Activities that Promote Children’s Speech and Language Skills
Jo Ann Gramlich, Children’s Speech Pathologist
There are many engaging interactive activities that you can participate in with your child during the early years of childhood in order to help them learn, understand and use language. This blog will introduce you to some of the most effective ways to make it possible for children to enhance their language skills during the developmental years. Here are some of the most productive activities that help promote speech and language development:
Share Experiences During a Meal
Talking to children is the most effective way to expand their vocabulary and expose them to new words. Whenever you have time to talk to your children, always encourage them to share their daily experiences, discoveries, and feelings during your gatherings such as meal time or snack time. This is the perfect time to have meaningful conversations while enjoying a meal together. These regular exchanges will help them better understand new words. Also, your child’s imagination can be stimulated if you use descriptive and colorful details when you are engaging in discussions with them. Most likely, you will hear your child using some of the expressive words that you’ve introduced in the following days.
Schedule Reading Time
Make it a habit to read with your children everyday so that they are learning new language concepts and vocabulary words. Reading is a productive way of improving most of their expressive and receptive language skills. Keep them engaged by having them turn the pages, point and label picture vocabulary words, and identify language concepts. Also, once you have read a sentence or two make sure they understand the related details by asking a few questions and have them repeat the information back to you.
Jo Ann Gramlich has authored books with fun and interactive activities that can be played during daily routines and playtime when children under the age of five experience the majority of their learning experiences. The games and activities within her books give little ones an opportunity to talk, play, read, interact, learn, use and understand language.
Introduce New Songs Everyday
Fingerplays, musical songs, and nursery rhymes are a great way for young children to develop their speech and language skills. Children can learn new words by increasing their expressive and receptive vocabulary, grasping the sounds of words, and hearing the rhythm of language. They can gain large and small motor skills by performing body movements recommended in fingerplays. In addition, when children sing, they are exercising their lips and tongues. Memory and social skills are also strengthened and increased by participating in fingerplays, songs, and rhymes as well. You can turn on some of their favorite nursery rhymes and musical sing-a-longs and let them listen and perform during daily routines anytime throughout the day. You can even sing bedtime stories and encourage them to join you.
Encourage Pretend Games
If they are exposed to watching or listening to adventurous stories, children will most likely want to become one of the characters. They will immensely enjoy acting out fun character roles during present play. When they do this, they will attempt to utter the words, phrases, or sentences that they’ve heard their favorite characters say. When this happens, it means that they already know the meaning of those words. So, get your little ones involved in role play because this will help to spark their imagination and skillful mind. Pretend play will allow them to explore their creative abilities and enhance their speech and language skills during the early years and going forward. You can even act out your favorite character and join them in playing the game.
In the first years of a child’s life, you can witness the most remarkable physical, social, cognitive, and emotional growth. This development should always be reinforced to help your child advance in these skill areas. Speech and language skills are also one of the most vital parts of their development. These developmentally appropriate games and activities will help your children flourish as they journey through the world.