One great way to increase vocabulary and cognitive skills in your child is to teach them association or categorization skills. By doing so, your child will increase his/her ability to distinguish between similar or different items, and learn how to think more critically about why something belongs or why it doesn’t. The website below allows your child to categorize items based on the place that you would usually find them. You can name the items with your child to work on vocabulary. Ask your child why certain items belong, and why certain items do not belong. If your child can not answer accurately, you can help by starting a sentence and having your child fill it in. For example, you could say: “The pan belongs in the restaurant because the chef needs it to ___.”
Summer is near! Your children will have plenty of reasons to talk and cheer this summer. The great thing about developing speech and language is that you can develop much of it within a natural relaxing context. So even if your child is not receiving speech services in the summer, you can be your child’s creative therapist and number one fan this summer. In the early years, from preschool to first grade, there will be a lot of vocabulary development in the areas of descriptive words. Some descriptive words I will teach my students are: big/little, soft/hard, hot/cold, bumpy/smooth, tall/short, wet/dry, long/short, and empty/full. Here is one activity that you can engage your child in to work on some early descriptive words.
Activity: Hide the seashells in the sand. You can take turns looking for the seashells inside the sand. When a seashell is found, you can describe the seashell with your child. Some descriptive words you can work on include: big, little, hard, bumpy, and smooth. Tell your child which seashells you like, and encourage your child to do the same.
Suggestions: If your child is not too verbal yet, keep your sentences short and simple. For example, you can say: “Seashell is big!” Emphasize the descriptive words so your child picks up what you are saying. You can also blindfold your child for this activity to encourage your child to feel the seashells.