How To Make Language Learning Fun
By Hallie Bulkin
You can learn tips about how to teach your child language and develop age appropriate concepts, but if you don’t make it fun, you will have a hard time keeping your child engaged. Chances are if you are bored then your child is, too!
So what can you do to make language learning more fun for you and your child? Here are a few tips that will make every language opportunity more successful:
- Talk about something that interest’s your child. It is much easier when you encourage your child to choose the toy or topic that they want to play with and then follow their lead. For more on this topic, please reference our article on “following the leader” to learn how to best join into your toddler’s play.
- Let your guard down and be silly! Babies and toddlers thing it is hilarious when an adult pretends to fall down or sneeze. Why children think an adult getting hurt, well “pretend hurt” is SO funny, I don’t know…maybe it’s because you are simply acting silly in this scenario! Children will request more of what they find entertaining, so if you find they ask for something to happen again, they are really enjoying it! This may seem like child’s play but it’s way more than that. When you do something silly and your child has to request for you do it again, they are communicating with you while having fun!
- Play make believe. Use puppets, teddy bears, or some other type of object with a face and make pretend voices in play. You can do this and take turns talking with your child and the animated object. Have fun and use your imagination. You can even pretend to have a tea party with your child and the puppet or teddy bear! Have fun with it.
- Sing and dance. Take movement breaks every once in a while. If your child appears to need a break, let them take one. This could be running around outside for 5 minutes, jumping on a trampoline 10 times, and/or singing and dancing. Most kids will start to bop up and down when you turn on music. We were just at my cousin’s sons first birthday today and as he heard fun sounds on the gifts he opened he was doing his own little bop up and down dance. What fun we can learn from a one-year-old! Get up, move around and add some music during those breaks. Your child will have a blast!
Regardless of which of these tips you implement, the goal is to make language learning fun. If you let loose and allow yourself to be silly, you will find that you will have a lot of fun learning and playing with your child, while creating a language rich experience 🙂 Have fun and remember to be creative!