Promote Speech and Language Development
in Everyday Activities
Wish you had more time to sit with your child and read books? Books are wonderful tools for speech and language development (especially Babble Books), but sometimes life gets in the way and you need to make dinner or put the laundry away. Encourage speech and language development during everyday, mundane tasks by using these simple techniques.
- Describe what you are doing as you are doing it. "I am going to wash the lettuce to make sure it is clean before we eat it. Then, I am going to chop it up so it's easier to chew."
- Ask questions and give your child ample time to answer and expand or brainstorm.
"What other foods do we wash? Could there be bugs on our fruits/veggies? What kind of bugs live in the dirt/in trees? What do they look like?"
- Explain everything. Children are naturally curious, encourage their curiosity. "Lettuce grows in the ground. Sometimes farmers grow it, but we can grow it in the backyard as well. To grow lettuce you need dirt, seeds, water, and sun. It starts under the ground, but as it grows you will see the leaves popping up out of the dirt."
- Talk about colors, shapes, smells, taste, textures, sounds... "The lettuce is green, but sometimes, when we don't use it quickly enough, it can spoil and it becomes a darker green and slimey. When lettuce is old, it doesn't taste as good as when it is fresh."
- Ask the child to help. You can work on your child's receptive language by encouraging them to follow directions while working on spatial concepts. "Please set the table and place the fork under the napkin and the spoon next to the fork."
- Reflect/review with your child. After you're done with your task, you can talk with your child and ask them to describe what you did together. Ask if they have any questions and expand on areas that are unclear. This is a great opportunity for conversation and can be used to model good sentences and appropriate conversational discourse.
Remember: Every single moment of every single day can be used to
enrich your child's life with speech and language activities.