Warmer weather is finally here (or so we’re told). Along with spring weather comes new opportunities to learn language while getting outside and having fun.
Go for a walk
A simple walk around the block can include many opportunities to help your child expand his/her vocabulary. As we all know, spring in Chicago means construction. Children love watching the construction vehicles and talking about what they see. Name the vehicles and their actions as your child watches in awe. You can also talk about airplanes, bicycles, and animals as they pass. Try skipping, jumping, or clapping as you walk, and see if your child will imitate your actions. Building gross motor imitation skills is very helpful for language learning.
Go to the park
The playground is a great place for children to learn to interact with their peers. When it is nice outside it is almost a guarantee that you will run into other young children who can act as language models for your child. This may also provide a great opportunity for your child to work on early social skills like turn-taking.
Take a trip to the zoo
Did you know that admission to the Lincoln Park Zoo is completely free? A trip to the zoo will provide a great opportunity to talk to your child about animals, and animal sounds. The Lincoln Park Zoo also has a great sing-a-long for young children every Wednesday and Friday morning at 9:15 and 10:00 a.m. at the Main Barn in the zoo’s Farm-in-the-Zoo.
Meryl Schnapp M.A., CCC-SLP