Today’s Parent Tip is brought to you by
Cleveland Hearing & Speech Center
Consider focusing on a theme to build speech and language skills during winter break. This is a fun way to keep everyone (including parents) active during cold days.
First, identify a theme. Cleveland Hearing & Speech Center’s language theme for January is: “All About Me.” Then, start to gather books, crafts, songs, snacks, and go on field trips related to your theme.
Developing a robust vocabulary not only helps children when they are expressing themselves, but also aids in increased comprehension and literacy skills. Targeting and expanding vocabulary is as simple as reading a book with your children, repeating new vocabulary throughout the week, and expanding the meaning of those new words. Vocabulary for “All About Me” can focus on body parts, senses, feelings, and families.
The program below is aimed more for preschool to Kindergarten aged children, but can easily be adapted to include children of all ages and abilities by increasing or decreasing the complexity of the activities. Making language learning fun can be accomplished through the following activities for the “All About Me” theme:
Some book suggestions to use include:
“The Foot Book” by Dr. Seuss
“From Head to Toe” by Eric Carle
“Eyes, Nose, Fingers and Toes” by Judy Hindley
“Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See?” by Bill Martin Jr.
“My Many Colored Days” by Dr. Seuss
“Today I Feel Silly” by Jamie Lee Curtis
“Is Your Mama a Llama?” by Deborah Guarino
Language concepts to work on at home when reading together and retelling the story are: naming pictures/objects, naming colors, increasing sentence length when speaking, following directions, answering questions appropriately, sequencing, staying on topic, and turn-taking. Let your child tell the story by having them point to the pictures, starting from the beginning and working their way to the end. Let them “read” this book to you many times. Repeat, repeat, repeat — and make it fun!
Field trips may include a trip to your local children’s museum, science center, and library.
A snack to make for “All About Me” could be as simple as a decorated cookie that looks like “me.”
Songs could include “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes” and “If You’re Happy and You Know It.”
Language activities could be a pretend birthday party, smelly jars, or Simon Says.
Activity Idea: Play out a birthday party script
- Ask children, “When is your birthday?” Discuss what you do on your birthday or at a party.
- Have children use a toy phone to call and invite friends/relatives to his/her birthday party (first discuss what the child will tell the person on the other end of the phone.)
- Make a cake out of a ball of play dough for each child. Help each child figure out how many candles they will need to stick into the cake (how old they are now.)
- Wear party hats, sing the “Happy Birthday” song and play party games, like pin the tail on the donkey.
The main thing is to have fun and keep communicating! For more information about speech, language and learning programs at Cleveland Hearing & Speech Center, visit www.chsc.org/speech or call 216-231-8787.