The following is a list of fun places to go and some examples of things you can say to your child. For all the locations, talk to your child about all the things you see, smell, touch, hear, and taste.
Free or pay for parking
Duck pond – Talk about the ducks swimming/walking. Are they wet or dry? Encourage your child to make duck sounds and point at the ducks
Park – Talk about digging in the sand and putting sand in and out of the bucket, going up and down the slide, getting in and out of the swing. Run on the grass with your child and tell him/her to stop and go. Encourage your child to say stop and go as well as request getting in the swing and going up the stairs to get to the slide.
Day hike with picnic lunch – Talk about the big trees and small bushes, smell/count the flowers, look for bugs in the dirt, look for birds and butterflies flying in the air. Talk about the food you packed. Is it sweet/sour?
Go for a walk – Walk around your neighborhood and talk about the flowers, trees, grass, and birds. Look for cars, airplanes, and helicopters. Talk about getting dressed before your child can go on a walk. Label all the clothing items as you put them on your child. Encourage your child to get clothing items on command.
Library – Read some books to your child and let your child pick out some books to take home and read later. Libraries often have fun activities for children. You can ask about the programs at your local library.
Wet Lands/Bird Sanctuary – Look for the birds and talk about what they look like and what they are doing. Encourage your child to point at a bird or tell you where he/she found the bird (i.e., in the water, in the sky, on a rock).
Nature Center – Go for a walk and talk about the trees, flowers, birds, bugs, animals etc. You can discuss size, color, and number. You can also stop and smell the flowers with your nose. Encourage your child to point or look to where you are pointing.
Beach – Talk about the hot/dry sand and wet/cold water. Talk about splashing in the water, digging in the sand while looking for shells and crabs, and putting sand in and out of the bucket. Talk about the birds flying and eating. Talk about putting sunscreen on different body parts (nose, arms, legs, ears, cheeks, chin, shoulders etc.). Encourage your child to point to body parts and talk about what he/she is doing.
Pretend City – This is a great place for imaginary play. Talk to your child and play with your child as you explore all the exhibits. Learn more about pretend city at www.pretendcity.org.
Petting Zoo/Fair – Talk about the animals. Are they big/little, soft/rough? What sounds do they make? Encourage your child to imitate the animal sounds or name/point to the animals.
Aquarium – Talk about the number, size, color of the fish. What are the fish doing? Where are the fish? Are they wet or dry? Encourage your child to point to the fish and talk about the fish.
Museum – Talk about the exhibits.
Zoo – Talk about the animals and the sounds they make. You can talk about what the animals eat and where they live. Encourage your child to label the animals/point to the animals and make animal sounds.
* Bring a camera and take pictures of your child at the different places, so you have a visual to help you and your child talk about what he/she did later that day.
* Read a book about what you are going to do before going to expose your child to the vocabulary prior to going. Then you can read the book again when you get home to enhance what your child has learned.