School holidays are a great opportunity to increase your child’s language. Using these games and ideas, you can discover easy ways of boosting their vocabulary, listening and memory skills whilst having fun and stopping the dreaded “I’m bored” conversation!
I’m going on a picnic…
or I’m going to the shops to buy
This is a great game for you to play with your child in the car.
It is great for developing memory skills, vocabulary and their word associations. One person starts with “I’m going to the shops to buy …some milk”. The next person then has to remember the last item and add a new item, “I’m going to the shops to buy some milk and apples”.
The game continues until one person can’t remember the list.
You can also tweak this for older children to needing to add a word starting with the next letter of the alphabet, “I’m going on a picnic and I’m bringing apples”. The next person has to think of an item starting with B, “I’m going on a picnic and I’m bringing apples and bananas”.
Another great game for developing vocabulary, working memory and problem solving is Sound Flips.
One player starts with a single word, “hat”. The next player has to now think of a word that starts with the final sound of the previous word, “tall”.
The game continues until a player can’t think of a sound flip.
For younger children sticking to short words will make it easier for them. For older children, try longer words.
If your child tends to speak in short sentences or 1 word answers, you can use the Because Game to encourage them to use longer sentences that are more complex and interesting.
For every question they answer, they need to add ‘because’ –
You: “How was the pool”
Your child: “Good”
You: remember “we need to add ‘because’ “
Your child: “it was good because we got to do bombies in the pool”
You: “what flavour ice-cream would you like?”
Child: “Mint because green is my favourite colour”
This may take your child a while to get used to, but with practise it will become a habit.
By the time they are back at school, they will be giving you far more information about their day when you ask them “how was school?”.
What a fun way to get creative with language! Make up silly sentences and stories by filling in the blanks. Your child will be prompted to add a noun, verb, adjective etc so it helps to reinforce their understanding of what words fit into these categories. It also helps to expand the words they have in these categories. Check out http://www.madlibs.com/ for more details.
There are books as well as apps to download.
Your challenge now is to see how many of these games you can fit into the holidays – Good luck!