"Look Mommy! The baggage carousel!" Kids encounter so many new words every day, and when they're traveling, there's even more to learn! Names for things your child will encounter on his next trip somewhere will help him make sense of the journey. Before your next family getaway, make a set of picture/word vocabulary cards together. Along the way, use them for fun games that will build your child's language and comprehension skills.
What You Do:
- Make a list of travel vocabulary with your child. Start with basic vocabulary, then add words related to your specific destination (grandmother, amusement park, skyscraper, etc.) Have her write the list if she's up for it!
- With your child, find and print photos for each of your vocabulary words on your list by searching online. If you can't find suitable pictures for any of the words on your list, have your child draw a picture of the vocab word instead.
- Photos of each word will help your child make the picture/word connection which will help him expand his vocabulary. Support learning with photos that "isolate" only the item named: one suitcase rather than a stack of suitcases, carry-ons and garment bags.
- Next, invite your child to help you cut the images to fit the cards. Trim oversize images yourself. As you snip together, name the images and explain what each of them is.
- Have your child lay a card on the table and choose an image. On back of image, have him apply a dot of glue in each corner, then turn image over and stick on card. Make sure you leave room on the index card to write the corresponding vocab word.
- Then have your child write the corresponding vocab words below each picture in lower case letters. If you have a little trouble remembering names for the images, your child might remind you!
- Now it's time to laminate! Show your child how to peel the backing off an adhesive sheet. Have him peel and hand you sheets while you laminate. Lay a sheet on table, sticky side up. Center the card on the laminate. Match the corners with the second sheet, making contact with a long edge first.
- Have your child use the bowl of a spoon to smooth laminate from the center of card all the way out to the edges so that all of the air bubbles are smoothed out.
I Spy in Line! The next time you're on a trip and you see some of your travel vocab words out and about while you're waiting in line, hand your child 4 or 5 cards showing some items visible at that moment. "Read" the cards together, then invite your child to hand you the card when he sees the item. Help him find them all (if needed) before your turn.
Mid-Journey Memo: Play together! Invite your child to cover the tray table with 6 or 8 cards, face up. Ask your child to "memorize" cards and then turn them over. Pick a card, guess the word and turn over. Remove cards for correct guesses until gone. Repeat with new cards.
Boredom Bingo: Hand your child a stack of 10 cards for visible items. Your child can call a letter for every find (b-i-n-g-o) and "win" a story, a stretch or a short walk.
Air Travel Vocabulary:
Land forms, highways and cities from above
Train Travel Vocabulary:
You can add more of your own words to this list if you think of anything else!