Language Scrapbooking during COVID-19

Why do we think language development will be any different from before the pandemic?

Well, COVID-19 has undeniably changed the way our children communicate and interact with the world. Children are no longer in physical classrooms, interacting with same-aged peers, and inevitably, screen time has increased. The world that children are interacting with has changed. They may be video chatting with family, having virtual playdates, and engaging in more online content (Youtube definitely comes in handy these days). All of these activities and changes will impact how our children learn and use language.

Social distancing has changed the way our households look. Just because “everyone is home” does not mean everyone is talking all day long. Parents are still working from home, siblings are all navigating distance learning, and screen time has increased. These are all factors that can possibly change the ways young children have to learn and use language.

What is language scrapbooking and how will it help?

Language scrapbooking allows you to record your child’s voice and capture that moment. As time passes, your child will continue to experiment with language; using new vocabulary, new sentence structures, and even new intonations to communicate. You can track this by adding new recordings to continue documenting how your child’s language is developing. Just like you would share a video of your child doing something “cute” or “funny,” you can share these recordings with loved ones. As you continue recording or “scrapbooking,” you’ll end up creating an audio scrapbook with all these “language memories” of your child. During this time of social distancing, this scrapbook will highlight just how language is shaping during this pandemic.

Here are a some activities you can engage in with your children, as you continue to create your language scrapbook:

  • Try our “Start a conversation.” You and your child will see an interesting picture and use this as a springboard for talking about what’s in the scene and what’s on your minds.

  • Try out these conversation starters:

  • What is one thing that made you laugh today?

  • What’s your favorite season and why?

  • Tell me about your favorite character from…

  • Use the “Say what?” feature in our app: this is a game in which you try to figure out what kids are saying. This can be really hard, especially with the little ones. It is also a science project: you are helping us analyze the data. We’ll be explaining more about that in an upcoming post.

  • Record them interviewing a sibling or pet.

The recordings you capture and share are the ones that will highlight just what is going on with our children’s language, in comparison to expected language development. As we continue to track these changes, through your recordings and your continued survey completions, we can more confidently identify what’s supporting our children, and what we need to develop further solutions for.

Happy Scrapbooking!