Top Three Activities to Boost Language

"Books, music and sensory play are a great place to start", says Charlotte Lau.  

 

Books


"Books and doors are the same thing. You open them, and you go through into another world" - Jeanette Winterson. 

Children need to hear many words often. Books are a fabulous way to teach new words as they often include unfamiliar words that they don’t often hear in everyday conversations. The same words are repeated throughout the book which helps children to hear and understand the words. 

Children learn new words when they are interested. Books capture your child’s attention with colourful pictures and with interactive parts to feel and flaps to lift. Books cover a range of themes (e.g., vehicles, animals, dinosaurs, pirates). There’s bound to be a theme that tickles your child’s fancy. 

Here are some recommendations: 

  • Colourful, realistic photos are a great option for a younger child (under 24 months).
  • Manipulatives (flaps, tabs, pop ups) may encourage children with language impairments to use language and increase their participation. 

Music

 
“Music is powerful. As people listen to it, they can be affected. They respond”
– Ray Charles.  


Children tune into their mother’s singing voices more readily than their speaking voices. Music is pleasing to their brains and gets them ready to learn. Songs can teach so many new skills to improve your child’s communication, play and interaction. 

Children can learn gestures through songs. Gestures are important for early communication. It helps them to understand that actions and words having meaning. You can model the gestures and see if your child imitates you, eventually they many use them spontaneously. If your child seems interested but doesn’t copy your actions, don’t despair! They may need some help. You can help him by taking his hands and doing it together with him.   

Here are some recommendations: 

  • Songs with actions are more engaging, for example, “If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands…”. It will give your little one who may not be using words yet a chance to participate with gestures. 

Sensory Play

“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn”
– Benjamin Franklin.


Children learn best through play and exploration. It captivates their senses including their eyes, ears, nose, mouth, touch, balance or movement. 

Sensory play provides opportunities for your child to understand how things feel, such as textures and temperatures and promotes their cognitive and gross and fine motor development. You can add language for your child to hear during sensory play. This can include descriptive words like ‘slimy’, ‘squishy’, ‘cold’, and ‘wet’ or action words like ‘pouring’, ‘scooping’ and ‘filling’. 

Here are some recommendations: 

  • Things you can find in the house can become sensory play, like rice, pasta, salt, shaving cream, buttons, water, pebbles, beads. You can even make your own with a few ingredients from your pantry. There are lots recipes available online:

https://www.bestrecipes.com.au/recipes/playdough-recipe/oyycpq9f
https://eatingrichly.com/kinetic-sand-recipe/

  • There are readily available materials at shops like water beads, kinetic sand, play dough. 

Charlotte Lau
is a Certified Practising Speech Pathologist
info@speechinfocus.com.au
02 8065 1197

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Every child is different. A speech pathologist can further guide you on how you can use these activities to boost your child’s language skills. Please call us on (02) 8065 1197 to make an appointment today.