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April 6, 2015
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5 Ways to Promote Language with Your Toddler at Snack Time

Your busy schedule and an on-the-go mindset can make it hard to set aside time for language and listening development. Snack time is a great time to take a few extra minutes to sit with your toddler and encourage language.

Here are five ways to help make snack time into a language activity.

  1. Give Two Options.
    Ex. “Do you want an apple or a banana?” Provide your toddler the opportunity to name the food item rather than a simple yes or no question.
  2. Sabotage.
    Give your toddler the snack in a child-proof container or the wrong snack. This will encourage him to ask for help, to open, or tell you that it’s not the snack he wanted.
  3. A Little Bit at a Time. 
    If possible, give a few pieces at a time. Help your toddler count the pieces. Then, wait until he asks or vocalizes for more before giving it to him.
  4. Self-Talk.
    Model the step-by-step of getting ready for snack so she’s exposed to more language. (Ex. “First, we are going to wash our hands. Then we will get your apple and I will cut it up for you. Do you want to put it on your Elmo or Mickey plate?”)
  5. Clean Up.
    Have your child help you clean up to develop independence skills and responsibility. Make cleaning up into a listening activity. (Ex. “Give Mommy your fork and throw your napkin in the garbage.”)