Saturday, June 2, 2012

Summer Fun: imitation and the magic of words

Summer time! Summer time! Fun time and Hot time!  If you live in the desert you know exactly what I'm talking about.  As I see in the news - all areas of the states are experiencing a heat wave!
You try to keep up with things to do this summer and not have your young ones out in the heat all day, here are some games to play or sessions to keep them going while cooling off in the house!

The Importance of Imitation and the Magic of Words -
Our children are great mimics and they learn to talk by imitating the sounds they hear, especially from you. They also need to figure out what all those sounds mean, in order for them to do that, they need lots of social interaction, especially from you.  For instance, your child loves to listen to music; whether it be children's singing tapes or the music you share in the car or at home.  Make dancing with them part of the music activity.  They will be looking to you to sing with them and teach them the words.  So their nursery songs like 'Itsy Bitsy Spider', or 'The Wheels on the Bus', or 'BINGO' are all fun with their acting out counterparts - do that with them!  But even more fun is when you are listening to the country, pop, or rock song.  Dance with them!  Show them those low-down beats or bass drums can make you 'see how low you can go' Swoop down and touch the floor!  And when you're not singing, listen to those higher notes and lift your hands high up in the air, 'turn around like you just don't care'.  Or lift up your child to show how high notes can go in the song. 
While we're talking about sounds - include in your listening, imitating time to listen to the sounds around the house and pretend play.  Let's pretend to build that blanket tent in the living room with the nail, hammer, and saw.  Where did onomatopoeias come from? People imitating that sound in words; so, pretend with that bang! bang! bang! while you're putting the blanket over the chairs.  Sst, Sst, Sst, with the saw as you saw the blanket to make it fit around the floor with your saw, and swish, swish, swish with the paint brush to make your tent lovely - like a castle for girls - or manly - like the barricade for boys.

Whatever the case, make it up!  'Pretend' for children helps them to practice real-life skills with imaginative fun and sounds turning to words, so let the abstract sounds turn into concrete meanings. Go ahead! Go have some fun!

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