Now that it’s spring, it’s time to start thinking about doing some fun activities outside with your toddler. So, what kinds of outside spring activities are exciting for your toddler that can increase speech and language skills?
Follow the Leader
You be the leader and have your toddler follow your actions. For example, you can clap your hands, jump up and down, and dance around the backyard. Be sure to say what you’re doing so your toddler knows the word that is associated with the action (clap, jump, dance). This game will also help your toddler learn to follow simple directions. Let your toddler have a turn at being the leader and follow her actions.
What toddler doesn’t enjoy throwing or kicking a ball? Target simple actions such as throw, kick, and roll. Work on simple concepts such as up, down, in, out, on and off (throw the ball up in the air, put the ball in a bucket, place the ball on the table). Practice turn taking skills such as my turn and your turn.
Have a picnic
Everyone loves a picnic! Pack your basket full of your toddler’s favorite foods, and don’t forget your blanket to spread out on the ground. You can focus on simple vocabulary with your toddler while naming objects in the picnic basket as you’re taking them out (cup, spoon, bowl, etc.). Ask your toddler to give you specific objects. For example, you can say “Give me the cup” or “Give me juice.” Build pretend play skills. Allow your toddler to bring her favorite baby doll and pretend to give her bites of food and sips of drink.
Read a book
Sit under a tree and read your toddler’s favorite book. Reading to children helps increase their vocabulary, encourages imagination, and helps with articulation and pronunciation skills. Make sure you choose age-appropriate books and books with lots of lines that repeat throughout the story. Toddlers really like repetition and may eventually try to repeat the words in the book.
What other activities does your toddler like to do? Your goal is to think of how you can use them to build his or her communication skills. You’ll be surprised at how many fun things you can think of to do this spring with your toddler!
If you would like more fun speech and language tips and activities, be sure to check out my book on Amazon Kindle, Talking With Todders - 52 Tips to Boost Speech and Language Skills.