For those that celebrate, Halloween can be a fun time to explore your child’s imagination. This holiday presents itself with some great opportunities for language building. Here are some ways to have a “Speechy,” Halloween.
Costumes are not just a get up for candy collection, they are a great tool for pretend play. There are so many great do it yourself (DIY) and pre-made costume ideas out there.
Questioning: Ask your child what s/he would want to dress up as. But don’t stop there, ask him or her, “why?” Children put a lot of thought in to the character they want to become. If your child picks a super hero, ask them, “What is special about ___? What can s/he do?” With each question, you are providing your child with an opportunity to practice turn taking, commenting, and elaboration.
- Role Play: Take some time on Halloween, before, or after, to play in your costumes. If your child decides to be a princess, brainstorm together some activities a princess might want to do and do it! Why not have a tea party or attend a “ball.” If your child wants to dress up as a superhero, brainstorm some ways they can save the day at your house. Check out this great article about creating prosocial superhero play here.
Candy can be a fun manipulative for language development. It’s also the center of most Halloween activities. Here are some ways you can make candy, “speechy.”
- Descriptive Language: There are many words that can be used to describe candy and other foods. Have children pick a few candies to describe and compare. Here is a list of words you may use when describing some of the candies you collect.
- Big/Bigger than
- Small/Smaller than
- Colors (Various)
- Categories: Once they have described candies, have them sort the candy in to different categories. Use the descriptive words to label your categories.
- Rationing: Here is a great opportunity to ration the candy. Depending on your preference, have your child pick a target number (2-3) of candies to place in a ziploc bag for a future dessert. You can turn it in to a game, “Pick 1 sweet and 2 crunchy candies.” Make sure you get to make a few bags for yourself!
Halloween Books are abundant at this time of year. There are great Halloween themed stories for every age.
A few of my favorites include:
- Go Away Big Green Monster by Ed Emberley
- Glad Monster Sad Monster by Ed Emberley
- Nighty Night, Little Green Monster by Ed Emberley
- Where’s My Mummy? by Carolyn Crimi
- Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson