The following is a guest post written by my mom, Jamie Bott, M.A., C.C.C. Licensed & Certified Speech & Language Pathologist / Reading Endorsed by the State of Florida.
Every parent wants their child to grow up to become a great reader. Luckily, there are so many simple things parents can do to accomplish this while also preparing their child for a successful preschool experience. Reading is closely linked to language and can be developed early with “smart” parenting. Making sure your child is exposed to varied experiences and concepts through play as well as the activities of daily living is a crucial part of the their language development. So “play” these games below and play them often – you’ll be setting your preschooler up for success every time you do!
Here are 3 Smart & Simple Language Games to play with your preschooler
1. Grow Their Vocabulary: while you’re putting laundry away, talk about and demonstrate clothes going in the top drawer, below, above, between, in front, etc. Cooking can also be a terrific language growing activity. Teach before and after while describing what you’re doing: Before I put dressing on the salad, I’ll put the salad in a bowl. After I boil the water, I’ll put the pasta in the pot. Teach them easy superlatives such as differentiating big, bigger, and biggest or thin, thinner, and thinnest while making cookies or cutting slices of cucumber for lunch.
2. Sentence Expansion: When your child says a one or two word sentence, expand upon their thought aloud. So if your child says “big bird” then you would say: Look at that big red bird in the tree. Then you would gradually expand further to talk about the bird’s nest, eggs, worms, parts of the tree, etc.
3. Compare & Contrast: Teach your little one to compare and contrast concrete and then eventually more abstract items by talking about similarities and differences, as well as attributes (size, color, function, shape, composition, location, and other details). You can easily do this by categorizing their toys, clothes, and other household items. Start with broad concrete objects: let’s put all of your red toys in the big bucket and all of your blue toys in the small bucket or more abstract: let’s put your summer clothes on the right side and your winter clothes on the left side.
Bonus Tip: Sing Nursery Rhymes whenever you can! Children who are consistently exposed to rhyming songs and stories from a young age are more likely to do well with phonemic awareness.
Phonemic Awareness games will increase your child’s reading readiness and increase their success academically from preschool onward. So the next time you’re cooking dinner or folding laundry, think about how you can engage your toddler and turn a chore into a fun game!
To read more about Phonemic Awareness, click here.
If you missed last week’s post on 5 Simple Ways to Promote Early Literacy, you can check it out here.
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