Play as a tool for Language Development – Getting Ready for Kindergarten Through Play
I think play is one of the best ways to promote language development! Here are a few fun ways to get your child to talking, thinking, and stretching vocabulary this summer:
Spending time outdoors is one of the best ways to get kids thinking! Nature is as intricate as things come, and being away from electronics and other distractions will open up a world of imaginative possibilities for play. We are very fortunate to have an incredible yard that we spend hours in, but I find that it’s going on walks that really gets my son talking. Do you need something to talk about? How about finding things in your neighborhood that match every color of the neighborhood? My kids also enjoy silly scavenger hunts, looking for things that don’t actually exist in our neighborhood, like fairy shoes and monster claws.
Many five-year-olds will happily listen to chapter books – especially if you read as they are falling asleep or let them play with blocks or draw while they listen. Reading outside is also very popular with my kids! Right now, Mike is reading (book links in this post are affiliate links) The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe to my kids, and they have spent many happy hours playing at being Peter, Susan, and Lucy. Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle is on our list to read later this summer (the first book in this series is my favorite). My kids also enjoy listening to audiobooks as they play.
Cook and Bake
Kindergarteners are expected to listen and follow instructions. Cooking and baking is a wonderful way to work on this skill – and great parent-child bonding time as well! You may even find your picky eater is willing to eat more foods if they are the one preparing them!
Get down on the floor and play with your kids! Right now you are incredibly funny and clever in your child’s world – enjoy it while it lasts! Play is a wonderful opportunity to have your child work on their narrative skills, and I find that playing with my kids is a great way to get some insight into what is on their minds.
Work Near Them
Most parents can’t simply play all day – we have other things we need (and want) to get done in the day! Where possible, I try to work near my kids. I still get glimpses of what they are doing, and I can certainly talk to them while I fold the laundry – or crochet.
This post is the first of eight in the Get Ready for K Through Play series I am working on with Bernadette of Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas, Megan at Coffee Cups and Crayons, Vicky at Mess for Less, Cerys at Rainy Day Mum, and Kristina at Toddler Approved. Here are this week’s posts:
Using Puppets for Language Development – Toddler Approved
Developing Kindergarten Language Skills – Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas
Language Experience Stories – Coffee Cups and Crayons
Language Skills: Create a Story Box – Mess for Less
Drop by our Get Ready for K Through Play Pinterest board for more ideas!
What are your favorite ways to get your kids thinking and talking?