Sometimes parents tell me, “I’m going to be honest with you, we didn’t have time to practice.” I appreciate the honesty and completely understand! While practicing language skills at home is extremely important, I know that doing speech homework and practicing skills can be challenging at times. So what do I recommend? Expand speech and language skills during everyday tasks, like going to the grocery store!
You might be asking, “How will the grocery store expand language skills?”. Well, here are some tips on how to expand your child’s vocabulary at the grocery store:
Label and describe the items:
The grocery store has tons of interesting new words that are fun to say and fun to eat! Introduce your child to words that they may not hear every day like, kiwi, rhubarb, asparagus, parsley, etc. Talk about the color how it tastes (bitter, sweet, sour, etc.). All of these different descriptions aide in expanding your child’s language skills.
Look for different shapes and sizes:
As we all know, foods are different shapes and sizes. Go through the aisles and compare big and small foods, long and short foods, square and round foods, etc. Talk to your child and compare the items side by side. (“Look at this spaghetti, it’s long and thin compared to this rigatoni that’s short and wide.”). It may seem silly, but it’s fun!
The grocery store is sectioned into many different categories. Talk about it with your child! Talk about how all of the sweets and treats are in the bakery section, or how the strawberries and lettuce are in the produce section. Go through the entire store and discuss how every item has a group or category. See what’s next on your list and ask your child what section you might find it in!
These are just some of the ways that you can expand language skills with your child at the grocery store. I encourage you to label and describe items and then have your child describe items too! Narrate everything that you are doing so that they begin to hear and understand concepts like describing, categorizing, and comparing!
For more great speech-language tips and tools, like this, visit our Resources for Families page. I also encourage you to visit our YouTube channel.
Blog written by Michelle Knoud, M.S., CCC-SLP. Michelle is a Speech-Language Pathologist at Charlotte Speech and Hearing Center.