In For Parents, Tips & Tricks

As the school holidays are approaching, here is a summer-themed activity to complete together with your child at home. We will share ideas for different ways you can use this activity to develop your child’s listening and talking.

First, download the ocean-themed handout for the following activities here

 

For Young Children (Two-Three Years Old)

  1. Print the attached animal pictures.
  2. Talk with your child while you cut out each of the pictures. Name each of the animals, but also talk about what they look like, where they live, how they move and what they might eat. This will help your child to learn the name of each animal but also many other words that are linked to each of the animals; helping to extend their vocabulary. For example; This one is a crab. It has a hard shell to protect it. It has 8 legs and 2 pincers. You have to be careful because the pincers are very strong. Crabs live in the rocks. 
  3. Take a large piece of paper and draw the top of the water, rocks, and some sand. Talk to your child about what you are drawing while you do so. You might like to show your child a picture from a children’s book about the beach or show them a photograph of a trip to the beach or a lake to help them to understand what you are making together. You will stick the animal pictures on the paper together.
  4. Arrange the animal pictures in a pile face down and place the large piece of paper in front of your child.
  5. Pick up an animal picture, talk about what the picture is and then show it to your child. Talking about the picture before showing it will help your child to focus on listening to your words. For example; It’s an animal that has very sharp teeth, and a pointed fin on it’s back. It’s the shark.
  6. Decide with your child where the animal should go on the paper. Talk about the locations to teach your child these concepts. Emphasise location words to help them to stand out to your child. For example; The shark could swim at the top of the water, next to the rocks, or at the bottom of the ocean. Where do you want to stick it?
  7. Take turns picking up the animal cards, describing them and then deciding together where to stick the animal in the ocean. Encourage your child to describe the picture for you when it is their turn. This might be difficult for them. Maybe they can use the name of the animal or label the color. Then you can provide more descriptors when they show you the picture.
  8. When all the animals are stuck on the paper, paint over the top with blue watercolor paint, or cover the page with blue cello wrap to represent the water.
  9. Display your collage on the fridge or on a wall so that your child and family can continue to talk about the animals, what is happening in the picture and the process of making the collage together. You may also continue to use the collage for ‘I spy’ guessing games to continue to develop your child’s auditory memory and vocabulary development by listening to the descriptions (or clues) you give.

 

For Older Children (Three Years And Older)

  1. Print the attached animal pictures.
  2. Talk with your child while you cut out the animal pictures together. Name each of the animals, but also talk about what the animals look like, where they live, how they move and what they might eat. This will help your child to learn the name of each animal but also many other words that are linked to each of the animals; helping to extend their vocabulary. For example; This one is a seal. Seals are mammals and have dense fur and thick layers of fat (known as blubber) to keep them warm in the ocean.  Seals swim and dive in the ocean. Often you can see seals sitting on rocks in the sun. Seals eat small fish.
  3. Take a large piece of paper and ask your child to draw the top of the water, rocks and some sand. Talk to your child about what you are making together and link this to what they already know about the ocean. You may do this by talking about a familiar children’s book or film, or a trip to the beach.
  4. Arrange the animal pictures in a pile face down and place the large piece of paper in front of your child.
  5. Pick up an animal picture, describe the animal and then encourage your child to guess what it is. Talking about the picture before showing it will help your child to focus on listening to your words. It will also support their auditory memory as they must remember your clues and piece them together to guess the animal. It’s an animal that has flippers and a pointed nose. It has a rounded fin on its back. If your child is unsure, give them more clues such as the color or the first sound in the name. If your child is interested in finding out more about any of the animals, look up further facts using the internet together.
  6. Decide with your child where the animal should go on the paper. Use location words, rather than pointing to teach your child these concepts. Emphasise location words to make them stand out to your child. The shark could swim at the top of the water, near the rocks, next to the octopus, or at the bottom of the ocean. Where do you want to stick it?
  7. Take turns picking up the animal cards and describing them. Encourage your child to describe the picture for you when it is their turn. This might be difficult for them. Maybe they can use the name of the animal or label the color. Then you can provide more descriptors when they show you the picture.
  8. Encourage your child to give you instructions about where to stick the animal once you have guessed. This will let them use location words in short phrases.
  9. When all the animals are stuck on the paper, paint over the top with blue watercolor paint, or cover the page with blue cello wrap to represent the water.
  10. Display your collage on the fridge or on a wall so that your child and family can continue to talk about the animals, what is happening in the picture and the process of making the collage together.

 

Looking for more rehab activities you can do at home with your child? Find out how you can use the MED-EL Lesson Kits to develop your child’s listening and language skills at home. And if you’re interested in more shared book reading, the Murat Reader Series is a great resource for that.


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