We often assume that when we go to speech and language therapy, we will need to purchase lots of expensive, fancy resources and materials. Thankfully, that is not necessarily the case! There are lots of activities that we can do that don't cost anything! Free!
If you think about how children typically learn language ... it's by engaging with and observing daily routines and activities, interaction from peers and adults, and play. In fact, until we have to, we don't overtly notice how language is developing, it just emerges naturally! And before you know it, your child is negotiating one more piece of cake like an EU Brexit negotiator ... i.e. not giving an inch!!
Everyday Routines To Promote Language and Communication:
There are lots of activities in your home that you can utilise to teach language and capitalise on as a teachable moment or learning opportunity. Here is an example of just a few:
Grocery shopping trips
Going for a walk
Driving in the car
Play time - both 1:1 and with siblings
While engaging in these activities, a few simple strategies can help promote language use and create communicative opportunities:
Create repetition and routine with activities.
Model language - narrate what you are doing using nouns, verbs and adjectives, for example, "Mammy is cutting the carrots", "Look, it's orange", "Look, a cow. The cow says moo"
Language Expansion - when your child says a word or a phrase, expand it by adding more information. For example, your child says 'apple', you can say 'yes, green apple'.
Incorporate simple instructions into the routine - for example, one and two step instructions - "get the spoon and the plate", "give daddy the cup", "get the blue plate".
Create opportunities to communicate - hold back on giving items directly to your child. Instead, wait until your child shows interest in an item, then model the appropriate word, reinforcing any attempt to verbally request the item.
Use fill-in's - this can help children when using single words, by giving them the majority of the sentence and they just have to finish it off. For example, "this apple is green and this apple is _____".
Reduce the amount of questions that you ask. Instead, use the modelling and expansion technique mentioned above.
This is by no means a comprehensive list, but some ideas to get you started! And most importantly, remember to have fun! The best way to teach language and generalise it quickly, is to use naturally occurring situations and activities.
If you would like to find out more or have any questions, pop us an email or give us a call, and we will help as best as we can.
Best of luck!
The Speech Sound Clinic.