Your kid sometimes seems like a mystery you're trying to solve. Some days he's overflowing with stories and ideas, but other times he may need help expressing himself. Children need time to develop effective communication skills, but you can help them practice through fun communication games for kids. Here's how role-playing helps you to understand your child better, and how it can encourage his communication development.

Playing Isn't Just Fun

Children communicate and learn a great deal through play. You can think of play as their language and props as their words. Communication games for kids allow them to build imagination and creativity, and explore fantasy and dreams—but all the while, they're learning to express themselves, too! How they play, what they act out, and what happens in the story paints a picture about what's important to your child.

Role-playing can help kids deal with difficult situations, like a bully at school or the loss of a pet. You can help her express her feelings and build coping skills for the future by making it into a game. Write down a few characters she can play on index cards and place them into a box. The characters can be pretend (a pirate or robot), real people (your child's teacher or bully), or a mix of both. Set a timer for one minute and have her act out how she feels from her character's perspective, then switch the character when the timer runs out.

Other times, role-playing builds a desired trait, like having and displaying more courage. You can help by having your child show you what a firefighter does when someone is inside a burning building. Stash toys for him to save in the backyard. Once he rescues everything, hold up a make-believe microphone and conduct a mock news interview about how it felt showing so much bravery. Your kiddos learn and express who they are, what they're capable of, and how to make sense of their world.

Jump Into the Narrative

Since children role-play naturally, you don't have to work at getting them to participate. You can learn just by watching and observing—they typically love an audience! But if you want even more benefit from their play, ask how you can get involved in the story. A simple offer of "I can play the part of someone if you want" allows your kid to invite you into his play, and you reap the benefits of a front-row seat. Let your child direct the action of the scene, and she'll be able to practice communicating clearly with others to accomplish her goal.

It's incredible what a child expresses through his play, and what you come to understand about him. What's great about communication games for kids is that the more you participate in his role-playing, the more he will view you as an ally and partner in his developing story. He learns how to communicate more effectively while practicing skills that help him in the future. You get a personal connection and insight into your child. There's no mystery about the positive outcome of that!