Telescopes and Treasure Hunts
Wednesday, 15 June 2016
Making telescopes is double fun: You get to have fun making them and then more fun using them later on. When I do this with groups of toddlers (see Chatterbabies Sessions if you want to join in) parents often say that the telescope has accompanied their family on all their outings that week (before their child turned it into a light saber or a sword, obviously).
How to make your telescope:
- Get a piece of coloured A4 paper or card
- Allow your child to stick things on it. This might be stickers, feathers, sequins, pictures cut from catalogues... anything which makes it interesting to make and look at.
- Roll the card up to make a long tube and stick it with sticky tape. Ta da! You have a telescope.
How to use this to support your child's language development:
1) When your child is decorating the telescope comment on what she is doing. Remember commenting is different than testing. A comment would be 'I like these soft feathers', whereas a test would be 'what colour is this?' You could comment on the stickers and the glue, you could talk about what you like and the different colours and shapes which you see. This will expose your child to a much richer variety of language than if you simply ask questions such as 'what's that?'
2) The really fun part! When you have decorated the telescope and let any glue or paint dry it's time to go on a treasure hunt! Make sure that you and your child both have a telescope and walk around your house, looking through the telescope at their toys, shoes, the cat... anything which takes your interest. These everyday objects are treasure to your children! Make sure that you mainly look at and talk about what your child is interested in so you have their attention, and use the following tips to support their language development:
- Comment on what you can see using a simple sentence 'I see a teddy!'
- Use descriptive words e.g. 'teddy is really soft'
- Talk about where you found it 'the teddy is under the chair'
Using these 3 tips is a fun way to support your child's use of naming words, descriptive words and position words.