Play is any activity that your child enjoys. It doesn’t have to be expensive. Play can be simple games such as peek-a-boo or pretending an empty box is a bed. Play helps language development because it usually involves listening and talking about what is happening, repetition, taking turns, using eye contact, body language and gestures — all of which are important for language development.
What to do when playing:
- Use toys, games or objects that your child enjoys.
- Give your child opportunities to play with other children.
- Use facial expressions and an interesting voice.
- Talk about what is happening during play.
Reading helps your child develop concentration and attention, while giving a good example of correct language. It’s also an activity that allows you to spend time together. You can find free or inexpensive books at any of the following locations: public libraries, garage sales, dollar stores, bargain section of bookstores, toy lending programs. Or you can make your own!
What to do when reading:
- Choose a quiet time and place where you won’t be interrupted.
- Let your child choose the book, giving him/her some control over what you read.
- Rather than read the words, you may want to talk about the pictures and the actions or make up stories.
- Read with lots of drama and rhythm in your voice to keep your child interested.
- Encourage your child to tell stories using books and pictures.