Cars are a favourite in a lot of homes! Playing with vehicles allows your child to explore play and use their imagination to learn language in a natural environment. Join your child, pick a few words to focus on, and model them in play. Repeat the words often and show them what it means (for example, if you are focusing on the word “fast,” make your cars drive fast while saying the word). Make it fun and engaging for your child to tag along!
– Describing words: big, little, tall, short, long, shiny, fast, slow, smooth, bumpy
– Quantity words: one, all, some, more, less
– Time Words: first, then, last, morning, night, before, after
– Action words: drive, go, stop, beep, crash, honk, park, push, race
– Location words: up, down, on, under, in, beside, in front, behind, around.
– Colours: red, blue, yellow, green, etc.
– Parts of a vehicle: wheels, window, bumpers, doors, seat, etc.
Follow your child’s lead! Let their imagination run wild and add to their idea by expanding their vocabulary. Here are some activities to try during car play:
– Build a ramp using boxes and other materials around your home to race cars down.
– Make a race track around your home. Talk about driving “on,” “under,” “in,” and “around” the furniture in your house.
– Have a car wash! Get out a small bucket of water, soap, and sponges and build a car wash for all the cars to attend.
– Build a parking garage and organize cars by colours, size, speed, etc.
Books are also a great way to build your child’s vocabulary. While reading stories about cars and trucks, talk about what you see in the pictures, and emphasize some of the vocabulary words listed above. Re-create the story with the vehicles and materials you have in your home! The more creative, the better! This gives your child the opportunity to practice these new vocabulary words naturally in play. Some favourite books include:
– Little Blue Truck by Alice Schertle
– Trashy Town by David Clemesha
– The Little Dump Truck by Margery Cuyler
– Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site by Sherri Duskey Rinker
WRITTEN BY AVERY SCHICK, SPEECH-LANGUAGE PATHOLOGIST WITH WILDFLOWERS