Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays! Trips to the farm, haunted houses, costumes, face painting, decorations, baking, and candy! Each family seems to have their own traditions.
Traditions offer predictability, an ideal environment for children to learn language skills.
And, because halloween is filled with an abundance of visual supports, which help children make connections between words and their meanings, it really is the perfect time to focus on language. Here are some tips and fun resources to enhance your children’s speech and language development this season.
Supporting sequencing and narrative skills
Help your child build sequencing and narrative skills by talking through the main events.
- First we choose a pumpkin.
- Next we take out the pumpkin seeds.
- Then we carve a face on the pumpkin.
- And last, we put a candle inside the pumpkin.
HERE is a visual with sequencing photos.
Modelling past and future verbs
When moving on to the next activity, remind your child of what you did together and introduce what you will do next.
- We chose our pumpkin, next we will cut it open.
- We opened the pumpkin, next we will take out the seeds.
- We took out the seeds, next we will bake the seeds.
- We baked the seeds. next we will draw a face.
- We drew a face on the pumpkin, next we will carve the pumpkin.
Building descriptive vocabulary
Use contrasts to describe what you are doing.
- Look at all the pumpkins, find the biggest… now find the smallest.
- One pumpkin has many seeds.
- The outside of the pumpkin is hard and bumpy, the inside is soft and gooey.
- We cut the top off, but we leave the bottom as is.
- The pumpkin was full, but now it is empty.
Answering “where“ questions
Set up your decorations together. Name each item and ask your child where they think it should go. If you’re setting up a spider web, ask where the spiders should go. Asking these questions and making it clear that the location is up to them will help build their understanding of “where” questions and how to answer them.
HERE is an activity where your child can choose and drag a face on to their pumpkin. Talk about where the face goes… “in the middle”.
Halloween is more than just a time to put on a costume, decorate and indulge in candy. This is a season when you can be anything you want to be… let your imagination run wild and help your child to do the same.