This is our second blog post in this series where we're giving tips on how to help your pre-schooler develop their language skills in fun, everyday activities.
This week, we're sharing 5 tips to help your child's communication skills while playing AT THE BEACH!
Here are my Top 5 Tips for supporting communication
at the beach:
1. Sandcastle Building
The beach is a great place to help your child learn new verbs (action words). Commenting on what your child is doing using simple language really helps. For example, "Wow! Good digging," "Mummy's filling the bucket," "pouring the sand". The length of sentences you use and how difficult the verbs you use with your child depends on what their language skills are like.
2. Ball Games
You can practise taking turns in lots of different ways but ball games are great for the beach. Support your child to do this by saying, "Mummy's turn, Sam's turn". You can make it a bit harder for older kids by adding some concepts such as, "high," "low" or verbs, "roll." "throw".
3. Picnic Time
If you read our Bath Time post, you'll know that naming the objects your child is playing with helps support their vocabulary development. Well, it's exactly the same at the beach. Comment on what you bring out of your bag, "grapes," "cheese", "rice cake". Offering a choice is also a great way to support vocabulary development, even when you know what your child wants. For example, "Do you want grapes or cheese?" Then wait for the them to look at or reach of the food and say, "cheese". The aim is for your child to start using the word to ask for what they want. Remember, children need to hear words lots and lots of times before they are able to say them.
You can make this one a bit harder for the older kids by describing what the food looks like or tastes like.
This is a great time to teach 'cause and effect' for the little ones. Holding your child, say, "one, two, three......." and wait for them to ask you to throw them up either by looking, waving, or saying, "up!" For the older kids, swimming is a great time to teach new vocabulary by talking about what they can see in the water or in the distance e.g. sail boats, paddle boards, lighthouses.
5. Covering Dad in Sand! (our Favourite! )
This one can help a range of communication skills while being a lot of fun! You can use all of the strategies described above in this one!
take turns to put sand on Dad
comment on what your kids are doing "pouring", "scooping"
describe how Dad feels
naming the objects you need "bucket", "spade".
dad says, "one, two, three.....UP!" and stands up!
Hope you enjoy trying these out in the very last of the nice weather!
We'll be posting next week about other activities you can try throughout the day!