Booster Activities for Kids with Down syndrome

Booster Activities for Kids with Down syndrome

24 July 2019 Admin General Media


Booster Activities for Kids with Down syndrome


Children with Down syndrome are more prone to experiencing delays and difficulties when learning to talk. They usually understand better than they can express. If you are raising a child diagnosed with Down syndrome, you can try various things to encourage his development and communication skills. Here are some booster activities that can be done with children with Down syndrome.


  1. Early Communication Skills

Here are some activities you can try with your babies aged 0-2 who have Down syndrome:


Listen to Me

Teach your baby to discern speech sounds early in life by playing babble games. You can try doing this by holding your baby so she’s facing you, with proper head support, and slowly make sounds like “aah” and “ooh”, before you move on to early consonants. Use exaggerated lip movements and you will be delighted by her efforts to copy you.


Sign and Say

For children with Down syndrome, visual learning is a great tool. Remembering verbal information can be a big challenge. You can help your child learn the names of familiar objects by using simple signs or gestures along with words. For example, put your hand to your ear when the phone rings and say “phone”.


Joint Attention Activities

Try drawing your child’s attention to an object like a rattle, toy, or picture, and encourage her to look at it as you talk about the item. Slowly build up the length of time she can pay attention with interest as you describe the item. This helps a child learn language faster and improves attention span.


  1. Vocabulary Building

These exercises are useful when a child with Down syndrome is just learning to speak.


I Want That!

Teaching the meaning of signs and symbols to your child with Down syndrome can help him communicate better as his language skills start emerging. You can show him a real object or activity along with a matching image. Take pictures of objects or activities your child likes so he can ask for what he wants by pointing to it, or handing you the picture.


Tell Me More

Children with Down syndrome need more time before they can form multi-word phrases. Research has shown that they generally have a 100-word vocabulary, including signs and/or spoken words, before they begin to put words together. You can transition your child from a one-word to a two-word stage by using a technique of imitation with expansion. First, repeat a word your child has said and then expand it by one word. Repetition is the key here.


  1. Expanded Vocabulary

These activities are generally for a little older kids with Down syndrome who are just improving their vocabulary.


Use Action Words

When the language you use is related to everyday activities, it makes learning functional and motivating. Add on to your child’s noun vocabulary by teaching action words like sitting, drinking, eating, washing, and brushing. You can even host a tea party or bathtime with your child’s toys and describe what they are doing. Follow the child’s lead and encourage her to talk about what she is doing, using two- or three-word phrases.

These are just some of the many activities recommended by experts in early literacy and Down syndrome education. You can pick the activities that best match your child’s age or skill level. Make sure you’re enthusiastic throughout, and don’t forget to rewards your child’s efforts with praises and hugs.