Language Play - farm animal edition!
Updated: Jul 26, 2022
Are you worried your toddler or preschooler's language might be delayed? Maybe they're on track but you still want to make sure you're doing your best to help grow their language. The best way you can help their language development is to get down on their level and play!
This old, well-loved, farm was purchased second hand when my oldest was a baby. Even a simple set like this (all electronic noises thankfully long gone!) has so many language learning opportunities. You can have fun naming animals and their sounds, but there are so many more opportunities for language play!
One way is to target prepositions - this barn has tons of ways to practice location words. It's late, all the animals need to go IN the barn. The chicken goes IN the barn. The pig goes IN the barn.
Switch it up - Oh no, the sheep is OUT of the barn! The chicken is BEHIND the door. Go ahead and get silly - the cow is ON the barn!
Why let the farm animals have all the fun? Pull out the jungle animals, the dinosaurs, maybe add some dolls for good measure. Practice categorizing - what goes in the barn? Kids love catching silly mistakes. Announce that the T-Rex belongs in the barn - did they giggle and say no?
Add in some core vocabulary, the words that are used most commonly in the expressive communication and the building blocks of functional communication. Go for a laugh - this bit of cause and effect play always ends up with giggles. The animal can GO UP and then fall back DOWN.
Above all, don't forget to have fun! There are so many opportunities for language development, but that shouldn't come at the expense of true play. Relax and enjoy the moment.