Warm Weather Fun and Language Development

            With spring and more warm weather approaching, many families are seeking fun things to do outside while still following the parameters of social distancing. The park is a great location for families to visit. While at the park, there are plenty of opportunities to promote language development for younger children. Here are a few ideas for parents:

  • Basic concept pairs: ask your child if they want to go on the ‘big’ slide or the ‘small’ slide; when on the swings, do they want to be pushed ‘fast’ or ‘slow?’ do they want to climb ‘up’ the slide or go ‘down?’
  • For children who are beginning to use words: elicit ‘go’ when going down the slide or on the swings together by prompting them with a ‘ready, set’ followed by wait time that allows for them to participate; encourage elicitation or imitating ‘more’ if they’d like to do something again!
  • Following directions: many children love obstacle courses; encourage language comprehension through following one-step (‘go down the pink slide’) or multi-step (‘first go down the slide, then go across the monkey bars) directions
  • Encourage turn-taking: have your child go down the slide independently if possible, followed by you (or another sibling) taking a turn
  • Model descriptive vocabulary: most park equipment has various textures — this is a great opportunity to model more descriptive adjectives such as ‘bumpy, smooth, rough, hard’

Most importantly, have fun and demonstrate excitement in what your little ones are doing at the park!

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