Thursday, December 5, 2013

Happy Holidays

Next week is an exciting week, and with all of the partying going on, and chaos that ensues before Winter Break, there will be no learning card for the week. We will be singing lots of fun songs from our 'Song Tree,' so be sure to ask what songs we sang at school.  You can even sing a few Christmas songs on your way to and from the store this week.   

Instead of a weekly handout this week, I wanted to provide you all with some natural ways to work on language during the Holiday Season and break. This time of year can be crazy, and our little ones feel it, so it's okay to give them a little break and just have some fun. :)

Making Sugar Cookies: The process of making sugar cookies is a great time to talk about sequencing (first, next, last), label new vocabulary items, work on concepts (put the flour “in”), etc.. If you want to add a book to support this, you could read "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie."

Decorating Gingerbread Houses: You can make a simple and fun gingerbread house by using graham crackers. Our family likes to use hot glue for gluing crackers together. Or if you want to eat the house once it’s completed, you can use royal icing to "glue" the house together. Again, you can work on requesting, concepts, labeling, colors, following directions, pronouns, etc.!

Wrapping Christmas Presents: Have your little one help you wrap presents for the holidays. This will not only work on fine motor skills, but you can work on that sequencing vocabulary, following directions, and even labeling objects.

Gingerbread Christmas Trees: For these, you can use sugar cones turned upside down onto a paper plate. Ice them and cover with candy.  Talk about what you are doing.  Ask wh-questions and even work on colors.

Creating Tree Ornaments: There are a lot of great ideas for homemade ornaments: coloring pictures, making clay ornaments, popcorn strings, beaded wreaths on pipe cleaner, etc. Again, think about describing what you and your child are doing during the process, being sure to use losts of rich vocabulary (concepts, verbs, adjectives, etc.) You an even work on following directions.

Sledding: Yes, you can even work on language skills if you go sledding this year. Focus on concept terms (down, up. fast, slow, etc.). Ask your kiddos questions like, “Did you go fast or slow that time?” Or describe what you are doing, “We are walking back up the hill. Where are we walking?”

Building a Snowman: This is a great activity to work on following directions and concept terms! "Put the little ball on the top."  "You stuck the carrot in the snow, where did you stick it?"  Etc.

Getting Winter Ready: When kids want to play in the snow, they have to put lots of items of clothing on and it seems to take a. long. time. So, why not get some language targets in while you help. Label all of those items, talk about body parts or sequencing (first you put your snow pants on, then your coat, and last your hat.), work on following directions, really just describe describe describe.

I hope you all have a wonderful Holiday Season and enjoy the break!

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