In most parts of the country, we are surrounded by spring. As the season changes, unlimited opportunities present themselves to teach language. Think about the world from your little one's eyes. Trees and flowers are blooming, the weather is changing and animals are out and about. Depending on your child's age, he/she may be noticing some of the changes that come with spring for the first time.
Watch your child
By watching your child, you will see what is of interest to him/her. Your child may be great at communicating this to you by pointing, tugging your arm or saying "Look!" However, you should also observe your child. What does your child look at? If your child stops while walking with you, there may be something he/she wants to know more about.
Label and expand
When you have established something is interesting to your child, give it a name! For instance, if your child notices a duck being followed by her young ones, say "ducklings" or "baby ducks." You can also add information to this new vocabulary, like "A duckling is a baby duck," or "The ducklings are swimming after their mama."
Turn new vocabulary or concepts into a game
Springtime is full of bright colors, which makes it an excellent time to work on your child's knowledge of them. On a walk or in the car, play a game where your child tries to find as many pink things as possible in the environment. See if your child can tell you the colors of different flowers you pass. Use this strategy for any words you and your child have been using.
Take what you are learning outside into your home
Visit the library and look for some spring-inspired stories. For instance, if there are ducks in your area, "Make Way for Ducklings" by Robert McCloskey is a great option. Think about what you and your child have been noticing outside, and do a search for books. If you have an older child, an educational book may be a great idea so that you can both learn more. Whatever the book is, make it fun. Your child learns best when he/she is interested in the activity!
Repeat each season
Challenge yourself to follow these tips each season. Spring, summer, fall and winter each provide unique environmental changes and vocabulary. Use these strategies to engage your child in language learning throughout the year.