There are activities that parents and children do every day together. These are the perfect opportunities to expand on your child’s language skills whether it be increasing vocabulary to following directions. There may be things you are already doing that promotes these language skills!
Many children are motivated by food. Here is the perfect time to interact with your child and use their motivation to work on those language skills. Offer your child a choice between two items such as carrots or broccoli, if your child is using words, they can say their choice. If they are not using words yet, you can teach them to point to express which one they want. Only give your child a few pieces of the item so they can request for “more cookies” or “more crackers.” Label each item that is being presented such as rice, soup, or chicken to increase functional vocabulary.
Bath time is a great time to model sounds, follow directions and learn basic body parts. Parents can model sounds such as splash, squirt and pop for your child to imitate. Parents can also make following directions fun such as saying “Pop the bubbles” or “Put the fish in the water.” Bath time is an awesome part of the day to learn body parts such as “Scrub your toes” or “Rise your head.” Make language fun while taking a bath!
Books and nursery rhymes can be utilized at bed time. During Bed Time stories you can increase vocabulary by labeling objects in the book or asking WH (who, what, where, where, why) while reading the story. This also promotes emergent literacy skills like holding the book and identifying words on the page. You can sing songs or nursery rhymes while going to bed. When singing, stop in the middle of the song and wait for your child to fill in the blank or request for more singing. You can also talk about the bedtime routine. You can narrate what the child is doing “You are brushing your teeth” or “You are putting on pajamas.”
Play time is a kids favorite thing to do! Comment while playing. You can say things like “The animals are so small” or the “The dinosaur is so big” to work on basic concepts (big/small, short/long, empty/full). Narrate what the items/objects are doing such as “The dinosaur is running” or “The bear is sleeping” to encourage the use of verbs. Create play scenes such as an Ice Cream store or a Lemonade Stand to incorporate imaginary play. Pick simple items that do not make lots of noises or sounds to encourage your child to use their own words or sounds. Lastly, the clean up song is great for transitioning to another activity and following directions.
What family does not have a ton of laundry to do! Make laundry fun for everyone involved. This is a great time to teach your child the name of each item such as socks, shirt, and pants. You can use different verbs such as folding, washing, drying, and sorting. This is also a great time to target Who questions such as “Whose shirt is this?” and having your child identify who the shirt belongs to. You can further have them sort the laundry into different piles for each person. Parents can model words such as “clean pants” or “smelly socks” to target commenting and learn describing words.
These are just some ways to promote language in a few daily activities. Get creative and think of different ways to incorporate language into different daily activities to expand upon expressive and receptive skills while still making it fun!
Language Therapy in Miami
At Always Keep Progressing Miami, our trained bilingual speech therapists provide services specifically tailored to each individual child to help grow their independence and fine-tune their speaking skills. If you are concerned with your child’s speech development, an SLP can help answer any of your questions!