Observe the child during outdoor play with an adult. See what terms are used. Ask the parent to describe the child’s use of time terms, like tomorrow, tonight, etc.
The adult can elicit vocabulary by being a player. In dramatic play outdoors, say, “I am making a museum of nature for people to come and see. I need rocks. I need a big one and a little one.” “ I need a heavy one and a light one.” “Okay, now how about a tall stick.” Continue with other characteristics hard, soft, etc. If the child brings many rocks, “Say, I just need one. You pick the one.” (You can also add in counting and say a number that you need.)
The child will see the size differences between two items at a time. As the items are found the child will spontaneously describe what he has. “This one is heavy!”
Provide examples of how parents can use measuring terms in the home. For example, “You have gotten taller. Let’s see how much taller you are.” “This morning you can help me with the laundry. This afternoon after your nap we’ll go to the park.” Use of the terms in context of daily life is the best way to learn.
North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, 2015
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