I read this Montessori language idea at dailymontessori.com. While I am not trained at all in the Montessori approach, I decided to try the activity in our own way.
Since we've been reading a lot of books about water and beaches, as well as playing in the sand, I chose beach words. I put out a beach towel and three objects, naming each object as I set it on the towel, "Ball. Boat. Fish." I let him hold the objects, throw the objects, explore the objects.
Later, we unrolled the beach towel again. This time, I set out the objects, named them, and then asked Tyson to point to the objects. He did a great job with this.
As a teacher, I know that a huge part of learning occurs through transfer. In other words, if a child knows something in one setting and then realizes he can use that same knowledge in another setting, massive learning will occur. I wanted Tyson to do that with language. I took the same three objects and put them on the table. We named each one. Then Logan and I created them out of playdough. Tyson got to help as well by pushing the fish cookie cutter into the dough and rolling the ball of dough. As we made a ball, a boat, and a fish, we talked about the words. We said the words in isolation. We talked about them in descriptive ways.
Finally, I tried to help him transfer the knowledge to books.
We read some of these books about the beach and we looked for all of the same objects, as well as naming other objects that were present.
We celebrated when Tyson pointed to the object. We celebrated his partial attempts at saying the words.
This activity is something that you can do constantly throughout the day. In fact, most parents are probably naming and showing objects on autopilot. I think the difference in the activities I chose for Tyson was that I focused on three objects in a variety of places. While this might not be necessary for all children, for a child that language is developing slower, it could be helpful to slow it down and help them recognize and celebrate what they do know.
If you have a post or an idea that you think would be particularly helpful, feel free to comment below. I'd love to hear your thoughts.
Here is where I'm linking up our playtime: