Talking about the weather is a great way to introduce new language for children – after all, what’s more exciting to talk about than putting on rubber boots and jumping in muddy puddles?!
Here are 5 fun ways that you can start talking about the weather with your children.
1. Talk about the weather every morning
Make a point of opening the curtains or the door every morning and talking to your child about the weather. Here are a few ways that you can do that depending on their age and their speech development:
- Ask them an open-ended question, for example, “what’s the weather like today?”
- Ask them to choose between two options, for example, “is it raining or is it sunny?”
- Tell your child about the weather, for example, “look, it’s raining, can you see?” Then point outdoors and try to get them to agree with your statement.
You might also like to use a weather chart to further develop their understanding of the weather and encourage speech. Using the chart, you could ask them to point to whichever image best represents the weather on that particular day.
2. Sing songs about the weather
Find nursery rhymes about the rain/sun/wind/snow, learn them, and sing them whenever it’s appropriate for the weather! Your child will start to associate the language in the song to the weather that they are seeing/experiencing and may even start to learn the words themselves.
3. Talk about what happens when the weather changes
When the weather changes during the day, take a moment to talk about this with your child. You might want to highlight that the weather has changed, and ask whether they can see the differences. Or you might prefer to ask them an open-ended question about what’s happening in the garden.
Here are a couple of examples that you can use depending on your child’s age and speech development:
“Look! It’s started raining. Can you see that the ground is wet? Can you see the clouds in the sky?”
“Is it sunny? What’s happening outside?”
4. Learn about a particular season
As you enter new seasons, take the opportunity to learn about them! You could read books about autumn as the leaves start to change color, or books about winter when it starts to snow.
Point out the similarities between what you can see in the book and what’s happening outside.
You could even use the opportunity to create an art project! Here are a few ideas:
- Draw a basic tree with lots of branches, then make small balls of colored paper that your child can stick on the drawing to create the leaves! Use green/yellow in the spring and orange/red in the autumn.
- Use a cork to print big snowballs onto a piece of paper – decorating it with lots of wintery, snowy shapes.
- Make a beach scene using real sand! You could draw or stick pictures of fish and other things that you might/have seen at the beach.
5. Play in the rain
Use rain as an opportunity to wrap up in raincoats, get outside, and have fun jumping in muddy puddles and making mud pies. Getting excited about play is one of the best ways to encourage your child to learn and use new language.
Talk them through the clothes that you have to wear to be able to play in the rain, and what you’re doing whilst you’re outside.
Playing with your children and exploring new ways of playing with them is a great way to introduce new language and get them to use a wider range of vocabulary. Enjoy the process!