Do you know how much time your child spends at the dinner table every day? Has it occurred to you how much you could enrich their ability to speak by involving them in preparing lunch or breakfast?
First, know that children show interest early on in everything regarding the dinner table because of its shapes and colors.
This means that both the phases of getting food ready and of sitting down to eat it can provide a constructive and fun framework for teaching your child more vocabulary words.
Here are a few ways of enriching your child’s language safely and without much trouble:
- When you involve your child in food preparation, use simple, clear vocabulary words, saying, for example, “Now let’s put the red tomatoes in the dish on the table.” It’s a sentence that’s enough to define a type of vegetable, a color, and a piece of furniture for them all at once.
- At breakfast, for example, make sure to name the things that are relevant to the table and make them repeat them in your hearing while they set the table: for example, “Come here, let’s put the tablecloth on together,” “Get the salt,” “Put the spoon next to the plate,” “Let’s put out some napkins,” etc.
- You can always ask them questions like: “Do you want a red apple or a yellow banana?” “Do you eat scrambled eggs or boiled eggs?” “Do you want a little butter with cheese?” It’s okay if they pronounce new vocabulary words in their own way in this first stage.
- Before you head out for picnics in the country or the park, collect the things you need with your little angel, and make them guess their names as though you’re in the middle of some game, having them repeat the names after you as you show them things: Basket. Cheese. Apple. Cookie. Bread. Knife. Napkins. Etc.
- Remember to talk to your child directly as often as you can, and look at them as you talk to them so that they can see your face and your signals to understand what you mean and see what you’re indicating.
- Be confident that the first basis of language acquisition in children is within the family environment. It begins automatically as they imitate their mother first, and then the rest of the family, before going to school.