Winter Clothes Game for Toddlers

winter clohtes

I have a great winter time activity that can be adapted for a variety of children and settings. I’ve successfully used this game with one child and a parent, with a toddler and a sibling or two, and in whole classes of preschoolers!

It’s always a WINNER!

WINTER CLOTHES

To Prep Gather a variety of hats, gloves, mittens, scarves, boots and coats and a bag large enough to hold all the items.

To Play Build excitement with your voice and facial expressions as you introduce the activity. Say something like, “Look what I have! See! My bag! What’s in there? Listen!”

Shake the bag and then continue to ask questions to create anticipation such as, “What’s in there? What can it be?”

Dramatically take each item out of the bag saying something like, “Oooh! Look! It’s a hat! Hat! I wear a hat on my head. Hat!”

When children are interested, let them handle and try on each piece. However, I’ve found that some toddlers, especially those with tactile sensitivities who hate dressing/undressing and kids with short attention spans, lose interest if you take too long with this step. If you can be super fun and keep children with you and participating, go for it! If not, move on to the next part.

After you’ve talked about a piece, set it on the floor in a line.

Once all the items are out of the bag, have the children line up across the room. Say, “It’s time to play a game! Let’s race! I’ll tell you what to get. Run over, get it, and bring it back. Are you ready? Listen!”

Take turns telling each child which item to retrieve by saying, “Boot! Get a boot!”

You may have all the group say, “Ready, set, go!” before each child runs to get the item.

Provide any cues a child needs to select the correct object. Once he’s found it, encourage him to run back to the starting point.

When a child arrives, if he/she is developmentally ready to work on expressive language, ask, “What’s that?” Model the target word several times as you’re talking saying something like, “Yes! That’s a scarf! Scarf! Look! A scarf goes around your neck. Scarf!”

If toddlers are minimally nonverbal and aren’t imitating words yet, ask, “Where’s your _____?” or “Show me the ________,” so he can receptively identify the item he’s holding. Again, be sure to model the new target word many times.

Repeat the process until all items have been retrieved and every child has had a few turns.

If you sense the children are losing interest, speed up! Keeping a fast pace is much more entertaining and helps everyone (even adults!) stay with an activity.

Or switch gears and focus on ending the game by cleaning up. Grab your bag and announce, “Yay! We’re all done! That was fun! Now it’s time to clean up!”

Cheerfully ask, “Who has a hat? Come throw the hat in the bag! Hat! Throw it in!”

Excitedly call out names of each clothing item making a big deal about letting each child “throw” his item in the bag on request.

Ways to Expand this Game…

After a child finds the correct item, help her use the item. She can try to dress herself, or what’s usually more fun is for the child to put the clothing item on you, mom, or dad.

If you’re using child-sized items, this always results in the item being too small, so ham it up! Try to stuff your big foot into a tiny boot and exaggerate the struggle of fitting your arm in a toddler-sized coat. The more you have fun with it, the more exciting and memorable it is for a toddler.

Another fun option is to dress a larger doll or stuffed animal.

While you’re expanding the activity, address other language goals too! Here are some ideas for you grouped by area of focus…

Receptive Language

  • Identify clothing items.
  • Follow one-step directions during a game.
  • Demonstrate (learn) object functions such as responding correctly when asked, “Where’s that hat go?”

Expressive Language

  • Imitate signs, words, or phrases to name familiar items.
  • Spontaneously use signs, words, or phrases.
  • Answer familiar questions with gestures (like shaking his head or pointing) or with signs or words.
  • Use an exclamatory word.
  • Fill in words during a verbal routine.
  • Imitate play sounds like “Wow!” and “Uh oh!”
  • Vocalize purposefully during play.

Social Skills

Don’t forget about targeting your social goals too during this game! Let me give you some examples to try…

  • Does a child respond to (or notice!) peers while playing?
  • Will she imitate any peers’ actions like clapping or jumping?
  • Think about skills like eye contact and joint attention too!
  • Will he exchange gestures with a peer? For example, will she reach out to take a clothing item when another peer tries to share?

 

Higher Level Goals for this Activity

Teach object functions such as, “Find the one you wear on your head.”

Learn early quantity concepts like, “Get two boots.”

Use this game to introduce plurals such as, “One boot. Two boots. One mitten. Two mittens. One hat. Two hats.”

Follow more complex two-step directions, “Get the coat and a scarf,” or “Get the mittens and put them on Mommy.”

Teach pronouns. Introduce “me/my” vs. “you/your” with “Get some gloves for me,” and “Where is your hat?”

​One More Idea… Cognitive Focus

Match pictures to objects.

Take pictures of the clothing items so that you can play a matching game. I like to laminate the pictures to make them more durable.

For kids who love screens, you may consider leaving the pictures on your phone or tablet to entice a reluctant or super distracted child to participate.

Introduce the clothing items as described above and then show the children the pictures.

I like to let toddlers select a picture from several pictures I hold in my hand fanned out like an adult card game. Or make it a little more mysterious, which builds excitement, by placing the pictures in a paper bag and letting a child pick from a card from the bag.

As the picture is revealed, say something to label the picture such as, “What’s this? Mittens! Mittens keep my hands warm. Look! Here’s the picture. Mittens!”

If the child is verbal, encourage him to name the picture or imitate the word by asking, “What’s that?”

After he responds, then say, “Wow! I see another mitten. Where’s that mitten? Go get the mitten!” Then the child should run to get the item from across the room and bring it back to you.

Be sure to say the word for the picture again, even if it’s after he’s correctly found the match, so that he’s hearing the verbal model of the word.

If you need more ideas like this, check out Teach Me To Talk: The Therapy Manual.

Laura

Leave a Comment





Sign Up for your Free eBook

FREE-EBOOK
Something went wrong. Please check your entries and try again.

Subscribe to the Podcast in iTunes

Browse Products

Featured Product

Recent Posts

Teach Me To Talk Testimonials

Happy Therapists, Teachers, Parents & Children

"I just received Teach Me to Play With You, and it is ALREADY WORKING! WOW!

Girl…my son is 3 years old, and he NEVER asks for something using words. We were playing “Get Your Belly” (from Teach Me to Play WITH You), and after several times, he laughed and screamed "BEWIEEE!!!"  It was a hoot. And I can't believe he said it! I have played with him like this before, but this time I took your advice and acted CRAZY!! I will act like a total lunatic if it will get him to talk to me!  Now I can give him "the look" from across the room, and he will say it. That manual is so amazingly practical, and it is a GODSEND right now! Thank you SO MUCH!”

"I wanted to send you a quick email to say thank you. I started watching your videos/podcasts about 4 months ago. My son has gone from losing words he previously used, only having about 7 words at his 2 year check up in August (assessed at a blended 10 month language level) -- to now having so many words, increased social engagement, following commands, spontaneously requesting things, and naming letters & numbers (not in order) as well as colors. We had our monthly meeting with our SLP through the state infants & toddlers program and it felt like we were just bragging the whole time, but I knew in the back of my head it was because I have been using strategies you taught me.

We still have so much work to do with our sweet boy, but I know in my heart he would not have succeeded without the education you provided. I will continue to read your emails & watch videos as we go along this journey and face challenges, but credit is due to you, Laura.

Thank you so much, endlessly."

KATIE

"I just want to tell how fortunate I feel to have found your website and you!! I became a special instructor in EI almost a year ago and I started with hardly any applicable training. I felt so lost and confused as how to help the kids I work with learn how to use words and play. Honestly, I didn't even understand the importance of play, although I always played with my kids. But, once I started to watch your podcasts and get some of your manuals I felt a weight had been lifted off my shoulders and that I could finally teach these kids and their families something of value from a real therapist and based on research!. Thank you so much for seeing the need to help other EI service providers and providing a forum to share your knowledge and years of valuable experience. I'm sure you get a lot of these emails every week if not every day, but I wanted to make I could add to those notes of gratitude!! THANK YOU again!!"

SS

"Just wanted to say a HUGE thank you for these emails and your books, I have them all and they have seriously saved and improved my sessions with my kiddos. Huge thank you."

REBECCA

"I was very frustrated with how speech therapy was going for my child. I would take him and drop him off and not hear much of anything from his therapist and teachers other than, "He had a good (or a bad!) day." Your materials were invaluable for us because I learned how to work with him on his speech. I learned how to teach him to talk and play. I learned how to pay attention to his cues and work with him to teach him to communicate. Without it, I have no doubt he still wouldn’t talk."

BRITNEY

"Hi! I just wanted to say (from an SLT perspective) how incredibly useful I am finding absolutely all of your articles, blogs and resources - I only discovered your site last month and have just received all your books which I feel I am learning more than on my entire university training course!! But also the way in which you give specific, realistic, fun, encouraging ideas for working with parents is really just fantastic, I only wish I have your site sooner! Thanks so much from the UK! Kind regards."

HANNAH

"I just wanted to reach out to say thank you for making things a little easier to manage for me this year. I made the transition from school SLP to private therapist about a year ago. While the change was welcome, it was a lot, and I was just getting my footing in the clinic when I began teletherapy full time. Your website has been a huge lifeline in helping me work with late talkers and coach their parents in an accessible but effective way, even remotely. I look forward to getting your emails each week. I am floored by the amount of valuable, free information that your website provides, and I’m looking forward to investing in your workbooks soon. A sincere thank you for all you do!"

ALLISON

"You are an inspiration! I am truly grateful for the way you put into words and writing how to do what we do as SLPs. At this time in my 13 years of practicing, I find your encouragement keeps me going. As a single mom, I find it a stretch to buy materials these days and I am so thankful for the freebies you so generously share that help me teach my families. I don’t have much time to put together lists or quick references for parents!! Much gratitude!!"

ANDREA