Bubbles are tons of fun and can entertain your little ones for hours at a time but they can do so much more than that. I’m going to share some tips on how to use bubbles to develop both pragmatic and expressive language skills.
Developing Pragmatic skills (or social skills)
- Establish eye contact before blowing bubbles and wait for eye contact as a sign that your child wants more.
- Blow bubbles, put the lid back on and hand them to your child. If your child is having trouble opening the bottle, he/she may hand them back to you… and now they’ve made a request!
- In order to prepare for conversations, you can engage in turn-taking with your child. “It’s your turn and now it’s my turn. Then, it will be your turn again!”
Developing Expressive language skills:
While blowing bubbles, take a pause. This gives your child an opportunity to ask for more. You may also use this as an opportunity to teach accompanying baby sign language for ‘more’, ‘please,’ ‘again’ or ‘all done’. See below!
Use this activity as an opportunity to expand vocabulary. Get creative and have fun! Use words and phrases like: blow bubbles, big bubbles, little bubbles, float, pop, up in the air, high in the sky, round, etc.
Let’s really make this worth our while and when your child is requesting for more bubbles, exaggerate HOW to say the /m/ in more, the /p/ in pop and the /b/ in bubbles.
After your child blows a stream of bubbles, attribute one bubble for each letter of the alphabet and see how far you can go! You can do this with numbers, too.
Did you know?! Blowing exercises, such as blowing bubbles, position and strengthen the tongue for sounds produced in the back of the mouth.
Also, bubbles strengthen abdominal muscles in order for children to produce longer sentences! Encourage your child to blow consistently longer streams of bubbles each time you practice. This could be a fun game in which you count and see how long each child can blow for!
I hope these exercises will help you and your child get more out of bubbles time.