Are you receiving tons of holiday cards from families and friends? Most people receive holiday cards and post them on a nearby bulletin board or display them around their house. Holiday cards can be a great language activity because they are free, arrive spontaneously in the mail, are all different, are attractive, and have a connection with you and your family in some way.
Why not take this opportunity and create a language enriched experience?
1. Answer “wh” questions: Show your child the holiday card. Ask simple “wh” questions such as “Who are the people in the card?”, “What are they doing?”, “Where are they?”, “Why are they smiling?”. This can be an excellent time to talk about this particular family and create an enriched language experience. If the card does not have a photo, read the card to your child and then answer questions. Work on reading comprehension by having your child read it and then answer questions about it.
2. Increase Commenting Skills: Holiday cards are an excellent activity to encourage commenting. Encourage your child to comment by saying “I like this card because ________”, “This card is shiny”, “The card is funny”, etc. Model language for your child!
3. Improve Literacy Skills: Given that all holiday cards have text, use this opportunity to read the words with your child. Discuss how the family name begins with a capital letter and discuss the punctuation (such as the exclamation mark at the end of Happy Holidays) on the card.
4. Recalling Information: Look at the holiday cards and discuss who the people are in the photos. Ask your child to recall any experience they have had with this particular family such as a recent outing, holiday, etc.
5. Compare and Contrast: Take three or more holiday cards and compare and contrast them. Ask your child to discuss similarities and differences between the cards such as the age of the children, number of children, colors, etc. This can be a fun and enriching activity that can help your child use their language and visual awareness skills in addition to building vocabulary.
Have you sent out your own holiday cards yet? There is still time! I happen to have received many beautiful holiday cards from Minted this year, which is a company made up of independent artists and designers that are located in 48 states and 43 countries. They are illustrators and textile designers, painters and packaging designers, marketers and stay-at-home moms. This company encourages artists all over the world to share their creative work and build their businesses from their workplace, home, etc. Check out their holiday collection here. Do you need some holiday tips and ideas? Check out the Minted Blog here.