Bath Time - Supporting Your Child's Development

Splish…Splash…Splosh…I was having a bath!

Since bath time occurs often and is usually fun for young children it is a great way to support your child’s speech and language development. Here are some ideas of how you can use language during your next bath!

Activity Ideas

  • Learning about body parts
    • Name body parts as you/your child washes themselves.
    • Ask your child “Show me your hands?”
    • “Let’s wash your feet”
    • “Rub your tummy”
  • Learning about concepts of size-(big/small) and location (on, under, in)
    • Talk about if a toy is big/small, long/short and where it is in the water.
    • Ask your child “Where is the…boat? It’s on top of the water!” Pause to give your child a chance to answer the question.
    • “Big/small bubbles”
    • “The boat is on the water”
    • “The duck is in the water”
    • “The dolphin is under the water”
  • Learning about opposites
    • When modelling concepts, it is often beneficial to use the opposite concept as well to highlight the difference (i.e. floats vs sinks). In order to highlight these concepts, set up very visual and practical activities that you can demonstrate the concepts in during bath time.
    • For example, play with a container of water in the bath and talk about how it is full and empty. Have different toys that float and sink and talk about what happens to them when they are dropped in the water-Watch them float or sink!
    • Floating/sinking
    • Hot/cold
    • Wet/dry
    • Clean/dirty
    • Full/empty
    • In/out
    • Top of the water/under the water
  • Sing songs together
    • Sing songs with actions (or make up your own song!). Do the actions whilst singing then stop and wait for your child to fill the gap (pause and look expectantly at your child-helps cue him to talk.) If he/she doesn’t say anything just fill in the word and continue.
    • Repeat, repeat, repeat! This gives your child a chance to learn the song routine so they’ll know what happens next and what to expect and can start to learn the words/actions.
  • Make believe water play
    • Use some little ocean creatures and have fun acting out crazy adventures.
    • This is a great way to build social language skills and practice having the characters greet each other and have a little conversation together.
    • When playing talk about what your child is doing - Llike a sports commentator! This gives your child the chance to be exposed to more and more language and start to use it themselves.
    • For example, “Wow so many bubbles in the bath tonight! I can see you’ve got bubbles on your boat. Now your duck is covered in bubbles as well.”

Bath time is just one of many daily routines that you and your child engage in throughout your day. Dinner time, getting dressed, preparing to go to school, brushing teeth, preparing to go to bed and going to the shops are all routines that you can incorporate language learning opportunities into.

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