In this Vlog post, I offer some practical suggestions on activities you can do during bath time. Daily routines, such as bath time, mealtime, going to bed, etc, are so powerful because they offer us opportunities for language repetition. We can emphasize some of the same words in different ways as we’re going throughout our day. And although I love playtime, and I’ll be sure to talk about it in future posts, I know that some days families might not have time for play everday. And that’s alright. Let’s use the time we have already, during our day, to nurture and grow our child’s language.
Today I talk about how you can use bath time to teach new words, including the parts of the body, and concepts, specifically words that describe locations (up, down, in, out) and sequence of time (first, second, third). We have an expected range of development for when we expect a child to understand and say these words. The rule of thumb is that the more simple the concept, the sooner they learn and use it. But, that doesn’t mean that we have to withhold talking about later developing concepts. It just means that we can work on emphasizing those earlier developing one.
Also, one more thing to keep in mind. If you’re teaching your child a language other than English, than the examples I’m offering may not translate word for word to your home language. You can use search terms in your language and on search engines from the country’s language of origin to improve your chances of finding what you’re looking for.
For example, in Spanish, I just did a search on google were the terms, desarrollo de lenguaje, niño, etapas (language development, child, stages). Some more technical papers came up but a few blogs came up as well that can guide parents around which words to focus on and emphasize, all the while using language as you naturally would throughout the day!
In English for example, we expect children to understand the following concepts even if they can’t say them yet
9-12 months Identifies two body parts on self (i.e. head and tummy)
12-15 months Identifies six body parts on self (i.e. head, tummy, eyes, mouth, hands, feet)
18-21 months Understands the meaning of action words (i.e. swimming, splashing, washing)
27-30 months Understands basic location words (i.e. on top of, up, down)
2-3 years of age Understands smaller body parts (i.e. toes, finger nails, eye brows, etc)
2-3 years of Age: Understands concepts like big/small or hot/cold
3-4 years of Age: Understands concepts like in between, first, next, last, and small, smaller, smallest
Now, if your child is learning multiple languages, some of these concepts might come in just a few months after I’ve listed them because they are learning these concepts in two language, and learning is a process of the brain maturing and growing as well as how often the child hears and says these concepts. And since they’ll be hearing these concepts half as often, it may take them a few more months to grasp. Notice I didn’t say a few more years. But, there is a caveat. (Isn’t there always a caveat?) Your child’s language comprehension (how many of these concepts they comprehend or understand) in one language may be much lower if they’re hardly hearing it spoken to them and not having many opportunities to speak that language with many different speakers. So, if your child only hears one language, let’s say Mandarin, for two hours a week when they’re with their grandma, then their comprehension of that language, Mandarin, will be lower than the comprehension of the language that they hear most often.
I hope this Vlog has been helpful! Just remember, do what you can when you have those daily routines and when you have the head space to do so 🙂 You’re doing a wonderful job! If you’d like to purchase a copy of my book, take a look-a-loo at this LINK HERE!