Your child may or may not be walking and attempting to climb steps yet, but they will surely get there! We wanted to help you incorporate language into their newly learned gross motor skills. It’s such a beautiful time when they are starting to become more independent, so why not add in some language too!
Race – This is something you might naturally do, but it’s a great way to expose them to a consistent phrase such as “Ready Set Go”. Have them see where the “starting line” is and teach them where the “end of the race” is. This starts to introduce the idea of a beginning and end to activities. They’ll love the competition aspect of it and will think it is hilarious!
Play Tag – What kid doesn’t love to be chased around! It’s a great way to expend some energy and once again hear repetitive phrases like “Run! I’m going to get you!”. The giggles you get will melt your heart!
Count – The beginnings of sequencing…1 2 3 4 5! Count each step they take down the hallway or up the steps! Definitely on the early side, but it’s a great way to intertwine some basic math skills and see how far they can go! As they get older, the numbers will stick with them and they will count on their own!
Up and Down – These opposites are ideal for stairs! Emphasize “up up up up” as you ascend and “down down down down” as you descend. This also increases spatial awareness! You can even add in “high” and “low” later on.
Stop and Go – We often target this when we walk on the street. For instance, if the sign signals to stop we show them by pointing to the sign and say “stop” and do the same for “go”! Learning these opposites not only helps with street safety, but will also help in the future with following directions during games, in school, etc.
Following Directions – Now that you’re little one is up and about it’s time to really start targeting actions involving movement such as “come”, “spin”, “kick”, “bend”, “jump”, “bounce”, “climb”, and the list goes on! If they are not developmentally ready to perform a specific action such as jumping, just imitate it for them so they can attach meaning to the word. Certain phrases such as “no hands, just feet” for “kick” might also be helpful so they know what is expected of them!