Family photos provide rich details for this oral-language activity.

  • Collect a number of family photographs, including a number of yourself when you were young.
  • Invite your child to sit with you.
  • As you look through the photos, help your child name each of the people pictured.
  • Ask your child to tell what is happening in each photo.

This game is a listening challenge for children of all ages.

  • Set out three or four familiar objects that make different sounds when tapped, such as a book, a framed photo, a cup and a spoon.
  • Give your child time to examine the objects.
  • Ask your child to close his or her eyes while you tap one of the objects with a pencil.
  • Have your child try to guess, by its sound, which object you are tapping.
  • Let your child open his or her eyes to see if the guess was close.
  • Follow the same procedure with the other objects. Or, let your child have a turn being the tapper.

Listening to and following directions is rewarding with this activity.

  • Select a “treasure” such as stickers, paper cutouts, or new crayons.
  • Hide the treasure in the room in a place where your child can easily reach it.
  • Give your child “hints” for finding the object.

Your child will enjoy “reading the newspaper” with this letter-recognition activity.

  •  Give your child a page from a newspaper and a small-tip felt marker.
  • Print the first letter of your child’s name, to serve as a guide, at the top of the paper.
  • Have your child look through the letters on the newspaper, searching for his special letter.
  • Have him circle the letter with the marker.
  • Continue in the same manner with other alphabet letters, having your child use markers of different colors to circle them.

This activity develops letter recognition through sight and touch.

  • Select a dark colored baking pan (or box) with sides.
  • Pour enough salt into the pan to cover the bottom.
  • Show your child how to draw alphabet letters in the salt.
  • To clean the salt slate, have your child gently shake the pan to even out the salt.

Your child will love playing this simple listening game.

  • Have your child stand outside the room while you set an alarm clock to go off in a couple of minutes.
  • Hide the clock in a place that is accessible to your child.
  • Have your child come into the room and begin to search for the clock.
  • When the alarm goes off, have your child use the sound as a clue for locating the clock.

Use this homemade toy for a variety of storytelling activities.

  • Select a cube-shaped facial tissue box.
  • Cut out four interesting magazine pictures to fit the sides of the box.
  • Turn the box upside down so that the opening is at the bottom.  Tape the pictures to the sides of the box.
  • Insert your hand into the box opening and tell a story about the pictures, rotating the box as you do so.
Give the box to your child and let him or her tell you a story about the pictures.

Dressing up is always a popular dramatic-play activity and it is great for developing language skills.

  • In a box, place old clothes and accessories for your child to play with.
  • Include such items as dresses, shirts, trousers, jackets, aprons, neckties, hats, scarves, shoes, gloves, eye glasses (with lenses removed).
  • Place a mirror near the box for your child to look at while he or she dresses-up.
  • Ask your child to tell you what he or she is pretending to be in the different dress-up outfits.