Play is a window to cognition. Allow your child to play and engage with other children. They need both structured play activities organized by adults and unstructured activities, loosley structured by each other. When these actvities occur the abilities to learn problem solving, reasoning, bargaining, and pretending are inevitable! These experiences afford kids the opportunity to develop and use expressive/receptive language by becoming each others teachers, friends, and even enemies. They learn from each other and model behavior, both good and bad. At some point we must correct and do damage control, but these experiences create the basis for language development.
Pragmatic skills are important in developing social interactions and learning the unspoken rules of our language. Afford children the opportunity to engage on social levels in learning groups, study groups, and extracurricular activities. They don’t always require the accompaniment of a parent. (Allow them to explore without you! Look from a safe distance and trust in what you’ve taught them… (IT really IS O.K!)
When reading stories, before reading the words, read the pictures! Look over pictures before reading the story. After each page, don’t hesistate to use the “Wh” Hierachy. This way, children are able to process information more solidly, consistently, and with a foundation building from one idea to the next.
~Who , ~What , ~Where , ~When , ~Why/How
On Tuesday, Johnny and Marcus went to the Market. They rode their bikes and parked them on the curb. Once inside, they looked for the items on their list: milk, eggs, and butter. They paid for the groceries and returned home with the items.
Who is the story about?
What did they do?
Where did they do it?
When did they go?
How did they get there?
Why do you think they went to the market to get the items and not to the zoo?