Facilitation of Child Language Development through Using Finger Plays in Toddler's Age

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Facilitation of Child Language Development through Using Finger Plays in Toddler's Age

Introduction Toddler's age is a period which includes children development from 1 to 3 years of age. This is a period when a child needs a lot of support from parents and understanding from caregivers. It is also a period when coordination of fine movements and language develops. The main factor facilitating the process is a positive communication between the child and an adult. Therefore one of the most successful means ensuring both positive communication with an adult and the development of the language is finger plays or a folk-songgame from the Latvian folklore. The experience coming from other nations also emphasizes the significance of the finger games in the development of children's language.

Aim of the study To analyze the influence of finger plays to the development of language in toddler's age (1 - 3 years).

Materials and methods Latvian folk songs constituting the part of the folklore of the toddler age have been analysed in the research. Also, research on Latvian children's folklore has been done. Research on finger plays in English has been also done, and the features characteristic to both Latvian and English culture have been analysed.

Results The development of speech is a highly important indicator in the child's development. It seems that the above issue has been topical many centuries ago too as we can find so many wonderful finger plays in folklore that have attracted children's attention for centuries. As one can find very scarce information on finger plays in literature, the major way enabling generations to pass this national treasure on to the next generation is verbal communication.

While playing finger plays the development of children's communication skills are encouraged. The foundation for successful development of interaction is being laid when the child has to cooperate not only with the immediate family but also peers. Speaking skills and the development of interaction are closely linked as successful interaction is not possible without well-developed language skills and other children might not understand their playmate and thus communication barriers may emerge.

Toddler's folklore mostly consists of folksongs introducing the child with its nearest and more distant surroundings. That is extremely important for enlarging the lexicon of the child as this is exactly the age when the stock of words grows very rapidly due to the development of cognitive processes, and many of the words from the passive knowledge are now actively used.

Finger plays is a gratifying means that can be included into various activities of the daily regime at a preschool institution. It will be useful both during the morning hours when you meet the children as well as during the time when you work with a child individually. There are no space related restrictions for using the play as well as no auxiliary materials required.

Through using finger plays in toddler's age a child is successfully prepared for the next stage in its development: preschool age where one of the most important preconditions for success is well-developed language. Despite the fact that children's shops offer the most various toys aimed at encouraging children's development from the very first months of their lives, one should not forget about the children's development means known and proven through centuries as they possess one important quality: they have to be played together with relatives, and that, in turn, develops the child's emotional sphere and activates language much more successfully than any toy bought in a shop.

Conclusions The impact of finger plays on the development of a child is very manifold. The following aspects are being developed:

- child's speech as well as other cognitive processes: thinking, memory, imagination, attention, perception;

- interaction skills;

- coordination of finger movements;

- feeling of safety.

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Kārkliņa, V., Studente, A. (1990). Latviešu folklora gimenē [Latvian Folklore in a Family]. Rīga: ZPI IZM (in Latvian).

Labensohn, D. (15.09.2008) Finger Plays and Active Verses for Children, from www.nncc.org/Curriculum/fingerplay.html

Latviešu bērnu folklora [Latvian Children's Folklore] (1973). Rīga: Zinātne, 232 lpp. (in Latvian).

Tautasdziesmas - rotaļiņas kā bērnu aktivitātes veicinātājas bērnudārzā [Folk Songs - Games as Encouragers for Children's Activities in Kindergartens] (1990). Rīga: SKCI IZM (in Latvian).

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Journal of Linguistics & Pedagogy & Psychology The Journal of Riga Teacher Training and Educational Management Academy

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