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The Smithsonian

Folklife Festival

June 24-28 and July 1-5 on the National Mall

Your kids will love this year's featured country for the Smithsonian Folklife Festival - Peru! Practice speech and language skills while exploring Peruvian food, crafts, music, and traditions.


EXPLORE: Sequencing Steps
ENRICH: Narrative Abilities

ENGAGE: The ability to retell task steps in order



  • Artisans at the festival will be demonstrating traditional Peruvian crafts such as weaving, gourd carving, and ceramics. Pick a demonstration and help your child learn how the artisan creates the craft by watching the artisan and reading the plaques.

  • After learning about the craft, ask your child to tell you the steps in the creation process. Remind him/her to:

    • Use complete sentences

    • Use sequential vocabulary: first, next, then, last

    • Tell at least three steps

EXPLORE: Understanding Wh- Questions
ENRICH: Oral Comprehension of Grammatical Forms

ENGAGE: The ability to understand & respond to who/what/where questions



  • At the Wawawasi Kids Corner, kids can attend educational workshops on Peruvian history, dance, language, food, and storytelling. Pick one of the workshops to attend with your child. Remind him/her to use active listening skills: eyes are watching, ears are listening, lips are closed, hands and feet are still.

  • After the workshop, ask your child to answer comprehension questions about what he/she learned:

    • What . . . (e.g. What languages do they speak in Peru?)

    • Who . . . (e.g. Who learns traditional Peruvian dances?)

    • Where . . . (e.g. Where is the capital of Peru?)




EXPLORE: Multisyllabic Words
ENRICH: Phonemic Skills

ENGAGE: Increase awareness and production of syllables in words.



  • Smithsonian Folklife Festival is a title full of 2-4 syllable words - as you explore the festival, have your child make a list of other multisyllabic words he/she encounters. For example,

  • At the end of the day ask your child to pronounce each word slowly, clapping or holding up a finger for each syllable to help him/her remember to say each part of the word. Challenge your child to say each word:

    • In isolation

    • In a phrase

    • In a complete sentence

EXPLORE: Giving Compliments
ENRICH: Polite Social Interactions

ENGAGE: The ability to compliment someone on their craft



  • After a day of exploring the festival, ask your child what he/she enjoyed watching or learning about the most. Then, ask your child to think of a compliment he/she can give to the presenter or artisan. Depending on your child's language level, the compliment can be simple or more detailed. For example, to a weaver, "This rug is pretty," or "I like the colors you used in this rug."

  • Remind your child to use polite social conventions while giving the compliment:

    • Make eye contact

    • Use an appropriate volume

    • Use a complete sentence


h Sounds

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