It’s that time of year again. What mischief will Elf be getting up to before Christmas? Whether Elf is visiting your home or your classroom, there are language and vocabulary opportunities galore!

Did you know that by 6 years old, children have a vocabulary of approximately 14,0001 words! So how can we help children reach this astounding figure? If we think about these 3 different categories: naming words, action words and describing words, we can help children to develop a broad and varied vocabulary.

Here are my top 5 Elf activities...

1. Hello, Elf

Does Elf have a name? Talk about what he looks like and what he is wearing.

2. Crafty Elf

Elf has been playing in the craft cupboard and has got sticky stars all over himself….what a mess! Where are the stars? On his head, on his nose. If your child knows common body part vocabulary, you could introduce some trickier words……. on his elbow/chin.

3. Hide and Seek

Elf is sure to be busy every night. Where is he? He’s behind the Christmas tree, he’s under the sofa, he’s in the toilet roll….naughty Elf! This is a great way to introduce positional language.

You could also take it in turns to hide Elf. Encourage your child to tell you where they have hidden Elf.

4. Action Elf

Elf has been very busy. Talk about what he has been doing. You could take photos on your phone so you can look back through them another day.

Building a snowman”

Baking gingerbread men”

Brushing his teeth”

5. Dear Santa

Will Elf be on Santa’s naughty or nice list? Help Elf to write a letter to Santa. What would he like for Christmas? Remember, if your child is very young, scribbles and marks on the paper are fine!

Remember, an Elf a day keeps the Speech and Language Therapist away!

1 Templin, M (1957) Certain Language Skills in Children: Their Development and Interrelationships. University of Minnesota Press.