boy signing

Explaining about deafness to young children first involves teaching them about what ears do. They may never yet have made the connection between their ‘ears’ and ‘hearing’. So you need to begin by talking about ears and the different sounds you can hear.

Once the children have made the connection between ‘hearing sounds’ and their ‘ears’, then you can introduce the concept of ‘deafness’ and what it might be like if your ‘ears were broken’ and you couldn’t hear any sounds.

Finally you can introduce sign language which is how deaf people talk. There is a sign for every word. You can teach the children some simple signs – one of the best ways to do this is to teach them the signs for some songs so that you can sign along while you sing.

What are the key points I should tell the children?

  • We use our ears for hearing. Deaf people can’t hear. It’s like their ears are broken.
  • Some deaf people wear a hearing aid to make the sounds louder so they can hear them.
  • Deaf people speak using sign language.



Diversity Awareness LogoHow to ‘Do Diversity’ with childminded children without getting it wrong

So, you want to show Ofsted that you are “doing diversity” in your childminding setting… [read more]


Quiz Yourself

QUIZ: How diversity-aware is your language when it comes to talking about disabilities?

Products that can help you to explore deafness

Childminding Best Practice Club – themed packs

Childminding best practice club logoJoin the Childminding Best Practice Club and get monthly packs of themed activities emailed to you. As well as art projects with templates, each pack includes a planning guide to help you plan around a theme.

Diversity Awareness Pack

Diversity Awareness Pack for childmindersPrintable diversity craft projects and printable diversity colouring pages to help childminders to teach 20 diversity topics including disability, religion, race, families and multicultural holidays including St. Patrick’s Day. Pack includes a section dedicated to activities you can use to teach children about deafness.




See also: Diversity Awareness, wheelchair users and blindness