Talking, picking and eating...

If you have never been to a pick your own farm you really must. It's great exercise getting fresh air climbing among fruit plants, and the fruit is the freshest you will taste (unless you happen to have an orchard or similar in the garden). The concept is simple: You take an empty container and fill it with fruit which you pick yourselves from the fields, and then you take your pot to be weighed and pay for the fruit which you take home. Here's some ideas for using your fruit picking excursion to support your child's speech and language development:

1) Before you go, talk about what fruit you hope to pick. "I hope there's strawberries, they are my favourite", "I hope we find some tomatoes, we could have them with our salad". This supports your child's ability to use language to express wishes, and also to use words to talk about something which is not immediately in the here and now.

2) Use lots of words to describe the fruit. It's a great opportunity to talk about what fruit is ripe, and how you know. Is it too hard or nice and soft, what colour is it? If a strawberry is still green that means it's not ripe, but if it is red then it is nice and juicy and ripe. 

3) Filling a basket with fruit is a brilliant illustration of quantity concepts. Notice how the basket is empty before you start, and then gets fuller as you put more fruit in. 

4) When you have finished filling your baskets with lovely juicy fruit, you can go home make yummy treats, which give your children extra chances to learn language through real life activities. 

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