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Morning at the Museum

at the

National Museum of Natural History

Saturday, January 24th from 9:00-11:00am

Enrich speech and language skills during a special before-hours exploration of the National Museum of National History in Washington, D.C. with pre-visit materials specially designed for children of all ability levels.


EXPLORE: Parts of a Whole
ENRICH: Expressive Vocabulary

ENGAGE: Name and discuss animal body parts



  • Explore the Mammals Hall with your child. As you discover different animals in the exhibit, talk about how the animal as a whole has a name, but so do its different body parts. Ask your child to name some of his/her own body parts, then to identify as many of the animal body parts as he/she can. For example:

    • General Parts: head, eyes, ears, legs, etc.

    • Types of "Feet": hooves, flippers, fins, paws, etc.

    • Species-Specific Parts: lion's mane, rhino's horn, deer's antlers, etc.

  • Challenge your child to figure out which body parts he/she has that are the same as the animal you're talking about and which are different.

EXPLORE: Auditory Comprehension
ENRICH: Understanding of Directions

ENGAGE: The ability to follow novel instructions



  • Participate in the Animal Yoga session offered by the museum with your child. Before the session begins, encourage your child to use careful listening to figure out how to do the poses. As the instructor explains the poses, give your child an individualized repetition of the direction ("Stand tall and raise your arms above your head - you're doing Tree Pose!") and help him/her to do the pose.


BONUS Parent Tip: Before going to the museum, explore websites such as this one to introduce yoga concepts and poses yo your child.



EXPLORE: The /l/ Sound
ENRICH: Articulation of Individual Sounds for Clear Communication

ENGAGE: Practice producing the /l/ sound



  • Start the day by reminding your child how to produce the /l/ sound: raise your tongue to touch your alveolar ridge (the bumpy area behind your top front teeth), then use voicing ("turn on your motor") to make the /l/ sound.

  • As you explore the museum, make a list of the animals you find that have the /l/ sound in your name and have your child make up silly, creative sentences to practice the /l/ sound in complete sentences.

    • Lion, aLLigator, Leopard, eLephant, crocodiLe, Lizard, etc.

    • E.g. "The aLLigator and the crocodiLe went dancing."

h Sounds


EXPLORE: Polite Interactions
ENRICH: Appropriately Expressing Opinions

ENGAGE: Practice sharing differing opinions in a polite way



  • Attend the tarantula feeding. Ask your child to share their opinion of tarantulas - are they creepy? Cool? Scary? Interesting?

  • Ask your child to think about how to respond if someone shares a differing opinon on tarantulas. For example, "You think tarantulas are awesome. What would you say if someone told you they think they're gross?"

  • List some appropriate and inappropriate responses:

    • An inappropriate response would be yelling "You're wrong!" and stomping off.

    • An appropriate response would be to say, "I actually think they're cool - I like how they can grow to be as big as a dinner plate!"

  • Have your child practice expressing their opinion by asking other children what they think of tarantulas and using an appropriate response if they disagree.


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