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Three fun fall activities for working on language with your toddler

Happy fall y'all!  This is my favorite season.  My windows are open, the pumpkins are purchased and the fall candles are burning.  Fall is a great time to introduce new vocabulary to your child.  Here are some ideas along with core vocabulary that you can use while playing and exploring.

Some tips before you begin:

-slow down (put your phone away) and be present

-get down on his/her level and make eye contact

-don't ask too many questions.  Be silent and see how your child responds.

-expand your child's utterances when appropriate (i.e. if your child says "leaf" you say "That is a big, orange leaf."

1.  Go on a leaf hunt.  Find any nature trail or use your own neighborhood/yard.  What child doesn't like to pick things up off the ground?  Mine does.  We incorporated feeding the ducks into our nature walk this week.

Core vocabulary suggestions:  leaf, leaves, color words (brown, green, orange, yellow, red), falling, blowing, walking, numbers (counting the leaves), size words (small, medium, large).

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2.  Visiting the pumpkin patch/carving a pumpkin.  (Disclaimer:  please don't let your child carve a pumpkin alone).  Pumpkins are a seasonal item which makes them fun.  With adult assistance, paint or carve a pumpkin. 

Core vocabulary suggestions:  orange, top, front, bottom, carry, round, size words (small, medium, large), body part words (eyes, nose, mouth), scoop, spoon, slimy, wet.  This is a great opportunity to work on one step directions too:  "Please go get me a towel" or "Please go get me a plastic bag" or "Go throw this away under the sink please."

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3.  Cook!  Ok, I know cooking with your child can be done at any time in the year but why would you skip out on any of these delicious fall treats?  At my house, we like to cook pancakes on Saturdays.  I found a delicious pumpkin pancake mix at Trader Joe's (who have every fall food you can ever imagine.  Again, with adult assistance, let your little one help with cooking.

Core vocabulary suggestions:  Pour, spoon, mix, milk, eggs, bowl, pancakes, take out.  Cooking also works on sequencing of steps.  First the mix, then the water, then the egg and so on.  This teaches children that there are steps to most every task and how we order them is important.

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There are many more ways to use items around your home and in nature to teach new vocabulary and language.  Have fun this fall!  

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