High-Quality Conversations with Your Child

High-Quality Conversations with Your Child

This Hanen resource offers 10 helpful ideas to help your child build vocabulary, critical thinking, and reading comprehension skills through high-quality conversations. We’ve summarized them for you in this week’s blog, but you can read the full resource article here.

  1. Expand your child’s message: Your child says, “wash hands,” and you can expand that by saying “Yes, let’s wash our hands with soap.”
  2. Add new words: Your child says, “His eyes are so big!” You can introduce a new word by replying “You’re right—his eyes are gigantic! I’ve never seen eyes that big before!”
  3. Make storytelling a part of your day: Before you visit the park with your child, you can encourage him to tell you what happened last time he was there.
  4. Make explanations a part of your day: You can ask your child to think of an explanation for the actions or emotions of a character in a book. For example, “Scaredy Squirrel seems really frightened to leave his nut tree. Why do you think he is so afraid?”
  5. Get your child involved in solving problems: For example, “Oh no! We’ve run out of glue to finish our art! What can we do?”
  6. Talk about what could happen next: Maybe you and your child are seeing monkeys at the zoo—ask, “What do you think might happen if we walk right up to the glass? Do you think the monkey will come and say hello?”
  7. Help your child see other perspectives: During book reading, you can ask you child what he would do if he found himself in the same situation as the book’s main character.
  8. Look for print all around you: Draw your child’s attention to print and written symbols during activities.
  9. Talk about letters and sounds: For example, “He has terrible tusks, and terrible claws, and terrible teeth in his terrible jaws.” Point to the words and say, “Do you see how the ends of the words sound the same? Claws sounds like jaws.”
  10. Making writing a natural part of your day: While your child is drawing or pretending to write on a piece of paper or chalk board, have a conversation about what he has done, asking questions and making enthusiastic comments.

The Hanen Centre focuses on helping parents and educators become the best and most important language teachers for young children by developing research-based programs and user-friendly resources for parents and educators.

The Speech-Language Pathologists at Midland Children’s Rehabilitation Center are Hanen certified, which equips them with some of the very best knowledge to empower the important people in a child’s life to be primary language teachers for their children.

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