These warm summer days have us wanting to stay close to that air conditioner! One of my favorite things to do on a hot day is be next to some water, whether that is a pool, lake, or my dog’s pool that he doesn’t love to share. It keeps me cool! The same goes for your child, but sometimes just sitting in a pool isn’t their cup of tea. There are a variety of ways to spice up water play and facilitate language at the same time! Create a “Wash Station” for some of their toys that can get wet. (ex. Cars, trucks, babies, bath toys, animals, Little People, etc.) It may also be fun to let your child pick out some of their favorites. In addition, you’ll need water, bubbles (dish soap, shampoo, or bubble bath), towel, and a washcloth. If the sun is too much, these activities can be done in the bathtub, kitchen sink, or in a big plastic container.
Here are some ways to facilitate language during this activity!
1. Teach vocabulary with the included toys by labeling what they are washing and what they are using!
a. Example: Water, soap, bubbles, towel, wash, truck, cow, baby
2. Teach action words
a. Example: Washing, drying, splashing, scrubbing
3. Teach opposites
a. Example: In/Out, up/down, wet/dry, hot/cold, clean/dirty
4. Follow directions
a. Example: “Take the truck OUT” “Put the horse ON the towel” “Soap IN”
5. Build phrases off their words or word approximations!
a. Example: Your child says “Cow” or “moo” and you expand on that by saying “Wet cow” “Mooo says the cow” “Cow splash!”
6. Make choices between two objects and create an opportunity for language!
a. “Do you want to wash the COW or the TRUCK?” If your child has trouble producing the word, try the first sound of the word, model the word they point to, and reinforce them by saying, “Oh! You want the COW!”
7. Take turns! This is a great opportunity for any siblings in the home to participate as well if they choose. It’s a great opportunity for back and forth conversation between the children.
8. Use repetition of single word/short phrases and wait expectantly for your child to make attempts at imitation! Remember! Any attempt they make to communicate we want to acknowledge and give them praise for 🙂 a. Repetition is key when it comes to building language!