Thursday, October 1, 2015

Fun with Location Concepts at the Zoo!

toddler with father looking at a monkey at a zoo

We had so much fun this past weekend at Disney's Animal Kingdom. We went for the purpose of working on Big Sister's photography skills (more on that later!). As we were watching the monkeys, I realized what a great opportunity we had to work on location concepts with little W.

I wanted him to be able to find the little monkey in the cage so I said "look! The monkey is in the house." "He's in the house?" replied Little W. Then only seconds later, the little monkey was on the rope or in the tree or near the ground or any other number of places in the cage.

Can you see him in the picture below? He is on the tree branch :) 

monkey on a tree branch

As the little monkey swung and jumped from spot to spot we were able to practice saying the location concepts. Plus, he got good exposure to me saying the different location concepts. It was also a great opportunity for Dad to work with Little W on his location concepts. This is a simple task for any parent, grandparent or babysitter to do!

He also got to hear how there are differences between in and on. He's in the house. He's on the house! Being able to practice that a lot is very good for his language development plus it's so much fun to watch the little monkey run and swing all over the place!

baby gorilla playing

iguana on a rock

This was an activity we were able to do with a lots of different animals at the zoo.  For the animals that moved more slowly like alligators, I could ask him to tell me where the animal was and give him the time to think about it and then respond. For animals that move more quickly like monkeys or birds or baby gorillas we were able to practice quickly saying and repeating location concepts.

bird on a post

What you CAN DO!

For little ones, ages nine months to 18 months, just pointing to the animals and saying where they are is a good start.  From 18 months to about three years old, letting them hear the location concept in a prepositional phrase "in the… " or "on the…" is a great language skill to be exposing them to!

Also for 2 1/2 to 3 year olds, it would be a good time to work on having the child use the prepositional phrase with some help from you. Maybe you say it and they repeat it. "The alligator is on the sand. Where is the alligator?"

And 3 to 5-year-olds can work on using the prepositional phrase independently. You'll ask where the animals are and they will tell you!

Don't make it a drill-style practice. Make it fun and your child will learn!

I hope you take your child to the zoo and have fun talking about location concepts. If you do, send me a picture of your child or you showing where the animal is located!! I'd love to see you guys having fun, practicing language!

Disclosure: Some of the links in the post above may be “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Please know that I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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