Talking about your environment and simply going outside with your child are some of the most natural, fun ways to spark his or her interest and develop language skills! You don't need to buy new toys or activities either. You can use some simple household objects to create something new. Your child will have just as much fun making these crafts as they will playing with them!
How's the Weather?
Start by talking about how the weather is today with your child. Watch and listen to this fun song that explains different types of weather:
Look outside with your child. Give your child choices to help him or her describe what it's like. For example you can ask, "Is it sunny or rainy?". Talk aloud about what you see to model simple phrases for your child to repeat, such as "I see clouds". This will help your child to have a larger, more rich vocabulary that includes describing words!
Sunny Scavenger Hunt
On a nice, sunny day you and your child can take a nature walk and do a scavenger hunt along the way! Write your own list of things to find, or download one like this from TheMeasuredMom.com:
To develop your child's comprehension skills, ask him or her yes/no or where questions along the way. For example, "Is that a flower?" or "Where is the cloud?". Narrate everything you see as you point to it, and your child will soak up new vocabulary words and learn how to form simple sentences!
Rain, Rain, Go Away!
Rainy days can be just as fun! Put on those rain boots and get out an umbrella for your walk. Make a DIY rain stick with your child out of household objects. Fill a paper towel or toilet paper roll with beans or rice. Then, close the sides up with construction paper or painter's tape. Your child can paint or color the rain stick and even decorate it with stickers. For younger children, say simple two or three-word phrases in a fun, sing-song way as you do this craft. For example, "more blue" or "paint on". Your child will likely start to do the same! With older children, talk about the steps involved in the craft and ask them to retell how they made it at the end.
Read All About It
Talk about the environment and weather in the books your read with your child! Point out clues in the pictures of the books - things like the sun, clouds, what the characters are wearing. Encourage your child to use his or her inferencing skills by guessing what the weather is like in the story.
No matter what the weather is like, your child will enjoy spending time outdoors with you and these simple strategies can help his or her language skills flourish!
Amy Yacoub, MS, CCC-SLP | Speech Pathologist
Proud Member of The Story Box Family