Don’t throw those plastic Easter eggs away! Here are some fun and easy ways to use them to teach kids a wide range of speech and language skills!
Working on correcting a pattern of speech sound substitution errors (i.e. wed instead of red)? Kids will have a ball when you use the minimal pairs technique with these colorful eggs! On one egg, write a word beginning with the target sound (e.g. /r/ for “red”) and, on a second egg, write a word with the error (e.g. /w/ for “wed”). Ask them to close their eyes as you hide an object in the egg that displays the sound being targeted (e.g. “red”). To get the prize within the egg, they must try to correctly articulate the sound.
Write words containing the sound you would like your kids to practice on the surface of an egg and then let them enjoy the surprise inside as a reward! You can even use one egg to focus on the sound as it occurs at the beginning of the word (e.g “sun”), another for the middle (e.g. “messy”) and one more for the ends of words (e.g “dress“).
3. Phonological Awareness – Rhyming
Phonological awareness, our understanding of the sound structure in words, is an important prerequisite skill for reading. Rhyming helps children understand the patterns and structure of written and spoken language.
Write simple words (e.g. cat) on the bottom half of your eggs. Take an egg top with a different color and write the rhyming word. Separate all the eggs and have your kids assemble the eggs that rhyme!
4. Phonemic Awareness – Blending
Phonemic awareness is a subset of phonological awareness and has been found to help children read, comprehend and spell words. This phoneme blending egg-tivity helps children hear, identify and manipulate sound units in words.
Write a sound on the edge of one half of an egg and write word endings on the other half as demonstrated in this photo. Rotate the bottom half of the egg for practice blending different words. When finished, crack open the egg for a fun treat within!
5. Early Communication – Pointing
Want to help a young communicator learn the valuable skill of pointing? Put a treat in one egg and hold it one hand. Hold an empty egg in the other and encourage him or her to point to the one containing the desired object.
6. WH Questions
Take five eggs and put a different question word on each (i.e. who, what, when, where, why). Place the eggs on the floor or a table and play “Eggroll!” Roll each egg as far as you can and ask a “wh” question using the word on the egg that rolled the farthest. This can be used for social skills (“where do you like to go?”), story comprehension (“where does the story take place?”) or general language comprehension (“where does a sheep live?”).
Take colors to a whole new level ask you play the “Color Category Egg Toss!” Let’s say you pick up a yellow egg. Each time you toss it, name an item that is yellow. Try to name as many words as possible for each color!
Teach personal and possessive pronouns to young children using the eggs and a basket. Have one child play the Easter Bunny (or the teacher) and pass out eggs using the bold words below to fill in the blanks!:
“I have the blue egg. The blue egg is mine.”
“You have the green egg. The green egg is yours.”
“He has the red egg. The red egg is his.”
“She has the purple egg. The purple egg is hers.”
“They have multicolored eggs. The multicolored eggs are theirs.”
“We all have eggs. These eggs are ours.”
Children will follow directions with prepositions as you ask them to hide the eggs in various locations for an egg hunt. Put the egg under the desk, next to the pencil, in the bag, above the book, between the basket and the candy and so on!
You can also teach children to use prepositions expressively as you move eggs around the room and ask them to describe where you put them!
Who doesn’t love an egg hunt? This language-rich egg hunt idea is arguably more fun and much more enriching! Come up with clues to describe where the eggs are hidden. For example, if you hide an egg under the desk you can say “the next egg is hidden under a furniture item with drawers.”
Simple yet filled with possibilities, right? As Leonardo da Vinci once said “simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” These colorful capsules are packed with speech and language potential. Enjoy!