My nephew is at the best age! He is just starting to develop formal language; he has about five verbal words and ten signs. He babbles, follows one step directions (when he feels like it), and imitates (again, when he feels like it). Today, I was able to accompany him at a baby swimming class. I was in the water and holding him throughout the lesson. As I held him, I realized that this experience was a gold mine for working on basic vocabulary! “Speech Pathologist Auntie” worked on verbs a lot during the lesson. “Kick, kick, kick” may have come out of my mouth 200 times in 30 minutes. I also chanted “splash” and “float” many times along with the instructor’s songs.
I couldn’t leave out the body parts. Since swimming is such a tactile experience, I touched the parts of my nephew’s body as he heard, “feet, hands, head, knees, tummy” in multiple sing-song voices. I love the repetitive, movement songs! This may or may not be the best time to admit that several of the songs I use with my circle time routines were based on swimming lesson songs from my own children’s lessons.
Although we didn’t work on these skills during today’s class, children and parents could easily work on oral motor imitation skills (motor boat), and breathing skills.
As children get older, the vocabulary could be expanded with so many more verbs and nouns!
Vocabulary in the Pool
(Note to readers, the title photo is a stock photo. It is neither me nor my nephew pictured above.)