What to do with this activity?
Play word association games when you are out and about with your child. You can let your child pick the first word, for example “cat”. You then think of a word off the top of your head that is connected like “dog” – it’s an animal. Your child then chooses the next word that they associate with ‘dog’ - for example, ‘bone’. You keep going until you get stuck. Ask your child why they linked one word to the last if you don’t understand.
This is a game that gets your child thinking, making links (which is good for memory), and gives them an experience of having fun with words.
Children improve their language by hearing how words are used in everyday life. Chatting to your child helps build their communication skills. Getting your child to tell you stories or explain things, helps them to put ideas in the right order. This is an important skill for listening and speaking.
When you’re out and about with your child ask them to recall little things that happened on previous trips. For example, “Do you remember what we saw here yesterday?” This helps your child to recall, listen, speak and to become more aware of their surroundings – good skills for listening and speaking.
But remember, to listen well, first let your child finish what they are saying. Avoid too many questions that might interrupt their train of thought. Try not to think about what you want to say next. Concentrate on what your child is saying. Check with them that you understood, for example, “So what you are saying is…”
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