Hey there! Today I want to talk about how to incorporate language in your everyday lifestyles using basic items EVERYONE already has in their home. We all use language in so many different ways every day! Hungry? We use our WORDS to request food! Bored? We use our siblings to PLAY a game with us! Here are a few items for you to increase language exposure with your little one using items from home.
Language Skills Targeted: turn-taking/pretend play/symbolic play/functional play/labeling/requesting/expanding phrases/function of items
Turn-Taking: During this activity take turns with your child by pouring each other drinks. Use simple phrases such as, “my turn, your turn, who’s turn is it?”
Identifying Items: Ask your child, “where is the cup?” or request your child to bring you the cup. This allows the child to identify the objects on the table. This increases following directions, receptive language skills, and vocabulary.
Labeling Items: When in the kitchen ask your child to label the items you have out for them. Use basic phrases such as, “What is this?”
Requesting: Have you child request desired items using the phrases, “more,” “cup please,” or “want cup!” This increases your child’s expressive language skills!
Expand Utterances: Always build one-step ahead of your child when it comes to language! For example, if you child says the word “cup” you can expand by following their lead and saying, “want cup?”
Function of Items: Ask your child, “what do we do with a cup?”
Play is one of the simplest ways to expose your child to language in a way they ENJOY!
Functional Play: Drinking from the cup
Symbolic Play: Have your baby doll or stuffed animal join in on the fun! Help them drink from the cup.
Blankets: Engage in a Game of Peek-A-Boo
Language Skills Targeted: joint attention/play/vocalizations/turn-taking
Eye Contact: Engage in eye contact with your little when saying “peekaboo”
Joint Attention: Joint attention occurs when you and your little share attention on the same items! Encourage your child to look at you and the blanket together!
Turn-Taking: During this activity take turns with each other! If your little can’t do it alone assist by helping your child cover themselves with the blanket!
Pillows: Build a Pillow Fort
Language Skills Targeted: following basic directions/prepositions/increase verbalizations
Following Directions: Tell your child which pillow to use first and where to put it!
Prepositions: Be sure to use words such as “on, under, in-between, behind, etc.”
Increase Verbalization: Have you child use words to request the pillows such as “more, I want pillow, pillow please, etc.” You can also incorporate asking and answering questions by asking “where should this pillow go?”
I hope these three items help you increase language exposure for your children when at home! Remember to be creative, follow your child’s lead, and most importantly have FUN! Play is such an important part of our speech and language development!
Article by: Delilah Aguero, M.S., CCC-SLP
Have more questions about your child and their milestones? Contact us at Texarkana Therapy Center or try our online screening tool. You will be given a survey of age-appropriate milestones for speech, language, gross motor skills, fine motor skills and sensory processing for children ages 1-6.