Talking promotes language development, and the ability to carry on a conversation is important for reading development. Here is an activity that will encourage your child to describe what he sees, express his thoughts and ideas and have fun talking on the phone with you.
- 2 toy phones or 2 real phones that are no longer working
- 2 chairs
- variety of hats (cowboy, pirate, construction, etc)
Step 1: Place two chairs next to each other near a window so that you can see outside. Sit close enough to hear each other and to see out the window. Gather the two phones and show them to your child. Hand one phone to your child and hold the other up to your ear. Make a ringing sound and initiate the phone call. For example:
Ring. Ring. Hello, hello. Who’s calling? Hi Gavin, this is Daddy. How are you today? It’s so nice to talk to you!
Step 2: Look out the window and bring something to his attention to get a conversation started. For example:
Hey, can you see out the window?
Do you see that bird? What is the bird doing? Where do you think the bird is going?
What else do you see outside?
Step 3: Ask open ended questions to allow him to express his thoughts or feelings. Continue with the discussion observing other things outside or until your child loses interest.
Be a role model for your child as you model language. Ask him to repeat. Expand upon his language. For example:
Look at the pretty bird? Can you say, “bird”? Oh oh, the bird just flew away. Show me how you would fly if you were a bird.
Gather a variety of hats to use as props (cowboy, pirate, construction, etc). Explain to your child that you are going to pretend to be that person calling him. Put on a hat and start the phone call as the person in character. Encourage your child to talk and ask questions.