Wow, this year is passing quickly! I can’t believe it’s nearly May already. It’s been a busy couple of weeks for Blethers what with Little Listeners Group running in North Berwick and getting out and about across Edinburgh & East Lothian to see clients and visit nurseries.
As the weather improves, there are lots of opportunities to enjoy being out and about with your children in the lovely Lothians. Why not try adding a few language building activities into your days out! Here are a few suggestions:
- Play ‘I Spy’ – this is a brilliant and versatile game for building language skills which is really easy to play on the bus, in the car or while walking somewhere. You can do lots of variations like ‘something beginning with…’, ‘something that rhymes with…’, ‘something that is (add a colour)…’, ‘something that (add an action)…’
Scrapbooks or Treasure Boxes – if you go on a trip somewhere, collect objects, tickets, photos etc that remind you of the trip. You can stick these into a scrapbook or put them in a ‘Treasure Box’ when you get home. Encourage your child to draw pictures of the things they enjoyed about their day out. As you talk about the things you saw, did and found on your day out, you (or your child if they want to and are able to) can write the story in your scrapbook. This sort of activity helps children to learn and remember new vocabulary as there are some physical reminders of the new words and a real story to use them in. You will also build your child’s ‘narrative’ or story telling skills. As well as being an essential literacy skill, telling stories is how we communicate our experiences to other people and in turn form relationships, solve problems and develop understanding of our personal experiences.
- Twenty Questions – This is a good game to help older children to develop their focused questioning, categorisation and descriptive skills. One of you secretly chooses an object, famous person, animal, place or food. The other has to ask up to 20 different questions to try and guess what it is. Encourage your child to summarise the information they have before asking the next question, eg ‘So, it’s something you can eat, it’s a fruit and it’s yellow. Is it curved?’. To make the game a little easier, you can write down some key questions to be used each time like: ‘Is it a living thing?’, ‘Is it a place?’, ‘Can you eat it?’…
Have fun giving these games a go and enjoy being out and about!