Show and tell, although it is quite fun and interesting for kids, is actually a crafty teaching method too. It is very useful at teaching small children about public speaking, and can help them overcome their fears about it as they move on through life.
It is also a great ice breaker, and allows the children – and their teacher – a little more insight into the lives and minds of those children when they’re away from the classroom.
Although Show And Tell originated in North America, it is spreading over the globe as people start to see its effectiveness and great uses at helping children overcome fears, open up about themselves, and speak in front of an audience.
Benefits of Show and Tell
Although it may seem a strange concept, getting shy children to stand up and talk in front of a room is a great way to inspire confidence. Once they realise that nothing awful is going to happen to them if they do, they will open up and become more sure of themselves.
And for the naturally more outgoing ones, they will love nothing better than getting up and proudly telling their peers about something that excites them!
Show and tell can also encourage friendships to grow and deepen; by encouraging children to talk about things that they are passionate about that they would not have otherwise talked about can help them to meet new friends and discover shared interests.
Help your child to Show And Tell
There are a great many advantages to Show And Tell – but what do you do if your child has no idea what they can bring in to class to talk about? Luckily, we’re on hand to help out!
The best items to bring to show and tell are those that look interesting, as well as having an interesting story behind them as well.
If your child is one of those painfully shy ones who find it very hard to speak in front of people, try to get them out of their shell a little by offering a topic they are passionate about.
If you had to go through show and tell as a kid, try to remember that going through it again as a parent is probably far more stressful for you than it is for your child, and try not to project onto them.
They may be nervous, but they don’t have the previous memories that you have to contend with as well.
Show and Tell ideas for kids
- Photographs. These could be pictures of loved ones past or present; or pets; or their house or garden. Pictures that your child has taken themselves and are particularly proud of are also a great idea – with the added bonus that pictures actually printed on photo paper are a rarity these days and will be a great talking point.
- Nature. The outside world is fascinating for all of us, and children are no exception. Get your child to make a journal of their favourite walks, collecting leaves, flowers and other curios on the way that they can show their classmates.
- Pets. All kids love animals (in fact, most of us do!) so what better thing to talk about in front of their classmates than their favourite pets? This is something that is bound to get your kids animated, and will interest their classmates too, so it should be a successful show and tell.
- Food. A favourite food is always a great opener however simple it may seem, so why not encourage your child to tell their classmates about their favourite dish? You can add to this by sending the in with a great family recipe so they can ask their parents to cook it.
- A favourite toy. If your child shows their friends their favourite toy, it can act as not only an interesting story (where did they get it? What is its name? How long have they had it?) but it can also be a good ice breaker – most children have a favourite cuddly, so sharing this invites friendship and intimacy.
- Books. Story book and tales are a great inroad into someone’s likes and dislikes, and children tend to get passionate about their favourite stories. Showing off their favourite book, and explaining why they love it, is a great way to get to know who else shares their interests.
- Arts and crafts. If your child is especially arty, get them to take a picture or model that they have made so that they can discuss what they are passionate about.
- Movies. Your child can take a copy of their favourite film into class, to explain the plot, the ending, why they love it so much and what they love about it. Who knows, maybe their classmates will love it too and they will make a few good connections!
- Board games. Taking a favourite game into class can be a great talking point; your child can explain the rules, show off the board and the pieces, and talk about who they play the game with. And maybe it can become a communal game at break time!
- A journal. Keeping a journal is a fun activity by itself, and using it as a show and tell experience can also be a great “getting to know you” activity.
Show and Tell can be a scary experience for some children, but with a little help and coaching it can become a fun, opening and widening experience.
Show and Tell can help children to find their voice, open up, learn to speak in front of others, and encourage them to make friends through their own experiences.
The more outgoing little ones will love the experience of standing up in front of the class, and having a few more ideas will help them on their way to enjoying a full and easy experience of Show and Tell.