Ideas & Activities

The Benefit of Conversations

One of the biggest advantages to sparking conversations with your jarjums and gundoos is what our staff call ‘sustained, shared thinking’.

This shared thinking also encourages open-ended and exploratory conversations where your little one can feel free to test out all of the learning they’ve developed through exploratory play.

Sustained, shared thinking can prompt and challenge a child’s thinking, and play a vital role in their early years development.

It involves children and parents working in conversation to discuss challenges, problems or solutions in an extended way. It could be as simple as responding to a question of ‘look what I found’ with ‘what is it?’

By prompting the who, what, when, where and why of a statement or question, you can encourage the development of your little one’s inquisitive mind.

These conversational moments are an excellent way of creating meaningful learning opportunities from a child’s exploratory play.

Some tips for open ended conversations

  • Pay attention and listen carefully to what your little one is saying.
  • Show genuine interest in their explanations, ideas and theories.
  • Recap what they have said, perhaps reminding them of what they brought up in earlier, related conversations.
  • Encourage them to explain their ideas, and try to ask open-ended questions such as ‘what if…’ or ‘what next?’ that will encourage them to expand on their ideas.
  • Encourage their curiosity by showing your own curiosity.
  • Model active waiting by allowing them enough time to ask and answer the questions.
  • Teach your little ones to evaluate their theories by asking them how and why questions that prompt them to make predictions and comparisons.

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