Ways to Improve your Child’s Language Skills this Autumn

Fall is here!

I love fall – sweater weather, fires, chili, the leaves changing, what’s not to love?

What a beautiful time to improve your children’s language skills while enjoying fall activities and creating memories. Language skills are so important for kids development and education. All kids benefit from exposure to new words.  Even babies need to start hearing those wonderful words to describe their new world.  They need to hear and understand language so that they can talk, read and write.  We even use language in our thoughts, so better language and vocabulary, the easier it is to think and explore ideas.

The more words kids hear, the better their language skills.  Better language skills means a better reader by middle school.  

Ask questions and encourage curiosity. Listen to the answers.  Model a variety of vocabulary words and correct grammar.

So many fun fall activities can encourage language.  

Find books in the library.

Taking short reading breaks is wonderful time for cuddling and word play.
Tip:  Books with 1 large picture/page are much better than busier books with several pictures/page.  

ALL of the following books can be found at the Brown County Library.  If it’s not at your local branch, the librarian can help you request the book.

  • Mouse’s First Halloween by Lauren Thompson
  • The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything by Linda D. Williams (This one even has a CD)
  • There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Leaves! by Lucille Colandro
  • Busy Little Squirrel by Nancy Tufuri
  • Leaf Jumpers by Carole Gerber
    Tip:  Even listening to e-books that read the story to your child is great for language skills!

Listen to audiobooks/podcasts in the car.  Sparkle Stories offers imaginative age-appropriate tales (even fun for adults!)

Get out and explore!

In the Green Bay area, you can go hiking at…

Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary

Barkhausen Waterfowl Preserve

Green Bay Botanical Gardens

Green Bay Park/Trail system

Pamperin Park

Other Hiking Trails

As you walk,

Listen to the birds sing, see if you can spot them in the trees

Sneak up on a squirrel.  What other animals can you find?

Which tree has more leaves?

Listen to the leaves crunch.  Can you make them crunch LOUD?  Make the crunch softly?

How does the air smell?  Can you smell the leaves? A coming rain?

Feel the cool breeze, feel the warm sun.

Feel gourds and pumpkins. Are they smooth or bumpy? What color?  Patterns? Does it remind you of anything? (We have one that looks like a watermelon!) What would happen if you roll it?  Does it roll easier on the grass or sidewalk?

Play “I Spy…” as you walk.  

 

Sensory Seasons

Fall has some wonderful foods, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, turkey, apples….

Use these seasonal foods to improve language and vocabulary skills.  

Apples are a lovely fall treat.  Ask yourself….

How does an apple smell?  

How does it feel in your hand?

What names can you come up with to describe the colors?

How does it taste?  Sweet?  Tart?  Crisp?

How does it feel on your tongue?  

How are two apples alike?  How are they different?  

More vocabulary tips:

Language is fun, words are fun (Just ask Dr Suess!)  Play with words and synonyms.  How many different ways can you say the same thing?

  • Add to your child’s phrases/words. Repeat their phrase, adding a word or two and using correct grammar.  You don’t need to correct their language, just model good sentences.
  • Be a good listener and respond when your child talks to you.  
  • Give them a reason to talk and communicate.
  • Ask them “how” and “why” questions and help them explore their ideas.
  • Read.  More exposure to language is the first step for vocabulary to improving talking, reading, writing, and even thinking!

Research shows the more conversation and exposure to words, the larger a child’s vocabulary.  Better vocabulary is associated with more success in school academics and life.  Larger vocabularies make better readers.  Reading opens up entire new worlds to people.

If you have the words to understand and express ideas, it’s easier to explore and understand ideas about the world around you, as well as communicate more effectively in your world.  

“If you want to be rich, you have to have a rich man’s vocabulary. Words can make you rich, or can make you poor.” –Robert Kiyosaki

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