Spring into Language
Tired of being cooped up inside during a chilly Indiana winter? Don’t worry! It’s finally springtime which means it’s time to head outside to play! You’ll find there are plenty of things in your own backyard that can lead to language-rich activities for you and your child. Planting flowers in pots or in your garden provides opportunities for kids young and old to learn new language. Expose your child to new vocabulary through labeling all the items you use (soil/dirt, seeds, watering can, shovel) or, for older kiddos, the parts of a flower (stem, petal, leaf). Emphasize new verbs through phrases like “pour the water”, “dig a hole”, and “plant the flower.” Remember to describe what you see, smell, and feel throughout the experience through words like squishy, dry, wet, and size words like big, and small. Prepositions are also a great target for early language. Expose your child to these words through phrases like “put it in the dirt”, “pour water on top of the flowers”, and “take the seeds out of the bag.” Another opportunity to use all these language ideas is during a nature walk around your local park, gardening store, or neighborhood. There is so much to see, hear, and smell during the spring like chirping birds, crunching leaves, and fragrant flowers! So get out there and dig into these great outdoor activities. Plant the seeds of language and watch your child grow!
Madeline Hayden, M.S., CF-SLP
Speech Language Pathologist
St. Joseph Institute for the Deaf