Show and Tell day in preschool

How you can build essential skills through show-and-tell

I had the opportunity to observe a group of children as they participated in Show-and-Tell Day! The children started out by getting the toy or item they brought and joining everyone in the circle…

Promoting Turn Taking

The children then placed the toys behind their back while they waited for their turn to share with the group…

Enhancing Communication Skills

The teacher called each child to the front of the room and let them show their toy to the rest of the class…

Building Listening Skills

The teacher asked each child questions to invite them to talk about their toy. The other children were invited to ask a few questions too…

The children were encouraged to turn and face the other children so that everyone can see the toy but I noticed that the children preferred to show the toy to the teacher above all else…

Increasing Self-Confidence

After a short question and answer period about the toy, the children would then show the class what the toy could do or how to play with the toy…

Then the children would go back to the circle and sit down. They were reminded to put the toy back behind their back until everyone had their turn to share…

I got a kick out of watching the children as they sat in the circle. They each started off with their hands in their lap but after taking their turn and sitting back down, their little hands kept reaching back to make sure that the toy was still there…

Encouraging Teamwork

Once all the children had a turn to share, the teacher then let the children take some time to play together with all the toys…

What are the benefits of Show-and-Tell?

  • The children are given the opportunity to speak in front of others.
  • Each child gets to be the center of attention.
  • Children share things from home with their friends and the teacher.
  • Children choose items that are meaningful to them to talk about.
  • Children learn to respect each other’s turn to talk.
  • Children practice the skill of listening to and answering simple questions.
  • Children practice the skill of asking simple questions.

Show-and-Tell Tips

  • Keep each child’s turn short.
  • Choose the same three questions to ask each child so that the questions are predictable.
  • Coach children on how to ask questions.
  • Allow children to choose toys to bring that are meaningful to them.
  • Set rules on the types of toys you don’t want to have in the classroom ahead of time and inform parents at the beginning of the year.
  • Children who might forget to bring a toy can choose a favorite book, toy, art activity, or other item from your classroom to share so no one gets left out.

In some classes, the children all place their toy in a bag and as the teacher pulls out a toy – the children come up to talk about the toy. This approach is done instead of having children keep the toys behind their backs. The most important thing to keep in mind is to keep the length of show-and-tell and the approach you use age appropriate and fun.

Picture of Deborah J Stewart

Deborah J Stewart

Every time I think I know everything I need to know about teaching young children, God says, "Hold on a minute!" and gives me a new challenge.

Let me tell ya...

With each new challenge that you overcome, you will find yourself better equipped and more passionate about teaching young children.

God didn't call wimps to lead, teach, or care for His children. Nope, he has high expectations, so get ready. You will have to give your very best but after teaching for over 30 years, I can tell you that it is a wonderful and rewarding journey.

Whenever your calling feels hard, just remember, 'He who began a good work in you (and in the children you serve) will be faithful to complete it.'

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