7 Activities For Language Development

  1. Blanket Game

    Materials: small child’s blanket, one object to be explored (pumpkins, pineapple, branch with fall leaves, seashell, stuffed animal, etc)

    Hide object under blanket and tell children that you have something to share with them. Let children feel object through blanket and you can describe attributes as they feel…”It feels soft. It’s flat. It feels bumpy.” Then sing a little tune like “There’s something under the blanket, blanket, blanket. There’s something under the blanket, what could it be?” Lift off the blanket and talk about the object. Let the children feel it without the blanket and repeat attributes, let them hold it and describe its size. Depending on the language skills of the children, you may want to put it back under the blanket and let the children tell you what it is. If it is a fruit or vegetable, open it and let children smell and taste.

  2. Touching Box

    Materials: cardboard box that you can open and close with a hole cut in one end large enough for a child’s hand, one common classroom object (car, plate, block, etc.)

    Description: A child puts his hand in the box and depending on language skills, you can ask attribute questions or describe for him what he is feeling. Let child guess what is inside or label for him the object when you open the box.

  3. Shake the Can

    Materials: empty pint or gallon paint can from hardware store (decorate as desired with stickers, puffy paint, etc.), material that will make a sound when can is shaken like pennies, rice, acorns, etc.

    Description: Bring can to group with material closed inside. Let children shake the can and describe the sound…loud, soft, clanking. Talk about size of what is inside. Let children guess, or label for them, the objects making the sound.

  4. Let’s Go on a Hunt

    Materials: lunch size paper bag for each child, area of classroom with objects that would fit into bag

    Description: Children go to a designated area of the classroom and find something that will fit in their bag, put it inside and the group regathers with teacher. Each child shows what they “found” on their hunt and you talk about the object – name, use, size, color, same as someone else’s find?

  5. Fingerplays

    Materials: fingers and memorized fingerplay

    Description: Teach fingerplays during caregiving times, quiet times with small groups of children or during large group circle times. Use during “wait times” such as before all snacks are served, or while children are waiting for parents

  6. Picture Cards

    Materials: family photos from the children’s families, index cards, poster board or cardboard, and clear contact paper

    Description: Make picture cards by gluing the photos onto a backing and cover with clear contact paper. Use the cards to generate stories about families, where Mom and Dad are, etc. Children will learn to identify other children’s families and learn appropriate vocabulary. You can leave cards or poster out for children to look at throughout the day.

  7. Texture Games

    Materials: fabric and other materials with texture (satin, flannel, burlap, sandpaper, cotton, etc.) – mount cards on a board

    Description: Let the children handle the textures and talk about how they feel. Hide one and try to guess which one is missing.


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