Parent's Guide / Language Skills
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... . ... Take an active role in your children's development.
Use this site to help your child learn to:

Babies learn to speak in stages. First they babble, then they practice making individual sounds. Next they string sounds together to speak words. As toddlers, they begin to string words together. Older children speak in sentences and begin to ask questions. We should surround all of our children with language by entering into conversations with them many times throughout the day.

Some of the ways we can foster language development are to:

Read or say nursery rhymes to your child so they can hear the rhythm and flow of our language. Related ONLINE ACTIVITY: Six popular Nursery Rhymes.
Sing simple songs with them.
Use body language in songs, stories, and in everyday activities (shrug your shoulders, shake your head, etc.)
Name objects as you both look at them and...
  • Set out a group of common objects and have your child name them and discuss different attributes (size, color, weight, shape).
  • Name and touch body parts using rhymes, games, and songs.
  • Group and name objects that go together.
  • Ask your child riddles - children love to guess the answer.
  • Related ONLINE ACTIVITY: Use our Animal Riddles or our Transportation Riddles.
Introduce new words...
  • Through stories.
  • Through looking at magazines together and discussing them.
  • On neighborhood walks.
  • By making word cards with a word and its picture.
  • Through lotto games (picture Bingo games found at children's gift stores).
  • On signs in your environment.
  • Related ONLINE ACTIVITY: Try our playful method of introducing new words. See: Word Puppies. Use our sample lesson about Alaska and create some of your own.
Engage in one-to-one conversations between you and your child in which you...
  • Model correct pronounciation and grammar (Don't always correct your child, simply restate their words using correct language. They will learn, slowly but surely.)
  • Related ONLINE ACTIVITY: Model the correct way to describe Spatial Concepts such as up, down, over and under. Use our illustrations online or print and cut out a set of animals to place over, under, beside, and above things in your house.
  • Model using complete sentences.
  • Model listening and responding to each other.
  • Model how to ask a question and how to answer.
  • Related ONLINE ACTIVITY: Introduce and discuss Opposites.
Engage in conversations about their likes and dislikes.
Tell simple stories which involve the children responding.
Read favorite stories over and over and then let your child tell them to you.
Ask lots of open-ended questions (questions which cause them to think and which require more than a yes or no answer - for example: "How did you make that picture?").
Play with your child and talk as you play...
  • In the house.
  • Outside.
  • Using objects you have found to stimulate imaginative situations.
  • Fill a box with objects and ask the child to tell who might own them (ex. a pizza wheel, spatula, fake pizza ingredients, pizza pan), then play with them.
  • Related ONLINE ACTIVITY: Make a pizza online together. Talk about it and think of other ways to use the ingredients, such as making funny faces.
Encourage writing activities.
  • Record your child's favorite _____ (color, shape, animal, activity) and reread their answer to them next month. Discuss the changes and write down the new answers.
  • Begin writing a poem and have them help you rhyme it.
  • Have children predict what will happen in a certain situation and record it. Later, follow up and see if the predictions came true.
  • Related ONLINE ACTIVITY: Encourage your child to "write" a story with your help. See our Young Writers Workshop for instructions and 48 free Story Starters.
Model using words with sounds your child has a problem saying.
  • Play word games using the sound.
  • Each time you hear a word with the sound, you both repeat it.
  • Notice when the sound is used correctly; do not notice incorrect usage.

Parent's Guide
Language Skills
Listening Skills
Writing Skills
Reading Skills
Social Skills
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1998, 2018, Susan Jindrich. All rights reserved.
... . ... Story Starters Pizza Opposites Spatial Concepts Word Puppies Transportation Riddles AnimalRiddles Nursery Rhymes
Downloadable versions of the following activities are available through the Meddybemps Store. These are for use without a computer and are optimized for printing. Many include additional material.
Animal Riddles
Spatial Concepts
Story Starters