It’s that time of the year when our entry ways are full of winter outwear. Coats, scarves, hats and mittens are hanging from every chair and hook in the house. Why not use those mittens/gloves in a fun way to encourage language? I’ve got some tips for you!

Language Tip #1: Matching

This one is simple. Grab all the sets of gloves/mittens in the house and play a matching game. Matching objects is a basic skill that kiddos need! I see it as the precursor to comparing objects.

Language Tip #2: Describing

Once you’ve found a few mittens, play “I Spy” with them! This is a great way to work on describing skills and understanding distinguishing qualities. Lay the mittens out on the floor and start describing such as “I spy the mitten with red stripes.” When your child finds the correct mitten, then it’s his turn to give a description!

Language Tip #3: Comparing

Take 2 different mittens and talk about how they are the same and different. Do they have the same patterns? Are they the same size? These are just a few of the questions to ask your child.

Language Tip #4: Hide and Seek

Hide mittens around the house. To make it easier, hide them in one room. As your child finds the mitten, he has to tell where he found. Be sure he is using positional words like “UNDER the chair,” or “BESIDE the couch.” You want to make sure they are not using the phrase “right there.”

You can easily turn this into a following directions activity! Hide the mittens just as you would above. Then tell your child to find a mitten using phrases like, “Find the mitten on the table.”

 Language Tip #5:The Mitten

Have you heard the story of “The Mitten?” It’s about some wild animals that find a mitten and they all squeeze into it…even a giant bear! Make your own version at home with some plastic animals. You can encourage naming the animals as your child puts each one in the mitten. You can work on the concepts of “in” and “out.” You can even play “I Spy” with the animals such as “I spy an animal with spots in the mitten.” The child has to find the leopard and put it in the mitten. Work on sequencing! Talk about what animal went into the mitten first, next, last, etc.

The point is you can turn something as simple as a mitten into a language tool! You do not need expensive toys and loud gadgets to encourage language with your child. What are some other ideas for using mittens?

Need some more fun ideas to help encourage language? Try this post!