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.
- 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.
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.
- 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.
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?”)
- 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.”)