It's heating up in the desert! Let's talk about the beach!
Even if you can't go to the beach, you can have some fun with play and talk. And in order to play you need some toys. Any 'dollar store' at this time of year has beach items; bucket with shovel, floaties, squirt guns, and beach balls. You're all set up to have some fun and create some language!
Bucket and shovel - Dig, dig, and dig some more! While you're playing with your child; you're talking about digging in the sand. 'Let's dig a hole. Let's dig a big hole. Let's dig deep.' 'What's in the sand?' 'What's in the bucket?' You can take some small plastic toys; talk about them/name them/if they make a sound/play with them - then hide them in the dirt or grass(depending on where you are =) ). Ask your child to find one of the items you hid. Don't make it too difficult for them to find. Or take one of those items and hide it under the bucket. Ask your child what's under the bucket. If it's an item that makes a sound - make that sound and ask your child 'what do you hear?' and let them name it and see it! Take turns - have them hide one on you! Have some fun!
Squirt guns - 'Let's go get daddy!' 'Let's go get mommy!' 'Let's go get sister/brother!' Make sure the rest of the family members are on board with this; have them hiding somewhere calling the child's name! You tell the child 'Listen! Where are they?' and go find the one you are going to shower with water!
Beach balls - This is inspired by an article I read in Scholastic and loved it so much I wanted to share.
If you have a little one that can bounce on a larger beach ball, with you as the support and guide, talk about 'bounce, bounce, bounce on the ball' or 'roll the ball' and talk about all the colors on the ball. A little bit older child, you can buy those beach balls that have graphics like bugs, or ocean animals, or dinosaurs. As you toss the beach ball, say 'find the ladybug', 'show me the starfish', 'where's the purple dinosaur?' and have them take their turn tossing it back to you.
Mom and Dad - you can have so much fun playing at the beach - go in the backyard - get wet and dirty and have some fun with words and language!