Ideas for building children’s language
Scenario 2: Bath Time
Bath time is a good opportunity for promoting simple communication interactions. As bathing is fully supervised, you can be fully engaged, face to face and having fun. Many children love water play so any of the above strategies can be incorporated into this routine.
- When using bubble bath mixture, start by putting in only a little amount. Lean forward expectantly and wait to see if your child indicates that they would like more. Model the what you’d like them to say or do and then follow through with the action. Remember that children may need lots of models/input before they say or do themselves.
- Bubble play is often very popular with children of all ages. Blow a bubble and then put the lid back on and wait for them to request more bubble play. Model the language you want them to use.
- If your child enjoys playing in the water or small amounts of water drizzled over them, do it a couple of times, then expectantly lean forward, hold the cup up and pause. Model the communication request. This can be a great activity for “1….2….3…. GO!”
- Another idea is to make bath time into a ‘treasure hunting’ or ‘fishing’ activity. You can laminate different coloured fish (weighted) and let them sink to the bottom of the bath. The child then has to reach under and grab the fish, and then they can say the colour, e.g., “yellow fish!”, “pink fish!”, “red fish!” When supervised, this can be done with toys and other objects.
When using these top tips for bath time, it is important to remember to:
- Keep it positive. Avoid using ‘punitive tones’. Celebrate the successes rather than focusing on what a child may not have mastered yet. “Have-a-go” is a great attitude for both parents and children in the language learning process.
- Model appropriate language use so your child is aware of what they should try to do.
- Waiting is important, but if you just wait and don’t model, your child may lose interest or become frustrated because they are not sure what to do.
- Be dynamic and emphasize key words. Take time to celebrate every communication attempt (remember, communication is not just talking!). Language learning is a gradual process, not an overnight phenomenon.
It is important to remember that these are general ideas only and cannot replace the direct input and specific therapy that can be provided by a speech pathologist. If you have concerns about your child’s speech and language development, you should contact a speech pathologist for an appointment to get specific advice for your child.
If you have questions about how to build your child’s language skills, contact your local doctor who will arrange for you to see a speech pathologist.
To ensure that your speech therapy requirements are met, and to create a plan that will be manageable and enjoyable (even for those clients with special needs) make an appointment with one of our experienced speech pathologists. We‘ll provide you with a straightforward, efficient and very effective treatment plan targeted to your concerns. Remember good results can start today!