Spring is finally here! The birds are chirping, the flowers are blooming, and we are spending more time outside with our little ones. Here are some fun ways to incorporate language and listening into your springtime activities:
- Pretend Play: Target your child’s pretend play skills and vocabulary by finding puppets or stuffed animals of different critters you see in the springtime. Then act out their motions and/or the sounds they make. For example, you can “flap, flap, flap” your wings like a butterfly, “tweet, tweet, tweet” like a bird, “hop, hop” like a frog, or “buzz-zzz-zzz” like a bumblebee.
- Listening Walk: Practice your child’s detection skills. Take a stroll around your neighborhood listening for springtime sounds. Draw attention to the sound “Listen, I hear something!” then label what you hear, “I hear a bird, tweet tweet!” If you can, bring your child’s visual attention to the source of the noise as well (i.e. point to the bird) and repeat, “I hear the bird! tweet tweet!”
- Planting Flowers: Get hands-on and messy with your little one and plant some flowers together! Here’s a little song you can teach them while you are gardening together. Once they are familiar with the song, try leaving off the last word and see if they can fill it in for you (auditory closure)!
- Bugs: Target your little one’s vocabulary and gross motor skills by acting out different actions that bugs do. You can hop like a grasshopper, crawl like a caterpillar, spread your wings like a butterfly, climb like a spider or move slowly like a snail/slug.
- Bubbles: Develop your child’s oral motor skills by blowing bubbles on a breezy day! From early on, children can learn to blow and become motivated by seeing bubbles stream out from the bubble wand. Show your child how you round your lips and blow–you can even blow on their face and watch them light up! If they are having difficulty at first, blow a bubble, catch it on the bubble wand, and have them try to blow it off the wand as a first step.