Routines: A remarkable way to learn language

Daily routines may seem like tiresome tasks to adults. For preschool children typical routines can be full of discoveries! A family’s daily routines provide regular opportunities for children with hearing loss to use language, listening and speech.

Think about what happens on an ordinary day. During certain times of the day make it a habit to converse with your preschooler while involving him briefly in typical tasks. He can learn so much from these fun and functional conversations.

What can you talk about? Anything and everything!  Use words and activities that will interest your preschooler. When there is an aspect of a routine that he seems to enjoy emphasize that. Talk in full sentences to create natural conversations.

Everyone can assist in small ways. Caregivers can talk during a child’s personal routines. Daycare staff might chat while playing with children. Friends may share short games. Grandparents can sing a favorite song. Siblings might do simple chores together.

Consider when you can:

  1. Outline some upcoming routines at the start of the day and what will happen.
    – The conversation could be about the schedule.
    – The preschooler might help gather items for going out or discuss who he will see later.
  2. Point out different household sounds when they occur during routines.
    – Conversations can be about machine noises or people sounds.
    – The preschooler might help listen for the dryer buzz or the baby crying.
  3. Create reasons for routine interactions between your child and others.
    – Conversations can start with the exchange of greetings.
    – The preschooler might answer a short question or follow a simple request.
  4. Read books with your child routinely, discuss the story and talk about the pictures.
    – The conversation can be about the pictures or predicting the story.
    – The preschooler can choose books, turn pages or re-tell the story.
  5. Describe preparations during mealtime and what you are cooking.
    – The conversation could be about a recipe or how it tastes.
    – The preschooler might help stir or talk about who will eat the meal.
  6. Follow a regular nighttime ritual for reviewing the day and getting ready to sleep.
    – The conversation could be about fun you had that day.
    – The preschooler might join in familiar song or help put toys away.

As your child’s communication increases, his participation in conversations will grow. Ask relatives to find a routine to share with your preschooler. Offer examples of conversations to family members so they understand how to help. Routines are a remarkable way to encourage language.

Remarks to use within routines!

These are examples of language for starting, modeling and expanding conversations with your preschooler. He will discover many new ideas by watching, helping and talking during routines. Conversations can make any routine fun!

Household Routines Concepts Labels Actions Conversations
Put away Under/in Toys or groceries Find, bring It belongs there.
Clean Dust/sweep Furniture items Back and forth Thanks for helping.
Sort Big/little Color names Match, find They go together.
Cook Hot/cold Kinds of utensils Stir, roll Smell that cooking
Gardening Hard/soft Types of plants Pour, pull Our garden grows.
Repair Broken/fixed Tape or tools Turn, pound What do we need?

 

Personal Routines Concepts Labels Actions Conversations
Eating More/finished Names of foods Scoop, chew Yum, this is good.
Dressing On/off Pieces of clothing Pull up or down What will you wear?
Bathing Wet/dry Washing items Scrub or pat Get the towel.
Brushing teeth Up/down Toothpaste, cup Swish, squeeze Brush some more.
Sleeping Noisy/quiet Bedtime story/song Shh, kiss, hug I love you.
Taking a walk In/out Objects outside Walk, hold hands Stay with me.

 

Play Routines Concepts Labels Actions Conversations
Reading Start/end Pictures in story Point or tell What happened?
Doll or toy animals pretend feed/ clothes Items in game Cook, wash Baby wants more.
Ball or trikes Go/stop Choices of toys Roll or push 1, 2, 3, go!
Music Loud/soft Sounds in song Dance or hop Round and round.
Blocks, puzzles Same/different Shapes or sizes Stack or fit it in Broom, it fell down.
Digging Full/empty Objects in yard Lift, move You dug a big hole.

 

 

Posted in LISTENING-LANGUAGE-SPEECH.