Build your child's language skills with these fun activities!
1. Puppet Play!
Using an animal puppet or stuffed animal (even an old sock on your hand!), describe the noises/sounds those animals make, for example, “Cow says MOO, dog says WOOF, WOOF, frog says RIBBIT, RIBBIT…" You can extend the activity by making statements like: “Cows eat grass, munch, munch; frogs eat bugs; crunch, crunch; dog eats treats, crack, crack,…)
Animal puppets, stuffed animals, or; a sock, glue, markers, googly eyes and any other materials you choose to create your own puppets.
Speech is making sounds that become words. By introducing words and sounds to your child/ren, they will begin to mimic sounds for word formation, so providing reasonable response time encourages your child to use more complex language skills and vocabulary (expressive language – the ability to communicate).
2. “I Spy” Game
“Spy” for objects around your house or in your community. Start the game by telling your child you want them to find a nearby object. Next say, “I spy with my little eye something that is <use a word that describes the object>” Then ask your child if they can guess what the object is.
“I spy with my little eye something that is red.”
“I spy with my little eye something that is round.”
Be creative by identifying different concepts like color, shapes, size, texture, or letters and numbers if your child is older.
You, your child, and objects you can find in your house or community!
“I Spy” uses descriptive words (descriptors). Processing descriptors as clues to what object they are looking for supports children's development of listening skills. They enhance children’s ability to follow directions as they need to look for objects in different parts of the house or community and supports children’s capacity to comprehend what they are being asked to look for.
3. Reading Picture Books (no words)
Spend time looking at picture books with no words so you and your child can make up the story from what you see in the book.
Model language for your child that produces the story and ask open ended questions (a question in which the response is not ‘yes’ or ‘no’) to help develop the story. You and your child can share different thoughts, ideas, and opinions.
Age-appropriate picture books with no words such as A boy, a dog, and a frog by Mercer Mayer.
Outcome: Wordless picture books benefit children's emerging language and literacy skills. They also help develop creativity and storytelling skills. Wordless picture books help in exercising both expressive and receptive language development, building listening skills, vocabulary, comprehension, and an increased awareness of how stories are structured.