The spring weather usually translates to more time outdoors for most families. Children thrive when exposed to fresh air and exercise on a regular basis. It is also never too early to teach healthy habits! This week we are discussing how to help your child improve both their fitness and functional language skills. We will be discussing three different forms of exercise and communication skills to target during the activities.
This post is geared towards children with emerging language skills. These kiddos are not consistently verbally communicating, or they are doing so with 1-2 word utterances. We’ll provide target vocabulary for each activity . Create various combinations of the words listed to form several 1-3 word utterances. These will be models for your kiddo to imitate. Provide positive reinforcement for any attempts at communication.
Walking or running is a fantastic form of exercise that requires no equipment. Many local fun runs or themed 5Ks also have shorter walking or running events for children. These events can provide incentive to practice during the weeks before the big day! Attending such events also adds a fun community component.
Target Core Vocabulary: want, help, go, more, all done, fast, slow, no, I, we
Verbs: walk, run
Examples: we go, I want go, go more, go fast, no slow, no more, I want walk, run fast, no slow run, I want help, no more help, run more, walk slow more, i want help, I run
Depending on your child’s motor skills, you can choose to play with a large or small ball, or even a frisbee. Keep in mind the activity shouldn’t be too frustrating, so pick an item that your child can easily catch.
Target core vocabulary: want, more, help, get, go, play, all done, no, up, down, fast, slow, like, turn, I, we, my, you
Nouns: ball, frisbee
Examples: I want more, more help, ball go up, get ball, get frisbee, my turn, no frisbee, I like ball, no more ball, help get ball, ball go fast, frisbee go slow, my ball, we play ball
Some kiddos may not be interested in the idea of exercising just to be healthy. Your child may be more motivated to simply play at the playground. This option provides many opportunities for movement too!
Target core vocabulary: want, help, more, all done, go, up, down, turn, no, on, I, you, me, my, we, on, fast, slow, like
Nouns: slide, swing, ladder, bars
Examples: I want slide, help me swing, go on slide, go fast, I go up, no more slide, I like swing, no on slide, more swing, I want more, all done slide, go fast, my turn, my turn swing
What type of exercise does your kiddo enjoy the most? Is it not one of our activities? Comment below and we'll provide some vocabulary suggestions!