Winter Activities To Develop Child’s Native Language

Successful second language learning depends on the development of your child’s native language.  The following activities are suggestions for you to do with your child to develop their first language.  Use as much language as you can during each activity.  

The activities below are also focused on building your child’s background knowledge or prior knowledge.  It is important for your child to have many, various experiences to increase their background knowledge or prior knowledge.  Background knowledge is essential for reading comprehension.  Children need to have knowledge about the topic in a story or text in order to understand it.  The more a child knows about a topic, the easier it is to read and understand a text as well as remember the information in the text.  

  1. Discuss winter weather.  Blizzard, snow storm, ice storm, sleet, slush, ice, wind, freezing rain
  2. Discuss how people and animals prepare for winter and survive during the winter.  People shovel snow, scrape the ice, snow plows plow the snow.  Animals hibernate, migrate, store food, camouflage.
  3. Read winter-themed children’s books.    
  4. Make hot cocoa.
  5. Bake cookies.
  6. Go snow shoeing or a nature walk.  Do you see any icicles?  Search for animal tracks.  Identify trees deciduous, coniferous, evergreen.  Do you smell pine?  Observe different types of birds (not all migrate!).  Collect pine cones and berries.      
  7. Build a snowman or snow fort.
  8. Go sledding or ice skating.

  9. Because there is more darkness at this time of year, it is a great opportunity to observe the night sky.  Discuss and record the phases of the moon.  Do you see any constellations?  Observe or discuss sunrise, sunset, dawn, dusk, twilight.  Some animals are most active at dawn and duskDiscuss nocturnal and nocturnal animals.
  10. Build and decorate a gingerbread house.
  11. Make a craft.  
  12. Make a bird feeder.  
  13. Go on a sleigh ride.  What do you see, hear, or smell?
  14. Discuss cold regions of the world (north pole and south pole) and animals who live there.

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