Wednesday, March 18th, 2020

What can I talk to my loved ones about?! My kids?! My Partner?! Parents?!

To aid with going stir crazy, we are giving you any and all info to help you get through these times. Be patient, enjoy the time with your family, and stay positive! These ideas are all our own. 

It is a young child’s job to play! Play is also how kids learn how things in their world work. A child’s language skills parallels their play skills. To improve language and help kids use more words they have to play more, and they need a reason to communicate. If you have young kids and you are worried about improving their language outside of school- play, play, play, and then play some more!!! Below are some ideas from FUNctional Speech + Language, LLC., to help you structure your child’s play and provide you examples of vocabulary you and your child can use during the play activity.

NOTE: These are meant for you to do with the child so they have someone to communicate with.


Babies 18 months to 2.5 years old

1. Potato Head with variety of accessories and sizes

Target words/phrases: Body parts, put on, push, take off, big, little, colors, jump, dance, give high- five, wave, give me

2. Bubbles (in the bath even!)

Target words/ phrases:  blow, pop, again, more, clap, jump, stomp, big, little

3. Balls with different colors and textures

Target words/ phrases:  ball, colors, throw, catch, kick, roll, big, little, my turn, ready

4. Blocks or any building toy (magna tiles, mega blocks, legos, cardboard boxes, tissue boxes

Target words/ phrases: colors, put on, up, knock down, boom, build, tall, big, mine, yours, again

5. Train set with bridge, track, tunnel

Target words/ phrases: train, color, long, short, big, little, more, fast, slow, push, put together, in, out, over, stuck, help, fell off, go, stop


Children 2.5 to 4 years old

1. Play doh/ Kinetic sand

Target words/ phrases: squish, roll, make, push down, look, I did it, colors, shapes,

2. Magnetic Puzzle

Target words/ phrases: got it, I caught, item name, help, put in

3. Dolls/ stuffed animals with accessories brush, food, bed, blanket, clothes

Target words/ phrases: Eat, sleep, drink, brush, dress, shirt, pants, hat, blanket, rock, night night, wake up

4. Doctor kit

Target words/ phrases: body parts, all better, open your mouth, check your ears, got a boobo

5. Melissa and Doug Color Wow books

Target words/ phrases: color, names of items you are coloring, I found, look, I see

Remember interaction with another person while playing with the toys are key to improve a child’s language skills.


Children 4 and up 

To keep conversations going we need to ask questions, answer questions, and make comments. For children, having the conversations about recent experiences or activities like about a book they read, craft they made, picture they drew, or show they watched will keep them engaged and ensure that they understand the vocabulary they need to have a conversation. Questions can either be closed-ended or open-ended.

Use closed-ended questions for kids that need more support telling a story and giving details or with kids that can answer yes/no questions:

1. Is that a picture of our family you drew?

2. What are they doing in the show you are watching?

3. What do you need to make (craft item)?

Use open-ended questions for kids that can sequence events and tell a story with details:

1. Tell me about the book you read

2. How did you make this craft?

3. What should we do today?


Your partner, parents and other adults

When having a conversation with adults we often talk about personal events or current events. If you need a break from talking about the current event affecting us all now the Corona Virus, dig out some old family photos or interview a grandparent about their lives and all the changes they have seen during their life time.

1. What was the best part of your day?

2. What did you get to do today that you hadn’t had the time to do?

3. What are you most looking forward to doing once we go back to normalcy?

Check out FUNctional Speech + Language on  Facebook and Instagram for more tips on speech, language, and other related areas. They are also offering therapy over video conferencing while social distance restrictions are in place. For more info on how to get your child therapy while they are out of school contact Amanda Kukis M.A., CCC-SLP directly at 908-227-4934 or

Have fun making language FUNctional!

For your convenience, you can download and print the this blog as a PDF HERE.

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