As a mum, I’m always looking for fun activities to keep my daughters busy. In the process, I stumbled on picture. The activities allow kids to improve their communication skills, build their imagination, and understand the significance of perspective. What’s more, creating picture talk activities that align with your kids’ interests is really simple.
First, you’ll find a picture focusing on a specific topic like weather, sports, nature, or family. Next, create a slide (if you have more than one picture) and project the picture on a screen. Then, ask your child to use various vocabulary to discuss the contents of your pictures.
You can also ask questions that require specific answers to make it fun. Creating the activities is simple, and I’ll show you the process in a second.
What Is a Picture Talk Activity?
A picture talk activity is a task that utilizes pictures to start a discussion. It is an effective study method that produces results in schools, marketing firms, and police investigations. However, this article will focus on the effectiveness of picture talk activities for kids in a home setting.
What do Children Learn from Picture Talk Activities?
- Attention to Detail: Introducing picture talk at an early age improves your kid’s attention to detail. They learn to analyze situations and make informed decisions. Moreover, they’ll learn to focus on all areas of a task during formal learning and in social settings.
- Literacy skills: During the picture talk activities, the kids will discuss and respond to questions while including words that represent different aspects of the images. By doing so, they slowly build their literacy skills, including learning new vocabulary, improving their reading, and writing effectively. Raising Children also states that improving literacy skills builds confidence, eloquence, and socio-emotional skills for kids.
- Comprehension: Picture talk activities are great for improving your child’s comprehension. The tasks require participants to understand sequences fully, identify visual clues, and compare characters. So, as your kid goes through pictures and listens o your questions, they’ll learn the importance of listening and understanding before acting on a situation. Furthermore, comprehension is an important skill for formal learning and day-to-day interactions.
Steps to Make a Picture Talk Activity
Creating a picture talk activity is a straightforward process. What’s more, you only need a few items, and your kids can join in the process. Below is a step-by-step outline for those unfamiliar with the process.
1. Choose a Topic
The first step is picking a topic that will spark your child’s attention. For example, settle on topics like video games, cartoon characters, dolls, sports, music, nature, or family; the list is endless. Usually, I include a lot of nature and outdoor activity pictures because my daughters love the outdoors.
You can read one of my articles on hiking to discover why hiking and outdoor activities are essential for kids. Anyway, it would help if you also asked your kids to pick topics so you find pictures that appeal to their interests.
2. Select a Picture
Once the topic is locked in, find an elaborate picture that will spark a productive discussion. Remember, the goal is to involve the kids in a lengthy, two-sided conversation. You’ll find great pictures on several platforms, including Pinterest, Pixabay, Unsplash, and Google images.
In fact, why not dig through the family album for relatable pictures? Who knows? Seeing familiar faces may encourage the kids to engage further. You can pick one elaborate picture or create a slide with several pictures that tell a story.
3. Project the Image and Discuss
Finally, project the selected picture and start engaging your audience, aka, kids. With my kids, I start with a simple question requiring a full image analysis. For example, what do you see in the picture? Asking simple questions is an excellent way to steer the discussion further.
As a matter of fact, go a step further and ask your kids to list synonyms of the words they choose. That helps build their vocabulary and stimulates their thinking. Also, every question should build up to the next to enable proper comprehension.
Here are productive question ideas that you can use.
- What do you think of this picture? Then, follow up with, why do you think that?
- What can you see in this picture? Ask for names, synonyms, etc.
- What do you think of the person in this picture? In addition, ask about gender, clothing, hair color, race, etc.
- What do you think of the objects in this picture? They’ll name the objects, including colors, shapes, sizes, etc.
- What is happening in this picture?
- What time do you think it is?
Picture Talk Activity Ideas
- Find a picture of the outdoors and discuss the day’s weather conditions. Ask your kids questions like;
- Is it cloudy?
- What color is the sky?
- Is it hot or cold?
- What else can you spot in the image?
- What is the opposite of sunny?
- Create blank cartoon conversation doodles and ask your kids to fill out the spaces. The cartoons can represent images of their favorite characters or simple black and white drawings. Ask the kids to be as creative as possible, and arrange the doodles in a proper sequence so they can create accurate conversations. Alternatively, ask them to arrange the image sequence before filling in the doodles.
- Find a family tree image and ask the kids to identify various family members. They will name each member based on the relationship, including father, mother, sister, brother, cousin, and aunt. In fact, you should bring out the family album and watch as the kids stick your family photos to the family tree image.
- In this article, I highlighted several fun beach activities for children. So, for this picture activity, find a detailed image of the beach. You can use your family pictures or a downloaded image. The questions will include the following;
- Where is the location of this picture?
- What can you see in the picture?
- What color is the water?
- Can you identify the activities in the picture?
- How many children are in the picture?
- How can you describe the weather?
- If your kids are older, pick a detailed picture and ask them to write about what they see and how they understand the image. Besides speech, picture talk activities are also great for improving your child’s writing skills.
Picture talk activities effectively enhance your child’s literacy skills and add variety to their learning. Check out my article on tips that make reading fun to discover other ways to keep your child engaged.