We know that the number of positive, quality words that children hear can increase their future success. Engaging in conversation with your child is one of easiest ways to help them develop the literacy skills that they need to succeed. These conversations can happen in the car, on the bus, or in the grocery store. Playing games like I-spy, recognizing numbers or letters on signs, or asking about their day are all simple ways to reach the goal of 2000 words an hour. Best of all, these conversations and games are free and will provide you with quality time with your child, all the while completing everyday tasks and chores that you are already doing.
The Laundromat is a great location for families to talk together. As we know, laundry can be a daunting task; in addition of the pile of clothes to wash, dry, sort and fold it seems almost impossible to keep your children entertained. To help make starting your conversations easier, as a partner in the Child and Youth Network, Investing in Children has created a conversation card to help promote meaningful discussion while you do your laundry. Along with the cards, laundry baskets of books are available with titles suitable for all ages have been provided with funding by the Healthy Kids Community Challenge to encourage children to run, jump, and play every day. The idea is not to add another chore to the list, but to promote the use of 2000 words an hour in the easiest way possible, by simply talking to your child.
Here are some conversation starters/activities to encourage positive communication with your child:
-Sort clothes by colour
-Play the alphabet game: Do you see the letter ‘A’ on this shirt?
-Talk about your day: What was the best part of your day today?
-Measure the soap together
-Ask: What if… we put in too much soap? We have too many clothes? We put a red shirt in with white clothes?
-Play a game of I-spy: I spy a blue shirt
-Count the number of pants, shirts and socks as you put them into the dryer
-Read a book or sing a song while you wait
-Play a game: I hear with my little ear, something that rhymes with...
-Play a game of peek-a-boo with an item of clothing
-Make a game out of matching the socks
-Have fun with a texture. Feel the difference between a towel and a pair of jeans