You can promote your child’s oral language skills by letting him “catch you” making an obvious mistake during everyday experiences. See how in the examples below.
Step 1: Pick a time during an everyday routine when you are not rushed.
Step 2: As you are involved in a routine, make an obvious mistake. For example, as you are putting your child’s shoes on his feet, stop after putting on one shoe. Pause for a response or reaction.
Step 3: You might say, “Oh no, Mommy forgot your other ____________.” Wait a few seconds to see if your child will fill in the missing word.
Step 4: If your child doesn’t respond, you can prompt a response by gesturing or pointing to the other shoe, or just saying the word yourself.
Step 5: Here are some additional “silly” mistakes you might make as you have fun with your child! See if your child can use his words, or use gestures, to tell you what’s wrong.
- Put socks over your child’s shoes
- Replace a familiar word or phrase with a silly one, “Itsy Bitsy truck went up the water spout”, “Twinkle twinkle little cow”
- Pretend to “forget” to give your child a spoon for his cereal or yogurt
- Put the plates and cups on the table upside down
- Put your child in the bathtub without water
- Put shaving cream on your face and “forget” to wash it off
You can model for your child and ask him to repeat. For example:
Step 1: Pretend to “forget” to give your child a spoon for his yogurt.
Step 2: Ask your child, “Oh dear, what did I forget?” Model the answer, “I forgot to give you a spoon.” Say, “I need a spoon.”
Encourage your child to use longer phrases or sentences to describe the silly event. For example:
Step 1: Put your child in the bathtub without water. Wait to see the response.
Step 2: Ask your child, “Are you ready for a bath? What else do you need? What did I forget?”