Parents | Raising readers & learners.

Home of Parent & Child Magazine

Speaking in Code

Coming up with private lingo is part of school-age friendships — so now is a fun time to introduce your child to nonverbal communicati

Learning Benefits

Hover over each Learning Benefit below for a detailed explanation.
Memory and Memorization

What to do:

  1. Invite your child to come up with his own secret code using claps, snaps, whistles, foot stomps, or a funny sound. (You may want to try an animal code, with barks and chicken clucks; or come with your own family signals!)
  2. Let your child decide which sequence of claps and other sounds will represent each letter of the alphabet. Then he can make certain letters stand for specific words. For example, snap-clap-snap can mean M for "me," and clap-clap-snap can mean U for "you." Encourage them to write down their code for reference.
  3. Have fun using your family's secret code. After dinner, play a direction game: clap-snap-clap for left; snap-whistle-snap for right.


Find Just-Right Books

The Reading Toolkit