Museum Free Days!

The Museum of Science and Industry is my favorite Chicago museum. They currently have a new Walt Disney exhibit that I look forward to visiting. Going to museums with a family can be pricey, but here are some Free Days for Chicago museums:

Adler Planetarium: free general admission with valid Illinois id on December: 2, 3, 4, 5, 9, 10, 11, 16, 17

Art Institute of Chicago: children 14 and under receive free admission always; Illinois residents get free admission Thursdays from 5-8pm

Chicago Children’s Museum: free admission for everyone Thursday evenings 5-8 pm, free admission for all ages under 15 the first Sunday of every month

Chicago History Museum: free admission for Illinois residents January 20th, with free special activities commemorating Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

DuSable Museum of African American History: free admission of Sundays noon to 5pm

Elmhurst Historical Museum: free; open Tuesday through Sunday 1pm to 5pm

Field Museum: free basic admission for Illinois residents on December 2, 5, 9, 10, 11

Fischer Farm: free; open to public Wednesday through Saturday 9am to 1pm

Museum of Contemporary Art: free admission on Tuesdays (open from 10am to 8pm) for Illinois residents

Museum of Science and Industry: December 9

Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum: Thursdays are free for Illinois residents (open from 9am to 5pm)

Shedd Aquarium: free general admission for Illinois residents on December 2, 9, 16, 23, 30

Also keep in mind that Chicago Public Libraries carry Kids Museum Passports, which allow entry into the museum for up to 4 people.

Winter Words!

Brr…brr…brr…As winter approaches, many words come to mind-boots, hats, melting, mittens, chilly, cold, snow, wet, hot chocolate, etc.  Can you think of other winter words?  Here are some activities to build language skills.

Look in a magazine for clothing items you wear in winter.

Have your child describe his or her favorite winter item.

Name foods that are chilly.

Make hot chocolate with your child.  Have your child tell you the important steps.

Compare and contrast winter clothes.  mittens versus gloves or hats versus earmuffs

Find a winter craft to do.

Make a list of winter sports.

Have your child draw a picture of a favorite winter memory.

Ask your child to think of winter words that start with each letter of the alphabet.

Making Snowmen Inside Too!!


When I think of winter, I think of snow, which makes me want to make a snowman. Winter is the perfect time to build a snowman out of actual snow outside, but if you want to stay warm indoors, you can also make a snowman inside! You can use marshmallows, shaving cream, construction paper, cream cheese, or many other foods, gels, or craft materials.

Making a snowman, using whatever materials you decide on, is an excellent language activity. Concepts you can focus on include:

  1. Size concepts

-You can use words like small, medium, and big

-You can also use comparatives (bigger, smaller) and superlatives (biggest, smallest)

  1. Sequencing

-Talk about the activity, as you are completing it and once you have finished, using words including: first, next, and then, last

  1. Location Words

-You can talk about spatial concepts such as: top, bottom, middle, under, above

  1. Attributes

-You can talk about what you are putting on the snowman and what he is made of

-For anybody who has used the Expanding Expression Tool (EET), this would be an excellent time to use it to describe the snowman

  1. Comparing and Contrasting

-If you have more than one snowman, this is an excellent way to compare and contrast the materials they are made of, their features, and the sizes

Frozen Bubbles


Bubbles are always fun to blow, but did you know that you can blow bubbles in the winter too?  You can use regular bubble solution and a bubble wand to blow icy bubbles outside on a cold day.  Alternatively, you can make your own bubble solution with water and liquid soap. A wide range of speech and language areas can be targeted including:

  1. Articulation

-You can work on bilabial sounds (sounds we make with both lips, including p, b, m)

  1. Social Skills

-You can work on turn-taking

  1. Increasing the length of utterances

-You can work on combining words (I want bubbles, more bubbles please)

  1. Basic Concepts

-You can work on concepts including: high, low, up, down, one, many

  1. Oral-Motor Skills

-You can work on lip-rounding while blowing

You can work on all these same concepts with indoor bubbles too, all year round, and talk about how winter bubbles and year-round bubbles are the same and how they differ.