Quick and Easy Ways to Develop Language Skills while on the Move

October 30, 2014

Happy fall Motherburg readers,

It is likely you are deep into daycare routines, new parent groups or several after school activities by now. Time, sweet, precious time, is something everyone is surely pining after. A few weeks back, Donna and Erica wrote a great post on quick and easy meals. I thought, “Yes this is what people need – quick and easy ways to do things.” So to continue those thoughts, here are 3 quick tips on building language while in transit:

If you’re walking

One major issue with walking here in NYC is noise. So while you’re pushing that stroller or holding that small hand, a lot of the time it’s hard to hear your little one with all the competing background noise. A quick and easy way to build language skills while walking in all that ruckus is by POINTING to things.

While putting jackets or shoes on, decide what color items your child might point to while walking. Other fun things to look for: pick a vehicle (Let’s find all the buses today) or street sign (There’s another STOP sign. Look!) or actions (I see another person running) or notice all the dogs. You might be surprised at what you see each morning.

If you’re in the car

Whenever I think of parents in the car, I think of the rearview mirror and all those glances in one short trip. One quick and easy way to build language skills in the car is by playing I SPY. You can play this with very young kids if you keep it simple and relaxed enough.

Again you can spy many concepts: colors, big things, little things, things inside the car or outside of the car, things in the front of the car or the back seat. Or focus on parts/details only (I spy someone with brown hair). Some kids love the guessing part, others like to make items up. Either way, it occupies their minds and their mouths for a little while.

I am often waiting for a bus or hoping the train will pull into the station. As an adult, it takes a lot of energy to commute this way. Imagine the kids. They’re a lot smaller than everyone else and they’re often a lot chattier. One quick and easy way to build language skills in transit is by PREDICTING what will happen next. 

If you’re on a train, bus or ferry

Start while waiting for your bus/train/ferry. Guess how long it will take and set a timer together. Or guess if it will pull in fast or slow. While riding, predict things in the immediate environment (Do you think more people will get on and we’ll get squishier or more people will get off and we’ll see out the window again?) and predict what will happen next (At school today, do you think there will be play doh on the table or puzzles?). With slightly older kids, this can turn into story telling as well.

Alright to all the moms + dads + grandmas + grandpas + anyone else zipping up jackets and heading out the door, may you have a smooth commute today.

Thanks as always for reading. Till the next post, take care.



Vanessa D’Auria is a licensed speech-language pathologist providing home-based services in Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan. For more information about Vanessa, visit speechtherapyvanessadauria.com or to ask speech/language questions, email directly at speechtherapynyc@gmail.com.




All Photos Motherburg 

Car Seat Photo source




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