This week we’ve been chatting with parents about they can create more than a chocolate rich Easter…a language rich one too! Here are three of our top tips for weaving lots of language into Easter with children:
Join the hunt
This is a fantastic opportunity to teach them lots of location words. Walk alongside your child and talk about where they are finding the eggs. It might sound a little something like “Wow, there’s one in the corner. Oh, another on the floor. Here’s one under the lounge. Oh gosh, there’s one on the chair.”. Try to avoid using what’s called non-specific language to describe the location of the eggs. These are words such as ‘here’ and ‘there’. Here’s an example, “there’s an egg over there” rather than “there’s an egg under the tree”. The reason…in the second comment your child is learning what ‘under the tree’ means, three more words than the first comment. And yes, you may need to talk quickly as they’ll be on the move!
Sort the eggs
Another great activity is to sit with your child and sort their eggs together. It can be very tempting to count the eggs but this alone doesn’t add much language. Instead, try adding lots of descriptive language while you’re sorting. Talk about the size, colour, texture of the eggs. Comments like “you have two large, rough eggs” and “here’s a small, shiny red egg” give your child lots of opportunities to learn more language. Most children love sorting so let them take the lead. You add the language, and remember, if they know one word, such as ‘big’, teach them another that has a similar meaning, such as ‘large’.
It’s quite likely you’ll be doing some cooking over the Easter break and perhaps you may have a little more time than usual up your sleeve (or at least an extra set of helping hands with your partner at home!). This makes a perfect time to involve your child in the food preparation. The thought of cooking with a child certainly strikes fear into many parents but let’s stick to the motto of everything in moderation. Choose one easy meal or snack and get your child to help you. Then, it’s a matter of talking out loud about what you’re doing and what you would like your child to do. It’s such a fabulous opportunity for your child to learn about following instructions, sequencing (e.g. first, then, next, last) and add words to their vocabulary. Some practical advice…1. have a step in the kitchen they can stand on or make the food at the dining table 2. allow lots of extra time 3. be prepared for mess!
We hope you have a wonderfully language (and chocolate) rich Easter!