Being a Speech-Language Pathologist, fall is my favorite season to work on language skills for kids. There are so many opportunities to help increase language skills and vocabulary in kids by doing things we normally do, just tweaking them a bit. The biggest indicator of increased intelligence is vocabulary. The idea behind this is the more words you know the more knowledge you have(more on this another time). So the more words you know the better you will be! I have several activities that boost vocabulary development and are fun at the same time!
Nature walks, aka walks, are a great way to increase vocabulary. You can talk about the changing leaves, the fall decorations, and all of the different sounds, smells and feels fall brings. Instead of “look at the pumpkin” try, “look at that huge orange pumpkin, it must be so heavy. How many seeds do you think it has?” Even if they don’t answer you, they are taking it all in, trust me.
Pumpkin Patch Time
Pumpkin patches offer so many new experiences that have new words just waiting to be told. Hayrack rides are a great time to talk about all the wonderful things you are seeing, hearing, and feeling. All of the displays at the patch bring constant opportunities for new vibrant words.
Pumpkin carving is a fabulous time for vocabulary growth. Talking about the way the pumpkin feels, looks, and tastes brings out great words, such as slimy, sticky, juicy, hard, rough, bumpy, sweet, etc. Using words to talk about how you are going to carve your pumpkin brings endless possibilities, for example, my round eyes, oval ears, jagged teeth, sharp fangs, etc.
Songs and fingerplays are great ways to build vocabulary and get your child involved. A quick Pinterest search will pull up some great activities like, 5 Little Pumpkins, I’m a Little Pumpkin, A Turkey is a Funny Word, etc. The best thing is the kids don’t care how you sing. Or try YouTube and sing along! Here are a few to get you started.
My favorite thing to do is read holiday themed books with my kids. I keep them hidden the entire year until the holiday season has arrived, when I pull out the books, even the big kids take a look.
Here are just a few of my favorite fall themed books that encourage language building by talking about the great pictures and things happening in the story:
Here are a few of my favorite interactive books to read with your kids:
Do you have any favorite fall activities that boosts vocabulary?