Dr. Lisalee D. Egbert
Communicating with Your Kids is All Fun and Games
Updated: May 9
Here we are with the holidays around the corner and families stuck inside due to weather and the virus. What’s a family to do? Why not break out the games and have some fun while also working on communication skills?
Truth be told it’s not just kids who like to play. Us grown ups like a good game of Twister, or Crazy Eights, or throwing around a Nerf ball (or snowballs if you live where it snows) just as much as the kids do. Playing games together offers a perfect opportunity to improve the communication skills of your child along with adding more sign language vocabulary to the rest of the family’s repertoire.
To see how this might work, let’s look at an old-time favorite: Twister. Here we have a game where you have to know left from right, feet from hands, and the names of different colors. And on top of that it’s active (always a good thing when everyone is stuck indoors!). The concept is simple, the vocabulary minimal, and everyone can join in the fun thereby building bonds with family members while improving communication skills.
If you can’t entice the kids to play these games with you, why not join in with their games? We know how much they love their video games. If you haven’t a clue how to play those games this offers a unique opportunity to let your kids teach you something; another great way to grow communication skills and family bonds. And if you’re anything like me, the kids will win at these games which makes for great family stories for years to come.
Another activity that is perfect for the holiday season is baking. Here again the vocabulary isn’t too complicated which means it’s easy to teach the necessary signs to family members; it’s very visual and hands on which makes it great for young children; and everyone can join in, not to mention enjoy the fruits of your labors.
If you saw the last blog post on video phones you might have noticed that the entire family was
signing in the second video. This gave the young girl the sense of being a part of her family. By playing simple games and engaging in family activities together, you can include everyone in the family thereby helping your Deaf child to feel connected to all of the members of your family and they to him or her. And isn’t that what the holidays are for? Bringing families together? Happy holidays and may you bake lots and lots of cookies and have a wonderful time with your family.
And in case you need some ideas: 50 activities parents and kids can do together during coronavirus closures