The first thing to catch the child’s attention about this latch board is sure to be the fun latches. First of all, give the child some time to work out how to open the latches and what they can find behind them.
Depending on the child’s fine motor skills, you can either let them try it out on their own, or give them a helping hand with challenges they can’t yet solve. Be sure to put what you’re doing into words as you go.
Talk about what can be found behind the doors and count how many things there are.
You can also count all of the parts on the outside. Be creative and adjust the amounts to count to suit the child’s level. If the child is new to counting, start by counting small amounts, such as up to 3. If counting up to 6 is too easy, you can count mice, lollipops, animals, ears etc.
To the extent possible, count from left to right (and up and down) to help prepare the child to naturally follow this reading direction when they start learning how to read. Model by counting first. Then, let the child join in with the counting (perhaps by imitating you), and give them the opportunity to finish the counting sequence or count by themselves.
Look at the latch board together and talk about the separate parts: windows, cupboards, doors, kitchen utensils and other details. Present the word before pointing.
Also, talk about the appearance of the room (colours and shapes).
You can also use the latch board to hide things behind the doors. If your child sees a speech therapist, a good idea is to hide printed words with a given letter/sound behind the doors to provide lots of repetitions.
It’s also a lot of fun to print pictures of family members or friends and place them behind the doors. Kids are sure to be delighted and surprised when they find them!