Language-Learning Through the Five Senses
Use a child's natural curiosity as a way to spark a love of language.
Young children are naturally curious about the world around them. They touch, feel, see, hear, and taste. Paying attention to what their senses are telling them can spark interaction and teach new words. This can happen anywhere—riding on the bus, walking past a restaurant, while preparing dinner—just about every time and place holds an opportunity for developing language!
How does it feel? Touch is often how children experience the world. Let kids feel certain textures. Then help them give each a name (“Your sweater is really soft” or “The carpet is fuzzy.”).
Breathe deeply. When taking a walk, point out the smells in your world (“Mmm…this bread from the bakery smells fresh! Let’s smell it!”).
Do you see what I see? Even looking out the window together and pointing at what you see is an opportunity for conversation. (Kids’ babbles, coos, and gestures count!)
It’s a matter of taste. Talk about how things taste in your mouth (“Does that juicy watermelon taste sweet?”) This will help build kids’ vocabulary.
Sounds are everywhere. Listen up! When you are out, talk about what you hear (“Do you hear the cars beeping?” “The wind is rattling the branches.”). Helping kids tune in to sounds is also a great way to build listening skills.
Building and Rebuilding Language Skills—and Community!
An article about building children’s language skills by enriching your interactions.
Creating Alphabet-Rich Environments
Alphabet recognition involves learning the names, shapes, and sounds of the letters in the alphabet, and it helps get kids ready for phonics learning. There are so many ways to introduce the alphabet to young children. Adding a little alphabet magic to your environment can be a great place to start.
Abby’s Letter Garden
Prepare children for school success by exposing them to uppercase letters, helping them recognize them, and write them themselves.
Terry Crews Is an Artist
Terry Crews, Count, and Abby talk about the word “artist.”
Alphabet art is a fun, hands-on way to help kids recognize the shapes of letters. It can also provide an opportunity to layer in learning across subjects. Watch this video and think of ways you might incorporate letter crafts into your work with kids and families.
I Know My Letters
A printable alphabet coloring page.
Building a Reader
An interactive course that explores key literacy goals, strategies, and activities to support learning around language and literacy in children ages 2-5.