Show and tell isn’t just about giving the kids a reason to bringing toys to class; each child’s social, emotional and language skills will grow and develop from this activity as the children learn to use descriptive language, practice listening skills and share their special items with others. Sharing prized possessions with peers makes for a fun and comfortable learning arena for everyone involved.

Self-Esteem and Pride

Most young kids love to show off their prized possessions. When it is your child’s show-and-tell day, allow him to bring a favorite object to share with the class. Show-and-tell time gives a child a chance to be the center of attention for a bit as he explains the significance of the item he brought while other children show interest and ask questions about that loved object. This positive social interaction can boost a child’s self-esteem and make him feel good about himself.

Oral Skills

Show and tell in the classroom can help strengthen children’s oral skills, especially if it is a structured activity. Show and tell helps foster public speaking skills and helps children feel comfortable with talking in front of a group of peers. When it is structured as a question-and-answer activity, show and tell encourages the children to use descriptive words and full sentences. Questions like “Why is this special to you?” “How does this work?” and “Where did you get this object?” help children to strengthen their descriptive skills. This activity also helps children learn to communicate feelings, thoughts and emotions with words.

Social Skills

Because show and tell is a group activity, it helps teach children appropriate social skills. For instance, Crestview Elementary School in Kansas lists guidelines that children in the audience must refrain from distracting the speaker while focusing their attention and sitting relatively still. Each child must also be patient, take turns, use kind words and avoid using put-downs. At the same time, the speaker learns to turn his body toward the audience and use the appropriate volume so others can hear about his special object.

Making Friends

Show and tell can open up doors to making new friends. Once a child has gone through his show and tell, other kids may want to talk to him about it. Some of the kids may have a similar toy, which provides a connection and opportunity to talk about a similar interest. Some kids may think the object is interesting and want to know more about it. It may even lead to an out-of-class play date that also includes the prized item.