At some point this week, many families will color Easter eggs with their kiddos. You don’t want to miss this EGGcellent opportunity to elicit language from your child during this activity. As you prepare to add some color to your eggs, we will tell you how to add some language demands as well! The skills you target will depend on your child’s current abilities. So we separated this post into two different types of goals for kiddos we frequently encounter. Select the portion of the post that best applies to your child.
Emerging Verbal Behavior: Working on 1-2 word utterances
Core Vocabulary: want, more, put, no, help, like, I, it, that
Nouns: eggs, various colors being used, cup, spoon
Supplies: Easter egg no-measure kit
This activity will allow you to model tons of 1-3 word utterances throughout the task, simply by pairing the core vocabulary with the nouns listed above. Almost all the commands or comments needed can be formed with these words!
Here are some examples:
I want egg
I want more
I want color
Put more color
No more color
No more eggs
Want more help
I like it
Like that color
Remember to structure your environment to promote natural communication. Keep materials such as eggs or extra dye slightly out of reach to see if your child will request them without prompting. If not, provide a model and help them to imitate it. Provide positive reinforcement for all communicative attempts.
Expanding Language: Building Vocabulary and More
These activities are for your kiddo if they typically communicate using full sentences, but need help expanding utterances, telling a narrative, or using more diverse vocabulary. Here are some ideas for targeting these type of skills while coloring eggs:
1. Egg science: Time to conduct some color experiments! Try dipping eggs in various dyes to see how the colors are altered! This is a chance to introduce science vocabulary. Explain the scientific method by describing the process as you test each egg. Emphasize the following vocabulary:
First, observe the color of the egg. After one color has dried, select a second dye for egg dipping. Next form a hypothesis, about what color the egg will become once it is dipped a second time. (Explain that a hypothesis is an educated guess.) Next, conduct your experiment! Once the egg is dry, analyze the results! How did the egg change? Then decide if you’re hypothesis is correct! Discuss what conclusions can be drawn. (I.e. Keeping an egg in the dye longer, makes the color darker. Dipping an egg a second time always changes the color.) Get creative and test whatever other theories you might have!
- Provide positive reinforcement whenever your kiddo uses any of the newly learned science words.
- If they use incorrect grammar, do not correct their statement. Instead give them a choice of how they can rephrase the statement correctly. For example: "Could we say I dip two eggs. or, I dipped two eggs ?"
*Tip* Dipping only half of each egg allows for more experiments. Plus kiddos may find it easier to hold the egg with their fingers than use the wire dipping tool. This is possible if only half the egg is going into the dye.
2. Telling a narrative - After dying a few eggs you can work on your child’s narrative skills by helping them to describe the steps necessary for coloring an egg. You could ask them to practice this in a variety of ways. One option is to say you’re writing down the steps to teach a friend how to dye eggs. Ask them to tell you what to write in your note. Or just ask, "How would we tell someone to do this?" You could also simply say you’re confused and that you forgot what to do and have your kiddo explain. You can provide models of important sequencing words such as first, next, then, or finally to prompt them.
3. Comparing/Contrasting -Once the task is done, look at your finished products and come up with some adjectives to describe your eggs. After describing single eggs, you can begin working with pairs of eggs to compare and contrast them. First explain to your child that comparing means talking about how items are the same, while contrasting means talking about how items are different. Model this skill for your kiddo by giving some examples like the ones below. Then see if they can generate any independent statements.
Both these eggs are blue, but this one is a darker blue.
Both these eggs are blue, but this one is brighter.
Both these eggs are blue, but this one is spotted.
Both these eggs are blue, but this one is lighter.