Language Simplified: Lunch

Using simple language during meal time is easy to do and very functional. Therefore, this is my first activity. Below are examples of what to do and what not to do. 


Language Milestones Targeted


Expressive Language

Receptive Language

  • Uses 30-50 words consistently 
  • 60% intelligible to unfamiliar listeners 
  • Imitates words easily 
  • Vocabulary increases each month 
  • Speaks with 2 word phrases 
  • Asks simple questions 
  • Points to body parts 
  • Follows simple directions 
  • Understands "no" 
  • Points to pictures in books 
  • Understands about 300 words

What you need: Nothing special! Whatever foods your family likes to eat.

How to Play: To really utilize meal time, I try to have finger foods or bites of food visible but out of reach such as orange slices, apple slices, raisins, or pieces of chicken. Therefore, my son has many opportunities to request more food while eating (aka, more expressive language practice)! For this example, there are a lot of questions. This example demonstrates how to ask questions using simple, direct language. There are examples of what to do and what not to do!

Tips:

  • Using simple language at this age does not mean baby talk. Your speech should be slower with a little more animation but closer to adult-like speech.
  • Match your child's length of speech and then add one more word. If your child speaks using 1 word, use 2 words.  If your child does not speak yet, use 1 word phrases, etc...


Lunch Script: What NOT to do!


Example Script (what NOT to do!): Lunch with a child who is 20 months old and says about 15 words

  • Parent: Do you want turkey and cheese sandwich or chicken barley soup? 
  • Child: Only points to sandwich 
  • Parent: You want turkey and cheese sandwich? 
  • Child: Again, only points to sandwich

This child only speaks using single words; therefore, an object with three names “turkey, cheese, sandwich” can be a bit overwhelming. While this parent and child did communicate effectively, the child did not have the opportunity to repeat words and/or learn a new word.


Lunch Script: What TO DO! 


Example Script (what TO DO!): Lunch with a child who is 20 months old and says about 15 words

  • Parent: Do you want sandwich or soup? (parent shows each object as it is being named) 
  • Child: Sanis (approximation of sandwich!) 
  • Parent: Sandwich, turkey sandwich? Yummy sandwich (parent repeated word and modeled a 2 word phrase. 
  • Child: mmm….sanis!


Lunch Script: What TO DO! 


Example Script (what TO DO!): Lunch with a child who is 2 years old and speaks in 2 word phrases

  • Parent: Do you want turkey sandwich or chicken soup? (parent shows each object as it is being named) 
  • Child: Titen soup (approximation of chicken soup!) 
  • Parent: Chicken soup? Eat chicken soup? (parent repeats the 2 word phrase and added a third word, verb to model the next language milestone) 
  • Child: Eat titen soup!

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