game works best with a group of about four or five.
Communication skills games should help children practice communication challenges that don’t often pop up in everyday life.
Back-to-back does exactly that. Ask two kids to sit with their backs to each other and give one of them a picture. That child describes the picture, and the other child must try to guess what the picture conveys. The describer learns how to be clear and concise with their words, while the guesser learns how to listen with care.
Have your child instruct you on how to perform a simple task, such as making a bowl of cereal. Lay out all of the ingredients and have them guide you step-by-step.
The trick here is to emphasize the importance of detail by following vague instructions that lead to an unsatisfying outcome. For instance, if your child tells you to put milk in the bowl, put only a tiny splash of milk in — or pour the whole container into the bowl!
Communication games for kids should allow for some creativity, and that’s what a Storyteller highlights. Show your child a simple image and have them describe to you what they see in it. Then, have them describe some details from their imagination and begin to tell a story about the image.
For instance, if you show a picture of a family in a car, ask your child what their names are and where they’re going.
Another one of the most classic communication games, Show-and-Tell is a great way for children to express themselves by connecting to others about something they love. Have your family members each pick one item that they love from your home, then take turns showing one another that item and telling each other what makes it special.
Point-and-Tell and Show-and-Tell are similarly effective communication games for families. But while Show-and-Tell allows the teller to choose an item that they want to talk about, Point-and-Tell has you selecting items around the house for your child to describe. The spontaneity of this game helps your child learn to think (and communicate) on their toes and can help them learn about the objects you select as well.
The Story Chain
Adding a little creative expression to your communication games for kids can really help them get engaged enough that they hardly realize they’re learning. The Story Chain can help you do that. It requires at least two people, but four or five are preferrable.
You’ll begin by coming up with an introductory sentence to a story (for example, “Once upon a time, there was a princess.”) and then go around in a circle to each player and let them continue the story sentence by sentence.
More About SimplyFun’s Family Communication Games
We hope these games can help you learn how to improve communication skills in a child. Communication games can be incredibly effective while simultaneously being fun for both you and your children.
However, it’s not always easy to find enough people for games that require multiple players. That’s why it can be helpful to provide your child with some communication games that they can play with just you.
SimplyFun has a huge collection of unique language and social skills games that make learning fun. With most games only requiring two players, your child will always be able to brush up on their communication skills while enjoying some great bonding time with you. Take a look at our game collection today to learn more.
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