EYFS Focus:
10 Simple Communication and Language Activities
Playful ways to encourage speech and language development

Communication and language skills are crucial for every child’s overall development and their future into big school and beyond. The good news is, you can help build these skills with simple daily interactions.

More informally, you can do this by simply acting as a positive role model, talking with them slowly and clearly, while showing interest in everything they have to say. But we know it’s always better with play, so we prepared several activities that cover this EYFS area and don’t require too much sweating from you!

1. Pom Pom Avalanche

The activityPom Pom Turn Taking Game by Onetimethrough

Communication and language area(s) of development: Turn-taking, social interaction

In a nutshell – Trap pom poms in a colander using some wooden sticks or pipe cleaners and turn it upside down. Let the children take turns to pull the sticks out (and strengthen their fine motor skills!) until all of the pom poms fall down like an avalanche!

What you need

  • Around 50 Coloured Pompoms
  • Wooden BBQ Sticks or Pipe Cleaners
  • A Large Colander

 

Picture of a colander and pompoms

2. Memory Game

The activityPaper Plate Big Alphabet Memory Game by Frugal Fun For Boys and Girls

Communication and language area(s) of development: Turn-taking, social interaction, attention & listening

In a nutshell – A kingsize variation of the good old pair matching game. Take several paper plates and markers and write some letters if you want your little ones to practice literacy or draw shapes, animals and other items if it’s time to build their vocabulary.

What you need

  • A Dozen Paper Plates
  • Marker Pens

 

Picture of two boys sitting in a room

3. DIY Telephone

The activitySuper Simple Listening Game and Crafts for Kids by Kids Activities Blog

Communication and language area(s) of development: Social interaction, attention & listening

In a nutshell – This simple, crafty telephone will engage kids for hours. All they need to do is paint some plastic cups, poke a hole in each of them, and thread string through the bottom. You can experiment with various speaking activities but we recommend the old school game of telephone where kids whisper to each other and pass the message around.

What you need

  • Plastic Cups
  • String or Rope
  • Paint for Decoration
Picture of a boy listening to paper cup telephone.

4. Dance Freeze

The activityGame of the Week: Dance Freeze by Playworks

Communication and language area(s) of development: Attention & listening

In a nutshell – Dance when the music’s on and freeze when it stops. It’s as simple as that. You might know it as some ice-breaker entertainment for a birthday party, but it’s also great for an attention and listening exercise. If you’re not sure what to play, check out this video with some lovely, cartoon characters that sing and guide their audience.

What you need

  • A Music Player
  • An Open Area Free of Obstacles

 

Picture of young girls dancing

5. Story Stones

The activityHomemade Story Stones by Happy Hooligans

Communication and language area(s) of development: Expressive language, vocabulary, turn-taking, attention and listening

In a nutshell – Story stones are essentially very simple prompts for narrative play. All you need to do is get some flat and smooth stones from a craft shop or a beach and decorate them with pictures of objects or animals. Choose one of the stones and start a tale based on the picture on it, then encourage your preschoolers to draw more stones and continue the story.

What you need

  • Small Stones
  • Stickers or Mod Podge and Magazine Pictures Cut-Outs
Picture of stones with paintings

6. Dressing Up

The activity Free Let’s Get Dressed Game by Teaching Talking

Communication and language area(s) of development: Vocabulary

In a nutshell – Get these neat printables to encourage your little fashionistas to use newly learnt words and phrases connected to clothes and colours while letting their creative minds go wild.

What you need

  • Free Printables
  • Scissors
Picture of clothes cut outs

7. I Spy With My Little Eye

The activity10 Ways to Play ‘I Spy’ by Teaching Every Day

Communication and language area(s) of development: Vocabulary, listening & attention

In a nutshell – 10 variations of the classic ‘I Spy’ game that require focus from the little ones and will help to strengthen their vocabulary. We suggest that you let the kids ask questions to encourage discussion, instead of just guessing one word at a time.

What you need

  • Nothing!

 

Picture of a small girl with binoculars

8. Tabboo

The activityTaboo Pack for Kids by Way to Master English

Communication and language area(s) of development: Vocabulary, expressive language, confidence & self-esteem

In a nutshell – Each card consists of a picture that players have to explain to each other without using the three words listed underneath. It’s an amazing, playful activity that takes vocabulary development to a whole new level and encourages creativity.

What you need

  • Free Printables
  • Scisssors
Picture of cards for playing tabboo

9. Nursery Rhymes

The activity10 Nursery Rhymes to Sing With Babies by Rainy Day Mum

Communication and language area(s) of development: Vocabulary, listening & attention

In a nutshell – These ten all-time classics are not only amazing for connecting with the little ones but also teaching them new vocabulary and expressions in the most enjoyable way.

What you need

  • Music Player or Some Instruments
Picture of nursery rhymes

10. Books Books Books

The activityWorld Book Day: 11 Books from Around the World by Famly

Communication and language area(s) of development: Vocabulary, listening & attention

In a nutshell – Books can be used in so many ways to develop language and early literacy skills. Toss The Very Hungry Caterpillar aside for a moment and check out this list of classics from all around the globe.

What you need

  • Books
  • A Cosy Reading Nook
Picture of a boy reading a book

Free Next Steps Guide

Interested in more? Download our full guide to identifying next steps in the EYFS, completely free.