Simon Says: Receptive Language and Toddlers
It’s Thanksgiving and the Grandkids Are Coming! Yeah, now how to keep them occupied?
This year for the first time, I’m going to try to recruit the older ones to lead the younger ones to play a language game. (this is what happens when you retire too early). What game is the easiest to tackle? Eliminating the 6 month old, I’m going to get the older grands (ages 8, 5, almost 5 and 4) to teach the two 2-year-olds how to play “Simon Says”. An opportunity to strengthen everyone’s receptive language skills.
Why Simon Says and Receptive Language?
Since language development hits a critical period from 18 months to 3 years, it’s a perfect opportunity to give our 2’s some quality time to practice following directions under the guidance of their 4 older cousins. A toddler’s ability to understand the meaning of words and follow directions grows at an amazing pace. Coupling that with older cousins taking on the role of teachers, this could be an amazing opportunity. I’ll be posting an update, both positives and negatives after Thanksgiving!
Language development is linked closely with following directions. Success in following directions will be a way that we will be able to evaluate our 2-year-olds receptive language development or understanding skills. Generally, a 2 year old’s understanding vocabulary is much bigger than their expressive vocabulary (their talking language. Each of these 2-year-olds understands hundreds of words thanks to their talkative parents and siblings. It is generally easier to know if a child’s expressive language is progressing because they are talking! It’s more difficult to know if a child is showing appropriate receptive language (understanding) development.
Receptive Language and Following Directions
In general, toddlers should be able to follow directions of increasing length and complexity showing they are understanding more vocabulary words and concepts. Our game will start with one-step directions since they are the easiest and will help teach the 2’s how the game “Simon (Dec, Con, Meg or Em) Says” is played! (eg., touch your nose, pick up the ball, hold my hand). The directions will increase to 2-3 steps as long as the 2-year olds are engaged and still having fun. Knowing my grandkids, the game will certainly continue after the 2’s lose interest with the 4 older ones challenging each other with more complex questions. Who knows, maybe my adult kids will challenge one of their siblings or a spouse to a round of Simon Says! We are a competitive bunch! I love when the kids come back home!
Coming Soon! Blog Topics:
- Receptive Language Milestones,
- Expressive language Milestones,
- Vocabulary Development in Toddlers
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