Let’s Talk About Clothes
Amy C. Tyner, M.A. CCC-SLP, Senior Speech-Language Pathologist
Helping Your Child Learn About Clothing Words
Winter in Florida is a time of changing weather. It is a good time to talk with children about the clothes that we wear depending on the weather. You can help your child’s vocabulary by talking all about clothes with him or her. Remember that children learn language best just by listening so any time that you talk with your child you are helping him or her to learn new words and concepts. You don’t need to be a teacher to teach speech and language! Here are some specific things you can focus on when you talk about clothes:
Names of clothes: Talk about the names of the different things that we wear. Talk about clothes that are appropriate for different types of weather and activities. Children in Florida may need extra help learning about winter clothes like mittens, scarves, and boots. If you have these items at home, let your child try them on and practice their names. If you don’t have any of these items, you can find pictures of them online or in catalogs or magazines.
Names of body parts: As you help your child dress each day, talk about where the different clothes are worn on the body. This will help your child learn the names of the body parts as well as the names of the clothing items.
Size words: Take time to compare items of clothing that belong to different family members with your child. Talk about whose clothes are big and whose are small. This helps your child learn size words and helps in learning comparisons like bigger and smaller.
Possessives: As you talk about clothing items you find around your house, talk with your child about who the items belong to. Your child will learn what we call possessives as you use words like mine, yours, hers, mommy’s, Johnny’s, etc.
Describing words: As you talk about clothes, practice using describing words to talk about the colors and textures of the different items. You can talk about clothes that go together and match them into outfits with your child. You can describe how clothes feel-soft, smooth, scratchy, etc.