Tips For Stimulating Your Child's Language Development
|As we approach the holidays, many of our homes become filled with the smell of freshly baked pies and cookies.
Did you know that baking with your child is a great way to stimulate his/her language development?
Here is an activity that can adapted to baking or cooking just about anything:
Choose a recipe that is not too complex and can be completed in a few steps
- Before you begin, explain the terms recipe and ingredients to your child
- Engage your child in the process as much as possible. Encourage him to help mix, measure and pour the ingredients
- Take pictures of your child completing each step in the recipe while talking him through the steps. Be sure to use sequencing words like first, next, then, last while explaining the steps.
- While the food is in the oven, print out the pictures
- Mix up the pictures and have your child try to sequence the steps in the correct order
- Using the pictures, have your child retell the procedure for completing the recipe
- Consider making a book with the pictures so that you can preserve the experience and use it for future reference. Have fun!!
As many of you probably already know, reading to your child is a great way to stimulate his language development.
Try to set aside time everyday to read to your child making it part of your daily routine.
Reading to young children is important because it helps build reading readiness skills: Understanding that we read from left to right, page turning, and understanding that the words on each page have meaning.
Here are some tips to consider when reading to your child:
Use these reading tips as a guide. You can adjust the difficulty of your questioning to meet the ability of your child. Most importantly, make reading fun!!
- Explain the terms title (the name of the story), author (the person who wrote the words), and illustrator(the person who drew the pictures) to your child
- Have your child help turn the pages
- Ask your child to comment about what he thinks of the pictures
- Stop at points throughout the book to assess your child’s comprehension of the events in the story. Ask ‘who, what, when, where’ questions. If your child has difficulty, go back and reread parts of the story.
- Ask more challenging ‘thinking’ questions (e.g. “How do you think (character in story) is feeling? Why?” “What would you do if you were (character)?” “What do you think (character) will do next?”)
- After reading the story, have a discussion about it. Ask your child his opinion of the book. Have him tell you his favorite part or a part that he did not like.
|Here are some general tips for increasing your child’s vocabulary. These tips can be applied to children from birth to age 5.
- Talk to your child as often as possible throughout the day. Talk about what you are doing and what your child is doing. By narrating your day, your child will learn to associate words with objects, actions and even feelings.
- When your child displays interest in an object, person or activity…go with the flow! Talk about whatever it is that has grabbed your child’s attention.
- Introduce your child to new words often, but don’t forget to repeat the old ones. The goal is a large vocabulary that contains a variety of word types (e.g. nouns, verbs, adjectives, etc…).
|Here are some general tips for helping your child develop conversational skills:
Remember to try and minimize background noise and distractions when conversing with your child! Give your child as much of your attention as possible.
- Respond to all of your child’s communication attempts (even if your child is only able to coo or babble). Doing so reinforces your child’s desire to communicate with you.
- Maintain eye contact with your child.
- Recast or imitate your child’s communication attempt and add to it.
- After you communicate with your child, pause and allow your child time to respond.
- By following the above tips, you will help your child learn basic conversational rules such as turn-taking, understanding facial expressions, understanding the needs of the listener when speaking and maintaining a topic.
- In order to maximize your older child’s language skills, encourage him/her to expand on ideas using several different sentences. Ask your child questions and encourage him to do the same. When asking your child questions, ask ones that require more than a yes or no response. Encourage your child to share his opinions with you and explain why he feels that way.