The great thing about language is that it is all around us, in virtually everything we do. With every season, every event and every experience comes an abundance of opportunities to help our children to learn and use new language ideas.
Take, for example, the holiday season ahead. For those who celebrate Christmas, there is a whole raft of vocabulary which is ripe for learning:
These might be words associated with the Christmas story (manger, crib, Frankincense, Myrrh, swaddled, census)
Or other associated activities: tinsel, candy canes, the eve of Christmas, the Queen’s speech, turkey, sprouts and ‘pigs-in-blankets’!
Activities such as wrapping up a present, putting up the tree, or making a snowman are all a sequence of events; important skills for understanding language, explaining order and position
It is also a great time for problem-solving: what if the tree is too big to fit in the room? What if the lights don’t work? What if the label has fallen off the present?!
And it’s a great time to reflect on what happened, what is happening and what will happen next – an opportunity to try out lots of verb tenses.
But where do you start? Sometimes ‘language’ can feel so big, that it is difficult to break it down into smaller steps, particularly for children who have Speech Language and Communication Needs.
At home, start with an activity that you know your child loves and add the language to that activity. At school, the vocabulary and topics towards the end of term led themselves perfectly. Take some time to consider the opportunity and add the language. ‘The opportunity' might be the queue for Christmas dinner, the process of designing a Christmas card or retelling and sequencing a winter tale.
Here at Speech and Language Link, we are passionate about supporting children to develop their speech and language skills through fun activities which can happen everywhere: At school, at home and out and about.
And so, this holiday season, we have put together activities, videos and advice on how you can support speech and language development through fun, topical activities.
Our first activity is a fun language placemat – great for keeping children occupied at the dinner table, with lots of fun language activities to play together.
Keep a lookout for more activities and videos in the coming weeks. We would love to hear how you get on. Enjoy!