I do hope you are keeping well and continuing to survive lockdown. Like the rest of you, we are waiting in anticipation for news about coming out of lockdown and its implications for reopening the nursery. As soon as we have any news, we will be putting plans in place to reopen the nursery safely.
Please find attached a link to a book entitled ‘The Story of the Oyster and the Butterfly: The Corona Virus and Me’ aimed at under 5s to support them to understand the Coronavirus:
Here are also some ideas for promoting talk- at home and in the garden:-
Whatever language level your child is working at, there are lots of ways you can keep talking together whilst at home or in the garden
- Make playdough, cornflower paste or try new "sensory" ideas such as a tray of shaving foam, cornflakes or oats. You can add objects into the tray such as dinosaurs or animals or you can create things to talk about.
- Talking tips: think about words to describe the feelings of the materials eg "wet, soft, big" Talk about what doing are doing with the playdough too - use words like "stirring, mixing or rolling"
- Making cakes, cornflake buns, a pizza, sandwiches and fruit kebabs are just some of the things you could make with your child.
- Talking tips: Talk about what you are doing at the right level for your child - this might be single words eg "spoon" or for children using longer language "Mummy cutting cheese". You could use choices too "ham or cheese?"
- Think about some of your favourite stories - Goldilocks, Hungry Caterpillar and Going on a bear hunt
- Read the story and think about how you could act the story out, use props and objects to bring the story to life. Take it a step further and do activities to connect with the story e.g. making porridge, trying new fruits or finding a bear that you have hidden.
- Talking tips: simplified the language in the books by talking about the pictures. Name characters in the story and what they are doing in simple sentences e.g. ‘Gruffalo is walking in the woods’, ‘caterpillar is eating a strawberry’
Building a Den
- Building a den is a fun and easy activity that doesn't need many materials - a blanket and some pegs can be a good starting point!
- Talking tips: Whilst building the den talk about the objects you are using, what you are doing and how it feels. E.g. ‘Mummy’s hanging up the blanket’ ‘the blanket is soft’
- When its finished your den could be anything or anywhere your imagination can take you. Inside the den you could then read a book, do a jigsaw or have a tea party!
- Get your gardening gloves on and do some weeding or even planting some seeds to grow in a pot for the window sill
- Talking tips: talk about what you are doing and introduce new words like "seed" or "wheelbarrow" by repeating them a few times and clapping then out to help your child remember them.
Don't forget about all the usual activities that children always enjoy too! Jigsaws, tea sets, small world play, stories, hidey boo, games with a ball, sand and water, painting and games. These can all be used as ways of building talk into your everyday activities.
- Keep offering choices when you can rather than asking questions e.g. ‘ham sandwich or cheese sandwich’, ‘red paint or blue paint’
- Remember what your child’s language level is at and keep your language at the same level - this might be single words, 2 or 3 words together or longer sentences.
- If you are focussing on syllable clapping then remember to clap out the syllables in some of the words you use e.g. ‘whe el bar row’, or ‘ba na na’
- If you are working on a very specific target eg prepositions (in, on, under etc) then think about how you can bring this into the activity eg "lets put the seed in the pot" or "bear is hiding under the bed"
- Keep using language in the "here and now" to talk about what you are doing at the moment.
- Keep repeating, repeating and repeating!
- Remodel (repeat back) what your child says to give then a clear model of speech sounds or sentence structure.
- HAVE FUN!!!
Hope these are of use.