Practice is fun

January is the month of good intentions. This also goes for parents. If you want to assist your children with its language skills, we have some good ideas to turn your New Year’s resolution into a reality. Fun for you and your kids included.

No matter what method you try to crack the reading code, fun is at the forefront. It’s important that you don’t overwhelm your child by trying too many techniques at once. Even if not every variant below suits you, you will find some ideas for you and your child...

Let’s talk about…
Children are real language geniuses. At the age of two, their vocabulary consists of at least 50 words, at three they form three-word sentences, and at four, well, they surprise you with their wit. To improve their skills have conversations with your children about what it was like in kindergarten, ask them to tell you what they did, who they played with.

Tongue twisters and rhymes
Singing songs, rhyming or clapping syllables encourage language development. In preschool, you can also try tongue twisters à la “Fuzzy Wuzzy was a bear…” This trains the sound imagination.

Fantasy and reality
Build connections between the stories you read with your little ones and reality. For example, if you are looking at a book about animals, you can talk about the last trip to the zoo.

A for Anna
Make connections between letters and sounds, for example, using the child’s name: “Anna, look, the word apple starts with the same sound as your name. Anna, apple. They both start with the letter A.”

Puppetry
Puppets are great for training a child’s sense of sounds and the sounds of words. Your puppet will take on a role and say, “My name is Fred. I like words that rhyme with my name. Does playground rhyme with Fred? Does ball rhyme with Fred? ... Does red rhyme with Fred?“

Draw letters
Have your child trace a letter with it’s finger while saying the sound of the letter. This can be done on paper or in the sand.

Making connections
Practice putting sounds together to make words. Ask, “Can you guess what this word is? d - o - g.” As you do this, hold each sound longer than usual.

Endless loop
Even if you can recite the story in your sleep, read your child’s favorite book over and over again. Keep pausing and ask what is happening in the story.

Letters and their sounds
Letters have names and make sounds. Make a game out of it! “I think of a letter and it makes this sound: mmmmmm.”

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