Goldfish Swim School Promotes Language Development

We have been attending swim lessons at Goldfish Swim School for a little over a month. With each class, I can see my daughter becoming more comfortable in the water. With each passing lesson, she becomes more relaxed when floating on her back and when she “catches her bubble” when dipping underwater. Not only is she learning the basics of swimming and water safety, but I watch her vocabulary and her ability to follow directions increase with each swim lesson. Below I have listed five ways Goldfish Swim School will promote your child’s language development.

1. Action WordsEach swim class focuses on actions. Your child will be kicking, reaching, climbing, jumping etc. You will be labeling and modeling the action for your child and then help your child replicate the action. Understanding and using verbs are important for beginning sentence building. Every simple sentence that your child will begin to put together will contain a verb. Below you see my babe reaching out as she learns to swim. With each stroke, the instructor and parents say the action word, in this case “reach,” that they want the children to perform.

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2. Spatial Concepts: Spatial concepts describe where your child is in relation to objects (think “under/on/in front”). Your child will be exposed to a variety of spatial concepts throughout the swim lesson. She will be asked to lie back, climb out and crawl across. Spatial concept vocabulary will be modeled and demonstrated and you will help your child move her body according to the spatial concept that is used. When she is asked to “climb out,” you will help move her body out of the pool.   

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3. Simple Directions: Your child will be following simple directions involving a combination of actions and spatial concepts throughout the swim lesson. You can repeat the direction and then help your child follow through with the directions that are given. For example, she will be asked to “put in,” “sit down” and “jump in.” Providing directions helps your child understand what is expected of her and help build her receptive language abilities.

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4. Body Parts: Body parts are labeled throughout the swim lesson. Kick feet, close mouth and pull with hands are a few ways body parts will be labeled. Understanding body parts is one of the earliest concepts your child will learn. The lessons work to reenforce these basic identification skills.

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5. Fast/Slow: The concepts of fast and slow will be used when moving through the water. You will be modeling the words while moving your child fast or slow throughout the water. Understanding tempo and movement is also key to understanding spatial awareness.

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Swimming lessons at Goldfish Swim School are a wonderful way to explore and expand your child’s vocabulary. These lessons will capture your child’s attention and provide an opportunity for you to use new vocabulary words in the appropriate setting and actions.

The Details: We attend lessons at the Goldfish Swim School in Dublin, Ohio. Check out this link for locations, address/telephone details and how to sign up for lessons.

Disclaimer: We were provided free swimming lessons by Goldfish Swim School in exchange for collaborating blog posts. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

All About Apples

The beginning of fall means that apple season is here! I am excited to take baby girl apple picking and then play, taste and cook with all of the apples. Read on for all of the ways I promoted language development with all things apple.

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Visit an Apple Orchard:

A trip to the apple orchard provides opportunities for language development in a natural setting. Below I have listed 5 simple ways to promote language development while picking apples.

Reach Up: Use the spatial direction, up, to talk about the location of the apples in the tree. Give the verbal direction, reach up, to direct your child where to pick the apple.

Put In: After picking the apple, use the routine, familiar direction of put in to direct your child to place the apple in the container.

Big/Little: Find big apples and little apples. Use big/little to compare and contrast the different sizes of apples.

Colors: Find red, green and yellow apples. Label the different colors.

Taste: Taste the apples. Use descriptive words (crunchy/juicy/sweet) to describe what your child is tasting.

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Make an Apple Sensory Bin:

Fill a bin with dried oatmeal, a sprinkle of cinnamon and a dash of nutmeg. Place miniature apples, tin cups and a wooden spoon in the container. Show your child how to mix the ingredients with the spoon, scoop the oats with the tin and then pour the oats out.

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Make Apple Chips:

Not only is exposing your child to cooking a great way to expand her palate, but the process provides a great way for her to build her language skills. Check out this post for simple ways to build you’d child’s language while cooking.

First, we used the apple corer and slicer to prep the apples. We then followed this recipe to make the yummy chips.

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5 Ways to Promote Language Through Cooking

My one-year-old is with me all the time in the kitchen. She is either begging to be picked up to see what I am doing or begging for tastes of what I’m cooking. She is so interested in food and cooking that I have decided to include her in the process.

Not only is exposing your child to cooking a great way to expand her palate, but the process provides a great way for her to build her language skills. Below I have listed 5 simple ways you can include your child in the cooking process to promote her language development.

Wash: Wash hands, wash food, or wash the dishes. Be sure to use the word wash while you are washing. You can also discuss the concepts wet/dry and clean/dirty.

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Label: Label items in the kitchen. Label food, herbs, silverware, and dishes. The opportunities for labeling are endless.

Put ___ In: Cooking involves so many opportunities to follow simple directions. A child as young as a year old can begin following the direction to “put in.”

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Mix: Use the word mix while mixing ingredients with a spoon, with your hands or with a blender. We have a ninja blender which made mixing very accessible for my 13-month-old.

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Taste and Smell: If your child is anything like mine, taste and smell are a packaged deal right now! Give opportunities to smell and taste ingredients when appropriate. Label the items and talk about how each item tastes and smells.

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I have found when cooking with children it is best to pick recipes with simple directions and few ingredients. I am not a cook, so searching for recipes is something I do quite often. I turn to these websites for inspiration when cooking with and for my daughter:

Hungry Little Munchkins

Butcher Baker Blog

Stephanie’s Kitchen 007