The northeast is gearing up for a blizzard tomorrow (bring on the snow Stella!). This means you most likely will be at home all day with your child, as most schools will be closed. Snow days are a great time to relax and spend time with your family. Here are 10 activities you can do on a snow day with your child to help increase language skills.
1. Build a snowman
Help your child talk about how to make a snowman prior to going outside. When you’re outside, talk about what you are doing to create the snowman (i.e. rolling the snow, patting the snowball, putting on a nose).
2. Draw and color a snowman
Is it too cold outside to build a real snowman? Then keep the fun inside. Talk with your child about the components of a snowman (i.e. three snowballs, a carrot nose, two eyes). Have your child request for the crayons to draw and color the snowman (i.e. “I want the red”). After completing the drawing, have your child describe what he/she drew (i.e. “I drew three circles”, “I drew a mouth”).
3. Read a snowy book
There are a many number of books about snow. A few of my favorites include; The Snowy Day, There Was a Cold Lady Who Swallowed Some Snow!, and Pete the Cat: Snow Daze (My First I Can Read). Ask your child questions throughout the book to keep them engaged. Have your child talk about what he/she see on the pages.
4. Play a game
There are so many great games that help to promote language skills. Take a look at my previous post about 5 games that are great for increasing language skills. Games are also great to work on turn-taking skills.
5. Make hot chocolate
Have your child help you make this delicious treat. Your child can help pour the chocolate, stir the drink, and spray the whipped cream. See if they can tell you after the steps they took to make this drink.
6. Play I Spy
Choose things around the house to describe to help increase your child’s comprehension and listening skills. For example, “I spy with my little eye…something brown, rectangular, has four legs, and you eat dinner at it” (table). See if your child is able to describe an object to you to work on expressive language skills as well.
7. Build with blocks/legos
Stay in control of the blocks and have your child request for each block. Help your child to use phrases or sentences when requesting to increase utterance length (i.e. “want blue” or “I want the red block”).
8. Do a puzzle
Have your child request for puzzle pieces to work on expanding utterances. Model longer utterances for your child during the activity. Please read my previous post on the best puzzle for language development.
9 .Play with playdough
Your child can request for colors and cutters. You can also talk about what you are doing with the dough (i.e. squeezing the dough, rolling the doll, and pushing the dough). For more information on using playdough for language developing click here.
10. Practice categorizing
Have your child find things around the house that are related. For example, ask your child to find five things that are red or five things that are round.
Stay safe and warm during the blizzard!