With just a few days left before Christmas, depending on your level of organization and time management, you may or may not have wrapped your gifts. If you have not, this blog post is for you. We are in the same boat. Maybe next Christmas we’ll get this done early! Unfortunately, the ship has sailed for this holiday. However, there is a silver lining.
If you’re feeling particularly patient, and would like to spend some quality time with your child while completing holiday tasks, you may want to consider wrapping gifts together. Before you assume this is a terrible and frustration inducing idea, let’s discuss the benefits:
1. Children like to help and it boosts their self esteem to feel like they are contributing.
2. How important is it REALLY for your present to look perfect? Most loved ones would probably appreciate a gift that is wrapped by your kiddo!
3. This activity allows for some quality, unplugged family time.
4. There are tons of language skills that can be targeted through gift wrapping. (As speechies, this is the part we want to discuss today!)
There are so many different words that can be modeled during gift wrapping. While you’re using these terms your child is observing you or actually completing the scenarios described. Hands on activities are the best for learning new vocabulary. Here are some target words to emphasize:
Verbs: put, cut, fold, press/push, pick, write, peel
PUT the present on the paper.
Let's CUT the wrapping paper.
PRESS the tape down.
PICK a new bow!
Now we have to WRITE on the tag.
Prepositions (Positional Words): under, on, in, between, over
This present is done! Put it UNDER the tree.
Place the bow ON the top of the gift.
We need tissue paper IN the gift bag first.
Suggested adjectives: (Describing words will vary based on the presents, wrapping, paper, or bows used) shiny, striped, sticky, small, large.
Let's wrap this SMALL gift with the SHINY, red paper.
Get the wrapping paper that is STRIPED.
This tape is STICKY!
*You can also work on identifying and labeling nouns, but we did not provide suggestions because this is going to greatly vary based on the presents and gift wrapping materials you are using. Some examples:
Do you see wrapping paper with PUPPIES?
Let's wrap the SHOES.
Put the TEDDY BEAR in the bag.
Put a bow on the BASKETBALL.
In addition to being exposed to new vocabulary, other language skills can also be targeted:
Based on your child's receptive language skills, decide if you are working on single or multi-step commands. You can infuse them throughout the task. Examples:
One-step: Get a red bow. Put the present on the paper. Close the box.
Two-step: Get a piece of tape and put it on the folded paper. Put the present in the box and write out a tag. Take off the price tag and throw it in the garbage.
As always, you can create opportunities for requesting by simply keeping items slightly out of reach. For example, if your child is in charge of selecting the bow for each gift, keep the bag of bows next to you so they can ask for the colors or patterns they desire. You can always model this skill so they know what is expected (i.e. Have them point to the bow they want and then model a sentence for them such as, "I want the green, sparkly bow").
You can model some opinions and comments throughout this process to see if your child will share some too. Examples:
I like the red wrapping paper with the snowflakes the best.
My favorite bow is the green one.
This present looks like fun!
Your child does not have to wrap each gift independently. They can just do specific tasks to help with the process. Assign jobs that are feasible with minimal support. There are so many different things kiddos can help with, such as, folding wrapping paper, pushing tape on, cutting paper, writing out gift tags, picking a bow and placing it on. Select jobs that will help them meet success and be less frustrating to you, so that everyone has a good experience! They do not have to do ALL the jobs.