Building Vocabulary with Language Objects and Cards

My son has been very interested in several things recently. He thirsts for words. He points to items and names them or asks for us to name the ones that he doesn’t know. He also brings us some of the pictures of family members that we have around the house and wants us to name each person as he points to them. Finally, he is interested in dressing himself and tries multiple times during the day to put on or take off his clothes. Taking these three interests into consideration, I put out a language activity for him and he loves it and uses it several times a day so I thought I’d share.

Clothes and cards

He takes it to the coffee table. The cards are quite big and don't fit on his table. He also prefers to do it standing.
He takes it to the coffee table. The cards are quite big and don’t fit on his table. He also prefers to do it standing.
Take out the basket with the clothes
Take out the basket with the clothes

Ideally, the child should know the names of the items already. You can give a 3 period lesson with the objects first. Remember the 3rd period is not necessary for the toddler.

Lay out the cards
Lay out the cards. I repeated the names as I laid out the cards… this is a picture of the jean shorts. I also took care to lay them out as straight and nice as I could
Lay the clothes on the pictures and notice they are exactly the same.
Lay the clothes on the pictures and notice they are exactly the same. Again I took care to match them perfectly. This was a point of interest for him

and then it’s his turn. I helped him out with laying out the cards the first few times but he is able to do it independently now. He tries (unsuccessfully) to lay them out very orderly and match up the clothes like I did when I presented it to him. It’s really cute.

Trying to match up the hooded sweatshirt
Trying to match up the hooded sweatshirt
He tries to put on the shorts every time!
He tries to put on the jean shorts every time!
But always comes back to lay it on the picture. He tries really hard to match this one up perfectly and usually does
But always comes back to lay it on the picture. He tries really hard to match this one up perfectly and usually does
Long sleeve shirt
Long sleeve shirt
Trouser
Trouser
I'll try it on first... Oops, doesn't fit
I’ll try it on first… Oops, doesn’t fit
I'll match it up then
I’ll match it up then
"Done!" He says it and signs it.
“Done!”
He says it and signs it.
Pack up the items
Pack up the items
And then the cards
And then the cards
Take  it back to the shelf. Notice he forgot to put in the basket
Take it back to the shelf. Notice he forgot to put in the basket
He comes back with a different material and realizes he did not return the basket and so returns it. Instead of putting it with the tray, he put it in the space where he just took the other material from. We'll have to work on how to carry tray and basket together
He comes back with a different material and realizes he did not return the basket and so returns it.
Instead of putting it with the tray, he put it in the space where he just took the other material from. We’ll have to work on how to carry tray and basket together

He really loves this activity. The clothes are doll clothes and I have a few that I can add or rotate. I started with 4 and have found it to be a good number because he goes through the entire cycle of activity. He hasn’t said any of the words yet but is able to point out or hand me the correct item on request. You may have noticed that I don’t try to shorten the words. This is the period of the absorbent mind so they can take the words no matter how complicated. Why say hoodie when I can say hooded sweatshirt? 🙂

This activity meets the child’s needs and supports the sensitive periods for language, order and movement while also engaging the child. It definitely hits the material sweet spot.

Live a Good Life!

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6 thoughts on “Building Vocabulary with Language Objects and Cards

  1. My daughter absolutely loves puzzles at the moment. She had just the one chunky “place the piece in the right hole” type puzzle, but seemed to get bored with it very quickly. I luckily found some very nice two and three piece puzzles that she absolutely adores. She brings them to the play mat several times a day and has very quickly learned how to build them herself. It really is a joy watching how much they are capable of when it interests them. 🙂

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