Talking Toys to develop confident, thinking communicators

Two children passing a talking toy between them

During an in-class coaching session this week I was reminded of how quickly the quality of talk can be improved. For example, introducing a talking toy technique such as ‘Talking Dinosaurs’ or ‘Talking Cubes’ enables children to immediately organise their turn-taking.

In this class, the teacher and I introduced the technique by modelling turn-taking with a Talking Cube to list different colours. The children then enjoyed having a go with their partner. Later that morning in Phonics, when instructed, they enthusiastically reached for the Talking Cubes to have a quick practice of words with the ng sound. This simple but effective technique is now available to these children whenever it’s time for pair talk.

This approach means children are also developing confidence in social skills - listening, thinking about what their partner is saying or doing, making their own contribution at an appropriate time, and so on.