Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Activities for Language Development: Snow, Sprinkles, and Speech

After a long, long, long, winter, we recently had another heavy snow.  What's a mom to do? Cook up some snow and sprinkles!  The prep was simple enough: I filled a bin full of snow, and gave my children some cheap cookie sprinkles, a couple spoons, and a couple bowls. Then I let their imagination unfold. 

Not only did it keep my cooped-indoors-and-bouncing-off-the-walls children entertained for a good thirty minutes, it also provided us with a great opportunity for language development.

While engaging my little ones in play,
  • I used self talk and parallel talk to model simple 1-3 word phrases that described what daughter was doing
  • I paired actions and words together so that she would imitate both.  We said "shake shake" while shaking sprinkles into the snow, "stir stir" while stirring our snow in our cups, and "bye bye" while waving to animals that we buried in the snow.
  • I imitated her actions while using new, simple words to go along with the reactions that she was having to the experience. When she made a face after touching the snow, I imitated her and said, "cold!"  Later, when she ate her sprinkles and smiled, I did the same and said, "yum!" The best part was that she then said these new words later in the activity on her own.
  • I used expansion to respond to her simple words by increasing her sentence by one word. When she said "snow," I said, "cold snow!" When she said "eat" I said "eat snow!" 
  • I gave her little directions to follow as we played ("put some in my cup, please") and showed her what to do if she didn't seem to know. 
  • I modeled pretend play actions like drinking, stirring, and baking. 
  • I helped her take turns with her brother having a "snow picnic." Later on, I worked on narrative skills by retelling the snow picnic experience with my son later before bedtime. 
Most importantly, we had lots and lots of fun! (And then I did lots and lots of laundry....who knew sprinkles could be so messy? :))


  1. No why didn't I think of that? Ingenious, and something the girls are SURE to love!

  2. Stopping from Mom Loop! You covered so much while having fun!

  3. Thank you for stopping by my blog! Have a wonderful week :)

  4. Cute idea! Hopefully we won't get anymore snow! We did have fun making our Snow Bunny! I think the more snow we have the more creative we'll get with it! THanks for stopping by my blog!