How to Use Everyday Routines to Build Language Skills
Feb 5, 2022 Waking up, getting dressed, and eating a meal are routines we do everyday. But did you know sneaking in some speech practice within these daily routines can reinforce your child’s communication skills? Want to know how? Let’s find out!
In This Article
Rise and Shine
Start your day slowly. Some mornings are challenging, but that’s okay. The goal is to be gentle and patient when waking your little one. Whether you start by showering them with hugs and kisses or start with a morning song, waking up on a good note is always a great start to a wonderful day.
Using the Bathroom/Brushing Teeth
During this daily routine, work on the following directions or sequencing. (“First, we’re gonna go potty . . . Now, we’re going to wash our hands . . . Then we’re going to brush our teeth.”). A creative and educational way parents can do this is to have labels and signs around the bathroom for direction reminders.
You can start by giving them choices. (“Do you want the blue shirt or the green sweater? Can show me the blue sweater?”)
Then, you can seize the moment to work on sequencing (“Let’s put our socks on . . . Next, let’s put on our shoes.”)
And of course, try to use descriptive words to further build their language skills. For instance, instead of saying “bring me your socks,” say “bring me your clean socks.”
Here are some examples of actions to teach toddlers while dressing them up:
- Put on your socks
- Take your shoes off
- Pull up your pants
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day for morning routines!! Making meals is a great way to practice speech. Get your child to speak about the food they are having for breakfast. Also, build their vocabulary by talking about the food taste and texture. (“Cereal is crunchy . . . Cereal can be sweet, etc.”) On top of that, if they are a little older, teach them about food categories. (“Cereals are grains . . . apples are fruits”).
You do not want to overwhelm your little tot with too many questions. If you ask a few here and there you can grow their vocabulary. (“What are you eating? Do we use a spoon or fork to eat cereal? Can you show me the spoon? What color is your bowl?”)
Breakfast or dinnertime can be a good opportunity for your child to work on the notion of requesting. For instance, if they want more cereal or milk, give them time to speak and say they want more. You can also create scenarios for them to ask for stuff. For example, give them cereal and milk without a spoon and wait for them to notice and ask for it.
Getting Ready for Daycare/Nursery School
As you get ready for the day, encourage your child to talk about different things they will learn or have already learned in school. It doesn’t matter if they choose to talk about the toys they like or the friends they get to play with, keep the conversations going.
Have your child name or repeat the items they will be using during bath time. (Soap, water, towel, etc.) Also, you can work on action words while also teaching them about the body parts (“Let’s wash our head . . . we’re going to scrub our arms and legs . . . Let’s wash our tummy, etc.”).
Even more, try to get them to make comparisons and to make contrasts. (“Water is cold vs. water is now hot . . . wet towel vs. dry towel . . .”).
Time for Bed
Bedtime routines. Sweet dreams!!!
Reading a bedtime story or making up one can be another way to expand your child’s vocabulary. While reading them a story, ask them to repeat words and describe pictures they see in the storybook.
Remember, when it comes to improving your child’s language, every minute counts. And spending time practicing during your daily routines for kids is one of the many ways you can reinforce their overall communication skills.
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