Brrrr! It’s been quite a cold winter! Weather is one of the perfect opportunities to get kids talking! You can comment on temperature, setting, clothing, as well as related actions and winter activities. Our best piece of advice is to keep your words consistent so your child can catch on easily!
You want to always start off verbally modeling what you want your child to say. For instance, when the weather was beginning to get cold we produced words such as “cold”, “windy”, “freezing”, etc. We kept repeating it as often as we could and after one month he began saying it independently. It’s also great to review winter clothing items such as “jacket”, “hat”, “boots”, “scarf”, “gloves/mittens”, “boots”, “sweater”, “pants”, etc. And if your child is ready for phrases you can target ones such as “my hat” or “I want jacket”.
Things you see in the winter are also great such as “snow”, “ice”, etc. We even like to comment on how the trees are bare and the leaves are on the ground. Other winter related words include actions such as “sledding”, “sliding”, etc. You can add in some nouns (e.g. – “sled”, “ice skates”, etc.) and adjectives (e.g. – “slippery”). We personally love doing sensory activities (e.g. – bringing snow inside, putting ice cubes in a tray, etc.) to practice all of the vocabulary above and talk about how things “feel”. Then, finish it off with some fun activities like eating S’mores and making hot chocolate!
Bath Time is a fun time! And when children are having fun you can get tons of language out of them! We start out by making sure the bath itself is extra motivating. There are a variety of simple toys you can get such as books, stacking cups, sea animals, water squirters, basketball nets, boats, fishing games, etc. We even like to change the color of the water with some Crayola Color Bath Drops! Some of our favorite bath toys are made by Alex Toys and Boon Inc.
Some expressive language concepts that you can target include: prepositions (e.g. – “under the water”), common phrases such as “turn on/off”, commenting (e.g.- temperature, “Oooo watch out for the red crab!”), action words (e.g. – “swimming”, “splashing”), requests (e.g. – “I need a towel”), and so much more! As for receptive language skills, there are so many directions you can give involving prepositions (e.g. – “put the dolphin on top of the water”), actions (e.g. – “make the starfish jump”), body parts (e.g. – “touch your hair”), multi-steps (e.g. – “give me the fish and then give me the net”), etc. It’s a great time to play and work with your child on anything because you are face-to-face with them and you both have each other’s undivided attention!
check out our Acciones Bebe Serie 2 iBook found on iTunes.
Now that your children are becoming more mobile you might be hearing yourself say “no” more often – or at least I do! ☺ Many children at this age are beginning to understand the concept of stopping a negative action when someone says “no”. They may cease doing the activity for a few seconds and return to it right away, which of course can be frustrating for the caregivers. Here are some ways to help with the concept of “no” or decrease negative/harmful behavior in general.
Use positive language – instead of always saying “no” you can spin it in a positive way; if your child is scratching or pulling hair say “put your hands down” or “nice touch” and show them how to gently touch people.
Firm tone – if you are going to use “no” make sure you are using a firm voice so they know you mean business otherwise they will have a difficult time differentiating between positive and negative behavior.
Be consistent – if you said “no” to something once and you do not want the behavior to reoccur make sure you are consistent; if you allow them to engage in the activity again they will think it is okay and keep doing it or throw a tantrum when you are not allowing them to take part in a negative behavior.
Use basic language to explain – you can accompany “no” with a brief explanation of what is expected; if your child is taking vegetables out of the refrigerator you can say “No that belongs in the refrigerator. We have to keep it cold”; this explains WHY you are saying “no” and gives the word more meaning; our children may be young but they understand more than we think!
Redirect your child/ignore – sometimes the best technique is to ignore the behavior completely and redirect them with something motivating whether it be a song, book, toy, or snack.
Now that your little one is on the go, you can begin working on intertwining receptive language tasks within everyday activities. Have them follow directions, which involve a different room, location, etc. – increasing the distance increases the difficulty of the command since something is out of sight. Feel free to use gestures and physical prompting as needed! Here are some ideas you can try ☺
Across the Room – “Come here” with gestures and then without.
Routine Activities – “Time for a bath”, “Time to eat”, “Time to get changed”, “Time to go outside”; Say these commands while you are standing in the designated area at first; with repetition of routine activities and the consistent phrases your child will begin to figure out where they are supposed to be at a certain time without prompting; have their days be predictable.
Tasks/”Errands” – “Go get the book”, “Go get the car”; place items in another room or further away to increase the difficulty of commands.
Many parents find that their children are difficult to understand when speaking at times. This short video talks about possible articulation errors.