As the weather turns warm and the grass starts to green, outdoor play is upon us! Here are some fun and effective ways to improve your child’s language skills while enjoying the outdoors.
Have your child practice naming categories or listing items from a category. For example, have your child name 3-5 different animals that you can find outside. Have your child name 3-5 items that are at a playground. Have your child name 3-5 items in a garden. You could also list 3-5 items from a category and ask your child what category the items belong to.
Playing ‘I spy’ can work on your child’s ability to ask and answer questions. Pick an object you see and have your child ask you questions to figure out what your object is. Then have your child pick an object and you can answer questions so that you can figure out what his/her object is.
Have your child help you prepare something and break the tasks into 1-2 steps at a time. For example, ‘Carry the sandwich buns outside and open the bag.’ ‘Place a bun on each plate.’
Have your child tell you about an event or activity he/she did using sequential concepts (ex. ‘first’, ‘second’, ‘then’, ‘last’). You could tell him/her about an event or story using sequential concepts and then have him/her re-tell it. For example, ‘First you were playing on the swings, next you went to the sandbox, and then you came into the house’ and have your child re-tell what you told them.
Categories, questions, directions, and sequential concepts are just a few ways to help your child build their language while being outside. Working on these skills can be fun and the change of weather presents many opportunities to do so!