Speech & Language tips related to “Animals”

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Some early “words” include animal sounds, e.g. “quack quack” or “woof woof”. Making animal noises and gesturing animal actions are all part of early language development. There are many types of animals that may interest your child, offering him or her numerous opportunities to practise their commenting and describing skills.

  • Some activities that you & your child can do to complement the theme of animals are:
  • Sound play - making animal sounds.
  • Act out animal movements and use gestures to indicate different animals.
  • Name animals and describe their features to enhance your child’s understanding.
  • Pair the name of the animal with a gesture and animal sound, especially for toddlers.
  • Dress up as favourite animals.
  • Talk about how animal characteristics, e.g. similar/ different, size, colour, shape, body parts, fur, stripes etc.
  • Ask questions, e.g., “what sound does a duck make?”, “A dog goes ...?”
  • Read stories about animals.
  • Match “baby” animals with their parents.
  • Name “baby” animals, e.g. calf, gosling, fawn, kitten.
  • Describe where animals live, e.g. farm animals, jungle animals, home (pets).
  • Sing songs and nursery rhymes related to animals.
  • Talk about how to care for an animal (e.g. feeding, etc).
  • Eat some of the foods different animals like e.g. bananas/ monkeys, lettuce/ rabbits.
  • Face painting of animal faces.
  • Draw pictures or craft activities.
  • Talk about any pets the children may have at home.
  • Visiting petting zoos, the zoo and aquarium’s are very exciting this can be a very positive learning experience for the family.

Older children may have particular animals that they like. Encourage them to learn as much as they can about their favourite animal, with your help. Support them when they are talking about their favourite animals, by adding descriptive language and praising them for their descriptions. Drawing a picture together can be a helpful way to convey what you understood from their descriptions. That is, they get to “see” how you interpret how they described an animal. 

Talking about animals gives you the opportunity to use specific language about animals and demonstrate plurals, including regular plurals (e.g. cats) and irregular plurals (e.g. sheep). 

If you would like more information about speech and language development, or would like to discuss your child’s communication, feel free to contact me on 0417 255 062.