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Language and Communication indicates no given a choice  This resource has been viewed by a moderator.


Indicates 'no' given a choice

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Early years skill:Speaking
Early years typical range:8-20m
P-scales/Curriculum skill:English Speaking
P-scales/Curriculum level:P4
TAP skill:Expressive Language
TAP level:TAP24
Pre/Nat. Curriculum Area:Spoken language/English
Pre/Nat. Curiculum Standard:Standard 1
Section:Early Years (0-5yrs) info; Primary (5-11yrs) info
Activity/strategy name and materials required How to do the activity Key principles for doing the activity and comments
Indicating 'No'

An undesirable food item

A favourite toy

Two helpers

1. Sit the child at a table with one communicator adult in front and one helper behind the child.

2. The communicator adult offers the child a short play with the toy and then says 'finished'.

3. The communicator adult offers the child the undesirable food item - what ever you know the child dislikes - and says 'do you want this?'. The communicator adult models 'No' and shakes her/his head and holds up a hand to show 'No'. The helper adult gently shakes the child's head from behind but does not say anything.

4. The communicator adult takes away the undesirable food item and offers the child time to play with the toy again.

5. Repeat the process over and over again until the child starts to shake his/her own head or hold up a hand or say 'No' or a mix of all three to indicate rejection.

6. When the child starts to indicate 'No' acceptably reward immediately.

7. When the child reliably rejects one item move on and work on rejecting a different item - maybe not food.

The object of this activity is to give the child an acceptable way of rejecting things without having a tantrum.

Only offer undesirable items you don't mind the child rejecting.

Work on this activity in pairs for short sharp bursts.

Children usually start to indicate 'No' before indicating 'Yes'.

The sign for "no" in Signalong and Makaton is working flat hand held in front of the body facing forward, pointing up, moves sharply to the working side.

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