How to Encourage Language Development through Everyday Activities
Parents are getting to spend more time with children due to the pandemic. Children are staying home and doing virtual classes. Children need more language stimulation than ever as they are missing important interactions with peers and have limited new experiences. Here are some helpful tips to encourage your child to diversify and strengthen their language skills through everyday activities.
- Create lists: A key way to increase vocabulary is to create different lists. These lists can be functional such as writing out a schedule or preparing a grocery shopping list, or they can be more creative, such as listing winter or holiday words. This is a great opportunity for your child to practice and learn new adjectives and nouns.
- Vocabulary through themes: Do a cut and paste activity related to themes. For example, to make a summer theme board, find summer things in magazine (sun glasses), in the park (leaf) etc. You can make a theme board for various events, seasons etc. This will help children build semantic maps and learn and remember new vocabulary.
- Label everything: Label throughout the day. Label over and over again. Label objects, actions and people in everyday life.
- Do fun activities together: Children learn language through experiences. Go for a walk- talk about nature, cook together, do craft activities, play water games.
- Read books aloud: Have your child pick out their favourite book and prompt them to read it aloud to you. Take note and correct any mispronunciations and have a discussion once finished, asking them who their favourite characters were and what they enjoyed or didn’t enjoy about the story. This exercise will not only help strengthen their pronunciation skills, but it will help them feel comfortable asking and answering wh- questions: what, when, who, why, and where.
- Use sequence words: Sequence words are words that denote order: “first”, “second”, “last”, and so on. When planning out or reflecting upon their day, encourage your child to use these words when explaining what activities they did. This would strengthen their verb tenses—making them aware of the past and present tenses—as well as fortify an important language skill.
- Search for differences and similarities: Make an activity out of looking for differences and similarities within different things. Take a walk and see if you can find the differences and similarities within trees or cars, then encourage your child to compare them and explain why they believe these things are different or the same.
- Narrate your actions: If you’re doing an activity such as cleaning or cooking and your child is watching you, narrate your actions. Be sure to use correct forms of verbs and adjectives, and prompt your child to predict what they think you will do next.
While interacting with children its essential to ask fewer questions, make more comments and allow the child to direct conversation. Speech Therapy Works continues to provide speech therapy virtually and at home. Contact us with questions on 416 553-0729 or firstname.lastname@example.org