Supporting development through visual aids

At Lighthouse you may have noticed that we use a lot of visual aids in many of our areas across the nursery. We use them to help develop every child’s language and communication. Enabling children to focus on something visual whilst listening to instructions. Understanding skills are enhanced, allowing children the time they need to process what they are being asked to do. It is important that visual aids are not used to replace language, but used alongside to aid communication.

Visual aids come in many forms to support development, communication and language –

Communication can be in the form of picture cards. Cards may include photos or clip art images of different parts of a child’s routine or objects familiar to them.

We also use puppets at Lighthouse as a great way for children to interact with others and support their understanding. Puppets increase children’s communication and social skills providing opportunities to interact. Children can also practice skills by using puppets to interact with other children. They allow children to develop empathy skills and think about the effects of different situations.

Photos and photo albums are a good aid visually to use and we at Lighthouse understand that. Children can have their own album containing photos of family, friends or their favourite things to do. Photos of them creating and doing around the nursery. We do this to give children the opportunity to talk about their likes, dislikes, thoughts and past experiences.

Some of our teachers are Makaton trained we do aim to have all our teachers trained as Makaton is a language programme that use hand signs and facial expressions in order to communicate. This visual aid was created in order to aid the understanding of language for children who are unable to communicate through speech. With Makaton, children and adults can communicate straight away using signs and symbols. Many people then drop the signs or symbols naturally at their own pace, as they develop speech.

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