A Trip to the Pumpkin Patch – improving your child’s vocabulary

A Trip to the Pumpkin Patch is a perfect beginning to the Halloween Season – A teli speech and language pathologist’s suggestions on improving your child’s vocabulary along the way!

New words and sounds for your child to explore around the Pumpkin Patch!
by Kristen Lang, Speech and Language Pathologist

As Halloween nears, many families and preschools will go on outings to the pumpkin patch! For some children, this will be a new experience. Talking about the trip ahead of time or reading a book about the pumpkin patch can help children become familiar with the language and vocabulary surrounding this event. There are many children’s books that pertain to Halloween such as “Duck and Goose Find a Pumpkin” by Tad Hills.
There are many words that teach early vocabulary concepts that caregivers and educators can model for young children while visiting the pumpkin patch. These include “big” and “little” (“Oh look! You picked a little pumpkin!”). Your child can also practice making choices (“Do you want the big pumpkin or the little pumpkin?). If your child is not talking yet, make sure to pair the words with gestures by using your hands to show big and little. Your child can then have the option to give an answer using gestures if they are not yet ready to use words.

Other great vocabulary words that can be modeled include orange (The pumpkin is orange! Do you like orange? What is your favorite color?), help (That pumpkin is heavy! Do you need help picking it up?), all done (You look tired. Are you all done?).

As you walk throughout the pumpkin patch you will encounter many other fall and Halloween related vocabulary. You can have your child point to items that they see (e.g. I see a skeleton? Do you see it too? Show me!) If your child is already talking then try a vocabulary guessing game! (e.g. I see something tall with leaves. Do you know what it is? Yes, it’s a tree!).