A young child beams and points to the water coming out of the faucet as their mom laughs

How to Nurture Your 4 Year Old’s Communication Skills

Bolster Their Confidence in Giving Answers and Accepting Help by Asking Simple Questions

Is your 4 year old starting to answer simple questions like, “what are hats for?” or “what are you doing?”? That’s wonderful news! This is a milestone for your child’s developing communication skills.

Communication skills are more than just the ability to talk, they are an important part of your child’s language development. Speaking (whether it's verbally, by sign, or other methodology) demonstrates their cognitive and fine motor skill development. Processing questions they are asked, being able to think about their answers, and being able to express their answers coherently is an important milestone for your child’s communication skills.

Here are some simple questions to ask your child that can help nurture their communication skills:

  • Ask them easy “yes or no” questions that you know they can answer correctly. For example, you can ask “do you like corn?” or “are you wearing your jacket?”. This helps them learn how to answer questions without the risk of being embarrassed or frustrated if they don’t know they answer. Having these positive experiences as a foundation can boost their confidence as questions become more open-ended.
  • Ask simple, open-ended, questions like, “what is a coat for?” (to keep you warm) or “what is a crayon for?” (to draw). Start with questions they are likely to know the answers to. Be sure to provide them with lots of praise for their correct answers, how much they know, and how well they express themselves. This will help to bolster their confidence for when questions become more complex as they grow.
  • Praise what they did right, even if they get an answer wrong. This can help them learn to accept assistance. For example, if you ask them, “what is a coat for?” and they answer, “yellow?”, you could respond with, “no, a coat is for staying warm, but I see that you know that your coat is yellow! Very good! What color is my coat?” “Blue?” “Yes, it’s blue, very good!”.
A grandmother and her grandson laugh on a couch while playing with Crafties
In photo: iCraftie Owl, Uma Unicorn Craftie, Craftie Fox, Storypod speaker, and interchangeable sleeve.

Storypod can support your child’s communication skills in the following ways:

One of the best ways to nurture your child’s communication skills and language development is through reading. Our Read-Along Audiobooks (like Space Safari) are written companions for your child to read while their Storypod speaker narrates. Princess also touches on communicating through sign language.

Our books include interactive trivia questions at the end. By asking your child simple questions about the story that they can answer with color coded buttons, Storypod strengthens their communication skills and their reading comprehension.

Our Crafties are loveable characters that provide your child with tons of encouragement through their stories and activities. From Elinor Wonders Why (who encourages their curiosity) to Daniel Tiger (who encourages their emotional growth), our Crafties are designed to be supportive and to boost your child’s confidence on their learning journey.

Our Audio Experiences also teach your child about accepting help. Our Tali Tucan Craftie sings about needing homework help. Our read-along audiobook, Searching For Ooh, helps to model that sometimes you need help from your friends. Spike: The Penguin with Rainbow Hair is a great story about helping your friends and helping yourself.

References

  1. CDC Milestone Checklist