Who It’s For: Kids of all ages
What They’ll Learn: Language skills
What You Need: Toys that are similar in some ways, and different in others
Want to know an easy way to help your baby start learning lots of words during playtime (without her even realizing it’s happening)? Then just keep a couple of “C” words in mind:
Compare & Contrast
By comparing and contrasting the toys your kid is playing with, you can help her start figuring out things like colors:
What do you notice about these toys? Their color! Compare things that are the same only the feature that you’re trying to teach. Point out their common color in casual, fun ways, like “Hey, look at these, they’re both red!” or “I’m going to drive this red fire truck over this red block!”
Now what do you notice about these objects? Their color again! You can contrast things that are different in only the feature that you’re trying to teach. Point out their differing color by saying, “My plate is blue and yours is yellow,” or “Let’s stack the yellow plate on top of the blue plate.”
Using comparison and contrast to show similarities and differences can really highlight a particular feature. By isolating color in these ways, you narrow down for the child what color words might mean.
Look how this situation combines comparison and contrast to really emphasize color. When I point to the green square and the green triangle and say, “Both of these are green,” and then I point to the red triangle and say, “This is not green,” I’m helping her to narrow down the possibilities for what the word “green” might mean and to learn the color.
Although we just used the example of learning colors, you can apply these same principles to help your child learn all kinds of things – like shapes, numbers, textures, animal names, your impressive collection of World of Warcraft avatars, or just about anything else you can imagine!
Is that dope enough? Indeed!