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Oh it’s the most wonderful time of the year! There’s so much happening during the holiday season — and that means there’s so much to see and hear too. For holidays with hearing loss, there’s lots parents can do with their little ones to celebrate the sights and sounds of the season, all while building little brains!
The holiday season presents a wonderful opportunity to make the most of cozy, shared moments with your child while also supporting their listening, talking, and literacy skills. In this article, we'll explore the importance of nurturing these skills and provide you with some heartwarming tips to embrace this festive time with your child.
We often hear about the power of play for our little ones, and for children with hearing loss, it takes on an even greater significance. When you talk, read, sing, and play with your child, you’re actually creating an environment that encourages them to develop their listening and speaking abilities — while also having fun!
Holidays are filled with enchanting sights and sounds, from the twinkling lights on the tree to the crackling fireplace and the laughter of family and friends. Take a moment to describe these magical moments to your child, using simple words and phrases. Narrating the events and activities around them will help them connect the sounds they hear with the objects and actions they observe. This lays a strong foundation for listening and language development. This is an example of the LSL strategy called Play-by-Play.
As you decorate the house, you can say, "Look at the sparkling lights! We're hanging up the decorations, and it's starting to look so festive!"
For more ideas on how to grow your little one’s vocabulary, watch this video!
One of the most heartwarming traditions during the holiday season is cuddling up with a good book. Whether it's a story about the adventures of a snowman or a tale of kindness and generosity, reading aloud to your child is a fantastic way to foster a love for words and language. Choose books with vivid illustrations and discuss what you see on each page. Encourage your child to ask questions and share their thoughts.
Make reading a nightly tradition and experience the magic of storytelling! Use fun voices as you read aloud. Not only will you spark their imagination, you’ll also nurture their listening and comprehension skills.
Find your next wintery read in this handout and try some of the ideas to help your little one learn!
Music has a universal appeal, and it's a fantastic tool for teaching your child with hearing loss to listen and speak. The rhythm and melody of songs help children develop their listening skills and recognize patterns in speech. Singing holiday songs together is not only fun but it’s also a brain-building activity! Music is a whole brain workout at every age and promotes so many important skills, including:
Gather your family and sing your favorite holiday songs. Find songs with repeatable lines to encourage sound awareness, build vocabulary, and improve auditory memory.
Need some ideas? Try these fun seasonal songs!
Give the gift of your undivided attention. After all, the best present is your presence! Little ones learn best through playtime. It’s an important bonding moment for you both and it helps their little brain thrive as they learn new skills. And it's not about the toys you buy but the meaningful interactions you have together.
For playtime to be effective, it’s not what toys you use — it’s how you use them! Focus on meaningful, face-to-face interactions. Follow your child’s lead, get silly, and have some fun with it!
During this time of year, you may have more cardboard boxes around the house from all the holiday shopping. Watch this video to see how you can turn a cardboard box into your little one's favorite toy.
The early years of a child's life are a critical time for brain development, and the experiences they have during this period lay the foundation for their future learning and success. By talking, reading, singing, and playing with your child, you're helping their brain make crucial connections, which will benefit them throughout their life.
As you celebrate the sights and sounds of the holiday season with your child, remember that those shared moments are more than just heartwarming; they're vital to their growth and development. When you talk, read, sing, and play together, you can provide a nurturing and engaging environment that fosters listening and spoken language skills.
Embrace the magic of this season, and cherish the opportunity to watch your child with hearing loss learn and grow with you. By following these tips and being present in their world, you're not just creating cherished holiday memories but also supporting their lifelong journey of learning and communication.
May your holidays be filled with love, laughter, and unforgettable moments with your precious little one. Happy holidays to you and your family!
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