As a parent with a young child living in your home, you probably receive many toy catalogues between Halloween and Christmas . Don’t throw them away! Looking through the catalogues with your child is a great way to elicit language on a variety of levels.
With an emerging talker, encourage pointing and labeling of the motivating pictures. You may elicit: “Car!” or “Baby!”. Try for verbs too (e.g., drive, skate, sing, play).
With a child who is beginning to put words together, you may hear: “Jump up” as she looks at a picture of a girl jumping on a trampoline. This is your opportunity to expand her utterance: “The girl is jumping up so high!”
I often use this task for children who have difficulty with pronouns. If your child deletes pronouns (“Cooking in the kitchen.”), model and emphasize instead of correcting: “Yum! She is cooking in the kitchen.”
As pronouns emerge, sometimes children swap “he” and “she”, or say “her” instead of “she”. This task will allow for plenty of opportunities for you to model.
If you don’t have any catalogues, take pictures of you, your child and significant others doing things such as:
- bathing / showering
- talking (on the phone)
- brushing (teeth or hair)
- washing (hands or face)
If possible, print the pictures out and model sentences such as:
- He is eating cereal.
- I am running.
- I am sleeping on the bed.
- Mommy is clapping her hands. (If Daddy is speaking)
- We are playing.
I often cut out the pictures of children in action from the catalogues, and have my students describe the pictures as they glue them onto posterboard to make a collage. For homework, they can review the pictures with their parents, or add more pictures while parents encourage the type of words / phrases / sentences listed above.
Sometimes I run out of catalogue pictures, so I print out this set of action pictures.
If your child is ready for scissor work, you can have him help with cutting out the pictures.
Should you feel your child needs additional support with language development, please feel free to contact Stephanie Sigal, M.A. CCC-SLP. Stephanie is a speech therapist working with children in their Upper East Side of Manhattan homes and looks forward to hearing from you!