5 Ways to Foster Language Development During the Holidays
During winter break, when children are at home instead of going to school, it is important to encourage them to continue working on new language concepts that will progress their overall language development. Here are five fun ways that you can take advantage of the holiday season to keep your child immersed in language:
- Sing holiday songs: make a game of singing songs with your child, speeding up or slowing down the rhythm. Make up dances or gestures to go along with the words, or create routines to go with the chorus.
- Make holiday cards together: crafting new cards can allow your child to practice their writing and sentence-formation. Write to a relative, a teacher, or a friend—it’s a creative and fun activity that will keep your child occupied while practicing language techniques they’ve learned in the past year. This is a great opportunity to practice verbs: what was your child’s favourite memory from the past year? What is your child looking forward to in 2021?
- Bake holiday treats: cooking and baking involves reading recipes and following instructions closely. Including your child in discussing the grocery list, organizing the ingredients, and baking, will allow them to exercise different language faculties, while creating a yummy treat!
- Read some holiday books: there are many picture and chapter books that cover different holidays. Choose a book about whichever holiday your child is interested in and have your child read it aloud. Stop to discuss the pictures and prompt your child to predict what they think will happen next. Once you’re finished, ask your child to reflect on the book: what did they like about it? How does it compare to the other books they’ve read?
- Decorate your home: if you’re decorating your home, involve your child in the process. Ask them where they feel certain decorations should go and prompt them to elaborate. Encourage them to use descriptive words; this is a great opportunity for your child to practice their adjectives.
The winter holiday season is a great time for your child to relax and take a break from school—all while keeping up their language development!