Speech At Christmas Time – loads of ideas.
I think we can all agree it has been an extraordinarily unordinary year. Between COVID-19 and online learning, can you believe Christmas holidays are just around the corner?
Between all of the demands of Christmas and school holidays, you may be thinking “how am I going to find time to support my child’s language development?”. The team at Peninsula Speech Plus understand parents and carers may be feeling a little overwhelmed this Christmas period, and have put together a collection of easy to implement language ideas for home practice.
Language development and Christmas tree decorating
Christmas tree decorating is a fantastic way to help your child develop their vocabulary. Here are some fun ways you can include language when decorating the Christmas tree at home. You may even be able to practice these skills when it’s time to pack away those decorations too.
For many little ones, Christmas decorations only come out once a year, now is the perfect time to expose them to lots of new words associated with Christmas. Start by modelling new words with the object visible and ask your child to copy you before placing them on the Christmas tree. Once your child has mastered these new words ask them to tell you what objects they want to hang on the tree. For those older children, get them to use their new words in a sentence “hang the bauble” or “find the green tinsel”.
This is a great opportunity to work on requesting with your child. We want to support children in their ability to request for items and things that they need/want. Ask your child to use “I want _____” or “Can I have ___” when requesting a decoration.
If you want to step it up, introduce the use of some adjectives. A good way to encourage your child to use more adjectives is to provide a model “did you want the red or green bauble?” or “did you want the shiny bauble or the sparkly bauble?”
Working on prepositions with Elf on the shelf
Traditionally, Elf on the shelf is one of Santas special helpers sent from the North Pole to encourage kids to behave in the lead up to Christmas. At our house, Elf on the shelf is never in the same place for long and is always finding new locations to keep a watchful eye from. Moving your Elf all around the house is the perfect opportunity to work on those prepositions (e.g., next to, opposite, under, on top of, beside, against). This activity can be done at any time of the day or throughout the day, depending on how easy it is for your Elf to move around the house.
Use your elf as a visual prompt and start by asking the child to name the object the elf is sitting on/under/behind. For example.
Parent: “The elf is under the?”
This is a great way for parents and carers to provide a model for the target words (e.g., next to, opposite, under, on top of, beside, against).
Once the child is able to master this step, see if they are able to use the target word/words in a sentence.
Parent: “Where is the Elf? The elf is ____ ”
Child: “…under the table”.
If your child is having difficulty producing the correct response, no worries, provide them with a model. Providing a model by using the target sentence or word for them and asking them to copy you “The elf is under the table”.
If your child produces an incorrect response, never fear, use the below as a starting point for supporting your child to produce the correct response.
Child: “The elf is on the table”
Parent: “The elf is on the table? I think the elf is under the table, look”
Hint: Point to the top of the table as you correct your child’s response, this helps them visualise the link between a location and its associated word/words.
Remember to give lots of praise even if the child is not producing the desired response. You can say to your child “I love how you thought about your answer” or “I can tell you are thinking really hard”.
Have a great festive season everyone!