Holiday Family Photos as a Learning Tool

January 18, 2012

Before the holidays, a woman was walking down our street. She smiled and said hi to us as she went by our home. My daughter looked at her, pointed, and yelled, “Man, Man!”. She has also been known to use the word “Daddy” for men we’ve never seen before. 

Current language goal: nouns for people.

When the holiday cards started arriving this year with the smiling faces of our friends and their children, it occurred to me these pictures would be an excellent teaching tool for terminology relating to people. We could talk about mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, boys, girls, women, men, children, grown-ups, etc. You could also extend it to describing features of the people–brown hair, blue eyes, short hair, long hair, and so on.

My experience has been that concepts become much clearer for my daughter when the examples used are very familiar to her. I spent ages with a flashcard of a dog trying to get her to “point to the dog”, but it only took one look at the neighbour’s bouncy, barking doodle for her to understand! Generic illustrated flashcards of people don’t seem to help as much as looking at friends and family members the child actually knows. Once she understands a concept, however, she can transfer it fairly easily to other situations, including illustrations.

I found a little photo album kicking around and slotted in all the holiday photos. Rachel loves looking at the people she knows, and hopefully now when she sees someone, she’ll have the right word to use.

So thank you to everyone who continues to send real photos for the holidays! Year after year, I love looking at them on my fridge, but this year, they’ll have an extra special purpose.

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Julie Cole January 24, 2012 at 9:36 pm

my kids exist in jpegs, otherwise I would have sent one along… GREAT idea – it’s also great to use pics for other social skills when kids start school. My guy always had the hardest time with names so we had a little album with a picture of every kid in his JK class so we could practice. Great post, Heather.


Heather January 24, 2012 at 10:22 pm

LOL – would love to see Rachel’s face when looking at a picture of your family! “And there’s another brother and another brother and another sister…” ;) Yes, good idea re: school… I’m getting into these “social story” things they put together for her at daycare too. It’s so much more meaningful with real pics.


Jeff April 5, 2012 at 10:20 am

What a realy lovley child


Heather April 5, 2012 at 10:34 am

Thank you, Jeff!


joujou June 15, 2012 at 12:53 pm

I had the same idea,but i put photos and videos on the PC,even birthdays weddings,hoidays….


Heather June 15, 2012 at 2:06 pm

Thanks for sharing! That’s a great idea. A phone or tablet would work well with photos too!


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