Kids seem to have an inborn affinity for things that go. And although it will be several years before your baby can cycle on his own or drive a car, you can boost language comprehension and expand his word bank while things that go make his day!
1. It’s the rare toddler who doesn’t love the sight of an airplane zooming across the sky. So be sure to use lots of new words when you point out planes, blimps, helicopters, and even drones (if ones fly by). Use words like coast, soar, plane, high, low, and flight, as well as expressions such as disappear behind the clouds, take off, and land to let your child know that a plane’s journey starts and ends. Wonder out loud where the airplane is going—to Grandma’s, over the mountains, or across the sea? Hang out outdoors and together count how many high-flying planes you see.
2. What’s more fun for kids than talking about things that go? Actually going!Tots love being pushed, and pulled, in everything from a toddler-sized pretend toy car to a classic red wagon. Call out names for everything you see, including trees, birds, strollers, babies, mommies, daddies, sidewalks, mailboxes, houses, windows, and more. Tell your child roads can be short or long, smooth or bumpy, and that another word for road is street. Just be sure that your on-the move enthusiast can sit up safely on her own, particularly if heading over rocky terrain.
3. Older toddlers will love playing the time-tested kid-friendly Red Light, Green Light game. It gives parents a chance to introduce lots of new vocabulary words while challenging kids to stop and go (think: dancing, jumping, hopping, turning, and running in place). Use the phrase green light when you want your tot to begin an activity, and the command red light when you want her to stop or freeze in place. Join the game for a burst of exercise, Mom and Dad.
4. Reading aloud to your child is a super way to boost his understanding of words and concepts. Stock up on oversized, baby- and toddler-friendly books about things that go. You even may be able to find books in shapes of things that go, including cars, trains, subways, fire trucks, construction vehicles, 18-wheelers, boats, ships, submarines, and more. Kids will love feeling the rough edges of the book and poking little fingers through cut-out pretend windows. Then, next time you’re on the road, point out all the machines you spied together in the books to review the new vocabulary words.
5. If you’re not familiar with the song “Wheels on the Bus,” get used to hearing it now; it’s about to permeate your existence for the next few years. Little ones love this song about a bus driving around town. The hand motions that match the words of the song are easy to pick up and put motor skills to work, time after time, after time!