Using Photos for Early Language Development
Using photos, photo albums, photo books is a great way to help reinforce emerging vocabulary and you can use it to introduce matching skills.
What you Need
Camera, or phone, computer, printer
What to Do
Take pictures of your child engaged in activities.
Take pictures of things in your child's life that are special to them - their toys, their clothes, books, pets etc
Put all the pictures in a special book or photo album
Include family pictures and pictures of friends.
Label and describe the photos
'This is red dog - he is your special dog toy.'
'This is Maxi - Maxi is our dog. Maxi is chasing the ball.'
'Look at this picture! It's your special Eagles jumper.'
'Gee you have a lot of toys - let's count some of them.'
Match photos to the actual item in the child's life. When you go to do this activity remember to think of the special words you can use to help your child learn language; Make duplicates of the photos and play matching games if you have a good printer and even laminate if possible.
'Where is your toy car? Let's go find it. Is it in your room? No I think it's outside. There it is - your car is outside. Let's match our photo with your toy car. I think I might take another photo."
Other Things to do
Show your special brag photo album to others in the family and use it as a source of encouraging speech and language with them and your child.
Pass the album around at a family gathering or a birthday party
Use other photo albums - the baby photo album - kids love this and will sit and talk for ages about how they looked as a baby.
Build the connection with them and remind them how cute they were as a baby and how much you love them.
Talk about growing bigger so new concepts are being introduced during the discussion.
Use holiday albums as well for the same type of discussions and talk about places you have been so children become oriented to time and space
Draw pictures of important things and use it as a painting activity with your child.
Keep reinforcing your child's emerging words and vocabulary. Use new words in speech everyday so they are reinforced. Be mindful about what your child has learnt and make an effort to include it in daily events and routines.
Try not to make your child talk to others about their photos etc - allow them time to initiate conversations.
Reinforce all attempts at speech - don't worry if the words aren't pronounced properly - try to restrain yourself from correcting - the best reinforcement is to respond to what the child is saying.
Encourage your child to initiate speech everyday
Play games where you may have hidden their favourite toys and they have to ask you to help them find it, or put favourite books up high so your child has to point and request to get their book.
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