In For Parents, Tips & Tricks

Whether you’re enjoying the spring showers and sun in the Northern Hemisphere or watching the leaves turn during autumn in the Southern Hemisphere, changing seasons are great times to practice listening and extend your child’s listening skills.

Last week’s post was filled with activities to do outside. This week we share some ideas for inside activities including arts and crafts to help build your child’s listening and language skills.

 

Do Arts And Crafts

During a walk with your child, gather up some flowers or colored leaves. When you’re back at home, you can use these in a craft-making activity to reinforce the skills that you helped teach them while out on your walk (shared in last week’s post).

  • Gather up a variety of flowers or leaves, with different colors and shapes.
  • Talk with your child about the differences in the flowers and leaves that you’ve collected. Talk about the colors, shapes, sizes, smells, textures, and so on.
  • Talk with your child about similarities. Point out that “these leaves are both yellow” or “this red flower is bigger than that yellow flower.”
  • Talk about where you found each object. You can also talk about these experiences in an order as they happened, to help build your child’s sequencing skills: “First we went to the park and collected some yellow daffodils. After that, we walked to the pond and found some red tulips. At the end of our walk, we carried the flowers home.”
  • Once you’ve talked about the flowers, you can bring them all together to make some arts and crafts:
    • Ask your child to gather some crafts materials again through listening, like “Can you find the scissors in the cupboard?” or “Can you get the glue stick from the drawer?”
    • As you’re pressing the flowers or picking off some of the petals, talk with your child about different concepts. For example, you could say to them how “the glue is sticky,” “these petals are soft,” or “the scissors are sharp, so be careful.”
    • Have your child gather certain leaves into a bunch. For example, ask your child to “tie together the yellow flowers,” or “a red, purple, and yellow flower.”
    • Have your child glue leaves into certain places, and focus on location. For example, ask your child to “glue one leaf on the top of the tree,” or another in the “middle.” If your child is unable to find the location that you’ve said, turn this in to a ‘teaching’ moment, and show them where it is. Repeat the word that describes that location in several natural phrases, for example “Up here is the top corner. It’s up the top of the paper, and right over in the corner. Let’s glue this red leaf up here in the top corner.”
    • If you want to make these activities more difficult, just add in more information. For example, you might ask your child, “Put the big, green leaf on the top of the tree and the yellow leaf under the tree.
    • If you want to make these activities more difficult, just add in more information. For example, you might ask your child to get the “tall, yellow flower that has a green stem.”

 

Read Books

Reading books is always a great way to help reinforce the different words and concepts your child is learning.

  • Take a trip to the library with your child, and pick out some Autumn or Spring-time books that cover the different words and concepts of the season that you’re teaching them.
  • Go back home and read the books with your child. Let your child to ask questions and make comments while you’re reading together, and also make comments yourself during the story.
  • Try to make more comments than asking questions, because this will focus the reading session on teaching your child—instead of testing them.

 

Enjoy the changing season and all the language activities that you can do during this time!

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Ingrid Steyns
Ingrid Steyns is a certified Speech-Language Pathologist, Listening and Spoken Language Specialist and qualified Rehabilitation Counsellor. Ingrid currently works as a Rehabilitation Manager at MED-EL headquarters in Innsbruck, Austria, providing hearing implant rehabilitation training support globally.
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