talk tree

Promoting Language at Home and Beyond

  • Below are simple and quick ways to encourage expressive and receptive language development at home and beyond! 

    • Pause after speaking. This gives your child a chance to process your words and respond.
    • Help your child learn new words. Say a new word, and tell him what it means, or use it in a way that helps him understand. For example, you can use the word "enormous" instead of "big."  You can say, "Look at that enormous truck. It is much bigger than that car." 
    • Talk about where things are, using location and sequencing words like "first," "middle," and "last" or "right" and "left." Talk about opposites like "up" and "down" or "on" and "off."
    • Play a guessing game! Say, "We use it to sweep the floor," and have her find the broom. Say, "It is cold, sweet, and good for dessert. I like strawberry" so she can guess "ice cream." 
    • Work on groups of items, or categories. Find the thing that does not belong in a group. For example, "A hat does not go with a banana and an orange because you can't eat it. It is not a fruit. A hat belongs to the clothing group" 
    • Help your child follow more that 1 step directions. Try for two- and three-step directions. Use words like, "Go to your room, and bring me your book."
    • Ask your child to GIVE directions. Follow his directions as he tells you how to complete a task.
    • Play games with your child such as "house." Let her be the parent, and you pretend to be the child. Talk about the different rooms and furniture in the house.
    • Read books together! Take turns....parent reads and then child reads. Stop the story and have her guess what might happen next. Talk about the characters. Are they happy or sad? Ask her to tell you what happened in the story. Act out a scene together, or make up a different ending.
    • Everyday tasks are wonderful ways to learn and expand language. For example, talk about the foods on the menu at a restuarant. When cooking at home, discuss the food and their color, texture, and taste when in the kitchen. Talk about where to put things. Ask him to put the napkin on the table, in your lap, or under the spoon. Talk about who items belong to (ex: This is John's book.)
    • Go grocery shopping together. Talk about what you will buy, how many things you need, and what you will make. Talk about sizes, shapes, and weight. 
    • Use the time in the car to ask and answer questions together (ex: Where are we going? When do you go to Mary's, Why are we going to the grocery store?). Use adjectives to describe things you see outside (Ex: The big brown leaves are on the ground.)