Strategies and Activities to do During Your Child's Bathing and Dressing Routines:
It is important to engage your child throughout his/her day. What better time than bathing and dressing since these are natural parts of your child's everyday routine! Here are some ideas to encourage both language and social/emotional connections during these times.
1. Label what you are doing: Since modeling language is so important in the early years of your child's development, you can label what is happening during your child's bathing and dressing routines. This helps your child connect words to objects. An example would be saying, "Oh, do you need socks?" [while showing your child socks] "That's because your feet are cold!" [touch your child's feet] "Let's put socks on your feet" [put socks on your child's feet].
2. Keep it simple: Children will model what you say. However, if your language is too complex, your child may become discouraged and not imitate your language. So keep it simple! An example would be saying, "Is that your duck?" [point to duck in bath tub] "I love ducks!" [pick-up the duck and show it to your child].
3. Read Your Child's Cues: Sometimes children can be subtle in their interest toward something. This could be a quick glance or a squeal. If your child does makes eye contact or any noise, regardless if it is intentional or not, use it as you would use language and answer it! This will not only encourage language, but it can also help foster social/emotional connections between you and your child. For example, say, "Is this your duck?" [child looks at duck] "Do you want the duck?" [child makes a noise] "Here you go" [give your child the duck].
Have fun, and remember that any time during your everyday routine can be a learning moment for you and your child.
Stay happy and healthy!