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Asking questions is part of maintaining a conversation. It shows the other person that you are listening and interested in what they are saying. With younger children we initially focus on developing a requesting, labelling and filling in the blanks repertoire. This is then extended to answering questions. However, because we are able to answer questions does not also mean that we are able to ask questions. This is sometimes a skill that needs to be directly taught, this skill is fun to teach! Keep it engaging and interacting by changing up materials!
Here are some examples of how to encourage question asking:
Place an item in a container or bag. Ensure that your child cannot see what’s in the box. Ask them to guess what is in the box/bag. To figure out what is in the box, encourage the child to ask questions “What’s in the box?”, “What colour is it?”, “What does it say/do?”, “is it an animal?” To encourage more question asking, give vague responses.
Put items out of sight or create motivation for a missing item. For example, hide the markers and ask the child to get you a marker in the room.
Show your child pictures of people that they don’t know or show them characters from different TV shows that they may not be familiar with and encourage the questions “Who is it?”
Guess Who? is also a super fun game to use to encourage question asking!