Public speaking for kids is one of the many essential skills children should learn. Whether they plan on speaking in front of the class or in front of an audience, public speaking is a life skill kids of all ages will use later one day. These public speaking exercises and activities are a great way to help kids get over their fear of public speaking and developing strong speaking skills.
Public Speaking for Kids
Public speaking for kids is something that I hadn’t thought much about until I realized how much public speaking practice my kids were doing at school. When you think about it, speaking in front of a class can be just as intimidating for kids as it is for adults!
Related: Listening activities for kids
Public speaking is an incredibly important life skill to develop and we have some pubic speaking games and public speaking activities for kids of all ages to make it easier. These public speaking activities will help them become better communicators while having fun at the same time.
Public Speaking Activities & Exercises
Throughout their lives your kids will have to communicate, persuade and present to other people, both professionally and socially. If you encourage your child to learn the many skills required for effective public speaking and presentations from a young age, and you make it fun, they will grow up to be confident communicators who can make a difference to their environment by using the right words at the right times to get the right things done.
Public Speaking Games that Teach Skills
Here are some fun and quirky public speaking activities you can do with your child, for free, to equip them with public speaking and communication skills.
1. Observe the Journey Game
- Whilst driving, walking or on public transport, ask your child to describe as much of their surroundings as they can within one minute!
- Get them to think about shapes, colors and what is happening.
- After multiple attempts over days/weeks your child will begin to speak more clearly and sharpen their observation skills which are essential for speaking well.
2. The Woof Game
This hilarious game will build your child’s ability to think on their feet- essential for presentation skills.
- Choose a common word like it or be.
- Provide your child with a topic to speak on for thirty seconds.
- Every time the chosen word is to appear in their speech they should replace it with woof.
For example: Woof is a sunny day today. I am glad woof is not raining.
3. Imaginary Animal Game
Get a group of family members , neighbors and friends together with your kids.
- Ask each group member to think of an animal and give them one minute to think of how they would describe that animal.
- Each member must then be questioned by their fellow members on the size, color(s), habitat and other attributes until they discover what animal it is.
This will boost your child’s confidence as it will familiarize them with speaking to an audience as somebody with unique information.
More Public Speaking Activities To Help You Child Become A Great Public Speaker
- Tongue Twister– tongue twisters are diction exercises and help your child learn to speak more clearly and slowly.
- Body Language– teaching your child what different body language means can help them with better body language. Just like we want to avoid crossed arms and fidgeting feet and hands.
- Facial Expressions– facial expressions are crucial to public speaking. As this is part of nonverbal communication and needs to match the energy of small presentation.
- Eye Contact– teaching your child to make eye contact with people will make them not only more comfortable with it, but help them appear more confident.
- Ask A Simple Question– randomly ask your child a simple question and have them answer it in the format of impromptu speeches. The sillier the question, the more fun!
What are the 5 Types of Speaking?
The 5 types of speaking describe the intention behind your words. Kids will be fascinated to try and figure out what type of speaking is being done when listening:
- Informative speech
- Persuasive speech
- Special occasion speech
- Instructional speech
- Entertainment speech
What are Speaking Activities?
We covered some simple public speaking activities and games in this article, but speaking activities for kids is really unlimited in its fun! There are so many ways that kids can participate in speaking that help them gain skills:
- Debates – formal or informal
- Drama – plays, musicals, dramatic readings
- Storytelling – check out our storytelling ideas
- Speech writing
- Learning another language
When are Kids Old Enough to Start Public Speaking?
Big thanks to the questions in our comments on this article. One mom asked if her Kindergarten age child was too young to start with public speaking activities.
What I have seen personally with my own kids and research (see information from Boys & Girls Club) is that it is never too young to start kids practicing and playing with public speaking. In fact, the younger they have a positive experience, the easier it is for them to naturally build confidence. With my kids, their school started the students speaking in front of the class in Kindergarten and then added age-appropriate public speaking practice throughout their educational journey. By the time they were in middle school they were confidently doing speeches in public without fear. By the time they were in college, they were volunteering to do presentations and had so much experience that it came second nature to them.
More Kids Activities that Improve Communication Skills
Do you have other fun ideas for improving the skill of communication for kids? We hope these public speaking games & activities sparked some creative ideas for you. For more fun kids activities, take a look at these ideas:
- 10 Ways to Improve Communication for Kids
- Teaching Life Skills: Being a Good Friend
- When do kids start talking?
- How to encourage kids to speak
- Public Speaking Activities and Videos for K-12
Add your public speaking advice, games and activities for kids to gain this important life skill below. How are you tackling public speaking and kids at home or in the classroom?