Language activities for the holidays

Language can be taught with almost anything around us. By talking to your children about the things that you are doing, buying, making or seeing, you are stimulating their comprehension of language and expanding their vocabulary. It is even more important to listen to what your children have to say and keep conversational turns going. This way you will get an insight into their expressive language skills and vocabulary.

While shopping:

You could look out for numbers, talk about the categories of food like dairy, meats, fresh food etc. Name items like unusual fruits or vegetables and see how many of the more common ones they actually know. You could talk about where food is derived from e.g. honey is made by bees. You could give older children a list with clues like a treasure hunt and ask them to mark off the items they find.

At the playground:

Take along some old blankets and towels for imaginary play. Building tents or forts or pretending to be on a pirate ship. The playground is also a wonderful place to teach prepositions like over, under, between. To improve auditory memory, give each other 2 or more step instructions to complete e.g. touch your toes, run to the swing and come back.

In the car:

Listening to stories, songs or poems is invaluable in this day and age where children are constantly stimulated visually. Try to download age appropriate audio books from the library. Playing a game like 20 questions is great for encouraging convergent and divergent thinking as well as formulating questions in such a way that you extract the maximum amount of information through them.

Think back to the days before technology and get creative. The kids will love your participation and enthusiasm. Enjoy the holidays.

Tanya Collet