Show And Tell Ideas For Parents And Children

Pointers for parents to help their children with show and tell.

As a teaching tool, Show & Tell is designed to be fun and entertaining. Unfortunately, it's the very opposite for many youngsters.

Chances are, however, that sometime before second or third grade a child you love will have to participate in Show & Tell. What can concerned family members do to help prepare their children for Show & Tell?

Begin Early. When you think about it, Show & Tell is a natural extension of a child's growth and development. From infancy, children are invited to "show mommy what you're playing with," or "tell Daddy your bear's name, " or "let Cousin Joe see your new toy." While these activities are geared to either help build a youngster's vocabulary or teach a child how to share, they can also help boost his or her public speaking skills. By age two or three, concerned adults can build on these activities by engaging children in puppet shows, dress up games and other fun games that utilize visual and verbal skills.

Select age-appropriate topics. If the subject for Show & Tell is not pre-determined, choose one that your child loves to talk about - whether a favorite toy, article of clothing, vacation spot. Bottom line: if a child loves something he or she is more willing to talk about it, will be more animated while discussing it and more apt to want to participate in Show & Tell again. Help your child stick to the topic and to the time frame allotted. Two minutes may seem like a lifetime to a frightened child, but it's nothing to a child who is excited about sharing his great topic with fellow classmates.

Use kids' talk -- age-appropriate vocabulary. In helping prepare a child for this public speaking debut, parents sometime go overboard by using vernacular that is foreign to a child's normal conversation or vocabulary level. Your child will be more comfortable during Show & Tell if she can use her normal nickname for her doll, for example, or for a favorite cartoon character.

Make it fun. Be the best cheerleader you can! Your enthusiasm and encouragement will greatly impact a child's perception of Show & Tell. Use rehearsal time to boost morale and to help your child relax as much as possible.

Choose comfort clothing. What your child wears will be as important as what he says, or what she does during Show & Tell. Forget dressing to impress. Instead, strive for comfort clothing that will put your child at ease.

Clap the loudest/reward performance. In the long run, it is not as important as how well your child did, but that he or she had enough confidence to complete Show & Tell. After the big event, consider going out for a special treat, or consider having a special treat waiting when your child arrives home. Praise your child efforts, even if he or she does not do well. By focusing on the positive, not the negative, you will greatly increase your child's ability to perform publicly in the future.

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