With Mother’s Day around the corner I thought it timely to suggest ways to celebrate the day AND build your child’s language skills.
1. Make a Card for Mum or Grandma: Vocabulary, Writing, Answering Questions
If you prefer, have your child make a card for Grandma. Fold a piece of construction paper in half and have your child make a card. Ask your child to draw a picture of Mum or Grandma. Help them to remember all of the different body parts that a person needs, such as a head, eyes, ears, arms, etc. Then, have your child ‘sign’ their name. When you’re done, ask your child questions about Mum or Grandma. You can ask questions like:
- Why do you like Mum/Grandma?
- What does Mum/Grandma do?
- What does Mum/Grandma wear?
- Where do you go with Mum/Grandma (e.g., shops, park, beach)?
TIP: Try to ask a variety of different “wh-“ questions (who, what, where, when, why) so your child gets practice answering a wide variety of questions.
2. Playing Mummy: Pretend Play
Using pretend play skills are very important to language development. The ability to pretend (or use one thing to represent something else) is very connected to the ability to use language (where a word represents the real thing). Take some time to pretend play with your child by getting out some baby dolls and adopting the roll of ‘mum’. You can talk about all of the things that mummies do for babies, such as rocking them, feeding them, bathing them, etc. See if your child can imitate your pretend play or link to play schemes together, like feeding the baby and then putting her to sleep.
3. Mum’s Jobs: Vocabulary Building
This should be a fun one! Ask your child to create a list of all of the things that Mums do. Write them down for your child and have them illustrate the list. See what your child comes up with at first and then start helping them with things they might have forgotten. For example, you could say “What about your dirty clothes? What does Mum do with those?”. You might even like to talk about the huge number of jobs that are left to you and agree on 1 that your child could assist with. Not only will you have the chance to ‘talk’ as you do this, but you might even get some help around the house!