The holidays are a fun and busy time, they are a time when parents often get to spend more time with their children. It’s a great opportunity to integrate language learning into activities – there is so much to talk about!
1. Christmas cookies, whether you make them yourself or buy them at the store (or maybe you’re lucky and your neighbor just loves to bake!), use them as a conversation starter with your child. You can describe the colors, shapes and sizes of the cookies. Which one is bigger or smaller? Which one is the biggest? Which one do you want to eat first and why?
2. Crafts. Do you make gifts or ornaments with your child? Or maybe your child got a jewelry or play dough kit from Santa? Use the opportunity to talk about what she or he is doing. What are you making? How are you going to make it? What are your favorite colors? I'd like to make one, too, can you tell me how? Have them tell you, not show you!
3. Wrapping presents. It's not always easy for small hands to wrap presents, but maybe they can help and at the same time, learn to listen to directions. Start with easy, 1-step directions like, "Can you please find the ribbon?" Then add steps, "Can you please hand me the thin red ribbon?" or "Please bring me the red wrapping paper, the blue wrapping paper and the scissors."
4. Traveling. Time driving in the car or standing in line at the airport is valuable together time. One of my kid's favorite things to do is to make a silly story together by alternating words or sentences. Parent, "once upon a time there was an alien (princess, dog...etc.). Your turn!" Child, "the alien was green!" Parent, "The green alien decided to get in his spaceship." Your child is hearing your more complex sentences and creating his or her own sentences, which is great practice and a fun together activity.
Both listening and speaking are important skills for children to develop, what better way to support your child while enjoying some time together during the holidays!
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