You know we love to help parents figure out fun ways to work on therapy goals during your daily activities. We’ve been hunting eggs here at The Therapy SPOT this week and we’re guessing many of you are spending a lot of time at Easter egg hunts with your little ones this week. And what fun it is! Here are some ideas of ways you can use egg hunts to help develop your child’s language skills:
1. Help your child learn to follow verbal directions. This is the perfect opportunity! How motivated are they to find those candy filled eggs? TELL them and if they need help SHOW them where the eggs are by pointing and guiding them while holding their hands. Are the eggs UNDER the leaves, IN the hole, UP in the tree? ON the ground, UNDER the sofa, IN the chair? Now, put the egg IN the basket, and RUN to the next egg! So many language concepts can be taught during these egg hunts, and you can hide them and hung eggs over and over again with toddlers and preschoolers. It will never get old, and it will help them to practice their listening and receptive language skills!
2. Emphasize quantity concepts full/empty, more/less– Is your basket FULL or EMPTY? Who has more eggs?
2. Does your child need help finding eggs? Emphasize spatial concepts such as under/in/on/beside/above as you give her clues to find the eggs.
3. After the egg hunt, talk about the eggs and encourage your child to describe them! Is it big or small? What color?
4. If your child is learning action words, emphasize what you are doing such as hiding, finding, hopping, eating.
5. If your child is working on early concepts such as requesting, asking for help/more then use the eggs to encourage your child to request more, open, help, eat. You can do this by putting the eggs where he can see them but can’t reach them. Some eggs are hard to open and that is the perfect opportunity to encourage language. Observe, wait and listen to your child. Model one to two word phrases at this stage. Speak slowly and with lots of intonation.
6. Are you sick and tired of your children eating Easter candy? Try filling eggs with coins if your children are no longer mouthing objects. You may even use this opportunity to teach your child the names and value of different coins.
7. Egg hunts are a social occasion. If your child struggles with social skills, use this opportunity to coach your child and encourage sharing, use of appropriate greetings, and helping and interacting other children.