Language Development

5 Daily Routines for Embedding Language

April 8, 2017

I’m Brooke
I'm a speech therapist specializing in early language, but more importantly, I'm a mom of a toddler who has been on her own journey with physical and occupational therapy
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As young children are learning about the world, daily routines play a very important role. These include the routines of daily living such as getting dressed, eating meals, and getting ready for bed. They can also be specific to you and your child such going on a walk every afternoon to check the mail. Daily routines provide predictability and teach your child about the world. Because of this, they are an excellent opportunity to work on language. When children know what is going to happen, they can focus on hearing and learning the words around them. Since routines occur daily, there are ample opportunities for a child to hear a word and pair it with what is happening. Below are some ideas for emending language into daily routines:


Nouns: Food items- “Banana, pancake, waffle, cereal, oatmeal, etc, spoon, knife, cup, placemat, and chair”

Verbs: “Cut, pour, wash, wipe, open, scoop, eat, drink, make, cook,

Adjectives: “Sweet, gooey, soft, crunchy, stringy, sticky, yummy,  salty, and “juicy”

Songs “Apples and Bananas”

Language Building Activities/Ideas: Let your child help prepare the meal, Items such as the Funbites Food Cutter and Chuboos Vegetable Cutters allow toddlers to safely participate in meal prep. A stool such the GuideCraft Kitchen Helper allows your toddler to be where the action (and many opportunities for learning) are.

Getting Dressed:

Nouns – “Shoes, socks, shirt, shorts, pants, legs, arms, head, shoulders, feet”

Verbs: “Put (it on), pull, button, wipe, brush, open, close”

Adjectives: “Soft, wet, dry, big, small” and colors of clothing

Adverbs: “On, off”

Songs: “Teddy Bear Teddy Bear” (substituting – “Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, Put on your _____”), “Head, Shoulders, Knees, & Toes.”

Language Building Activities/Ideas: Have your toddler get items for you (“Please bring me your shoes”). This helps your child’s understanding of language and receptive vocabulary.


Playing Outside:

Nouns: “Ball, bubbles, grass, dirt, flowers, trees, equipment (slide, swings, etc.) bucket, shovel, sand, dirt”

Verbs: “Run, jump, bounce, throw, kick, roll, stop, go, pat, roll, dig, bury, pour, build, dump, scoop, shake, sift”

Adjectives: “Wipe (dirt off), dirty, sunny/cool/hot, fast, slow”

Adverbs: “Above, under, in, out”

Songs: Action songs – “If You’re Happy and you Know it,” Weather songs – “Rain Rain,” You are my Sunshine,” “Ants go Marching, “Baby Bumble Bee”

Language Building Activities/Ideas: Familiar games and routines are the gristmill for language learning. Play games such as “Chase” and “Hide and Seek” with your little one.


 Bath time:

Nouns: “Body parts (hair, feet, tummy, legs, arms, head) bath toys, towel, soap, water, bubbles”

Verbs: “Wash, splash, dunk, scoop (with bath toys), pour, pop (bubbles)”

Adjectives: “Clean, dirty, under, wet, dry”

Adverbs: “Above, under, in, out”

Songs: “Row Row your Boat,” “Five Little Ducks”

Language Building Activities/Ideas: Use fun bath time toys such as stacking cups for plenty of opportunities for “scooping” and “pouring” and to teach spatial concepts such as “under.”



Nouns: “Bed, blanket, pillow, pajamas, teddy bear”

Verbs: “Read, sleep, snuggle, hug, kiss, off (light), tuck, sing”

Adjectives: “Warm, soft, comfortable, dark, quiet”

Adverbs: “In, out, on, off”

Songs/Activities: “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star”

Language Building Activities/Ideas: Read “Goodnight Moon” and say “Goodnight” to items in the room.

For a Printable Version of this Handout, Click Here: RoutineHandout

Pediatric Speech Pathologist Brooke Andrews

Brooke is the owner of The Speech Dynamic LLC , where she provides play based and family centered speech and feeding therapy. in the Greater Houston area, She is the co-creator of “Wiggle time,” an interdisciplinary curriculum for pediatric therapy.  She has presented at The North Carolina Exceptional Children’s Conference regarding embedding language into routines. She has also shared her expertise on a panel for The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Brooke has a passion for helping families understand the importance of play for speech & language development.

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