Making Lasagna – A Language Experience

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Posted by vera | Posted in Parenting | Posted on 18-01-2010

With babies, even the mundane can be exciting.  Every daily task can be an opportunity for language development. 

Research demonstrates that one significant difference between “successful” and “not yet ready” readers in grade one was the sheer number of words they had been exposed to in their early years.  Since multiple birth children are sometimes considered “at risk” for language development, this finding is key.  Exposing our young twins, triplets or more to language is someone every parent can do!

Beyond the much touted task of reading to your infants and toddlers, involving them in every day chores, and talking to them as you complete these activities, is one way to enrich their vocabulary exposure.  While walking to the park, shopping at the grocery store, waiting at a red light, riding the bus, TALK!  Comment on everything around you.  “Look, there’s a tall tree!”  or “Do you hear the bird?  He’s singing a beautiful song for you!  Do you hear him chirping?” or “Well, we need 4 red apples, let’s count out four apples:  1-2-3-4, there, let’s put them into our basket.”  Each of these statements, while mundane to you, is infinately fascinating to your young child.

I remember making lasagnas with our twin boys when they were about 18 months old.  My husband would take one twin grocery shopping or on some other errand.  I would plunk the other into his high chair in the kitchen, and begin making lasagnas.  You can imagine the language development seeds that were planted during this exercise. 

“Okay”, I would begin, “First we have to boil some water for the lasagna noodles…”  Later, Alex would get to examine a “squishy” lasagna noodle in his hand and with his mouth, consolidating his idea of “basana”, as he referred to the pasta at the time.  He also observed “chop”, “zuccini” and “layer the ingredients” first hand, and sampled many chopped up vegetables in the process.  To this day, Alex in his high chair, surrounded by bits of lasagna fixings, is one of my favourite early parenting memories!

By including your young multiples in the ordinary, everyday tasks of life, you are equipping them with important language, words they will return to throughout their lives.

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