5 Easy Ways to Use Holiday Activities to Build Language

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5 Easy Ways to Use Holiday Activities to Build Language

Winter break is almost here and the holidays are right around the corner. This time of year often brings feelings of excitement and joy for children who are eagerly expecting visits from family, participating in themed holiday activities, and ready to enjoy longstanding family traditions. Although these times are filled with fun, it can be difficult to get your child to sit down to work on language goals at home. Here are some ideas for how to target language skills during your everyday holiday activities without your child even realizing it!


  • Describe the different wrapping paper patterns. Next time you go shopping at the store or wrap a present at home, grab a few different patterns of wrapping paper. Work on describing the different wrapping papers with your child! You can describe the color, shape, size, feeling, smells, sounds, and more! Describing is a fantastic way to build up a child’s descriptive language skills.
  • Compare and contrast wrapping paper patterns. After you finish describing the paper with your child, pick two different patterns and ask your child how they are the same and how they’re different. Get creative! Is one roll of paper thicker than the other? Is one softer and one is bumpy? Comparing and contrasting is a higher-level language task that incorporates descriptive language, as well as supports a child’s success in a variety of subjects in school.
  • Ask wh-questions about wrapping paper. Use the question words (who, what, where, when, why, how) to ask your child about the paper. Who uses wrapping paper? What do we use with it (tape, scissors)? Where do we find it? Why do we use it? How do we wrap a present? This task will support your child’s comprehension in the classroom!


  • Take a walk around the neighborhood to look at holiday decorations and use prepositions. Prepositions are an important and useful part of following directions. Think about how you can use prepositions to describe holiday decorations. Some examples include, “Santa is above the bushes!” “There are lights around the door.” “Look below the tree – I see presents!”

  • Before watching a holiday movie together, ask your child to predict what happens. Making predictions is an important part of reading comprehension and making inferences. Once you choose a movie to watch together, ask your child, “What do you think this movie is about?” If they aren’t sure, you can tell them the title of the movie or show them a picture from the movie. Again, use wh-questions to help predict. “Where does this movie take place?” “When does this movie take place?” “What is the weather like?” Your child will be excited when their predictions are correct!

These holiday activities are all easy and free ways to continue working towards your child’s language goals during winter break. Most importantly, relax, have fun, and be creative. Language-building should be fun for both you and your child!

If you’re looking for holiday gifts that can help build language, make sure to check out our other blog here!

Written by Emma Boat M.A., CF-SLP

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