Summer Play Series: Speech-Language Activities For Summer Fun
Our kiddos may be out of school and away from the regular schoolwork that builds speech and language skills but that doesn't mean they can’t flex those speech muscles all summer. We’ve gathered some easy, fun and super effective activities to keep minds engaged and speech skills strong!
No matter what activities you’re doing this summer, there is always an opportunity to engage kids in active, language-rich and goal supportive conversation! Keep the chats going and watch little minds grow!
Start A Game of ‘I Spy’
A true classic and a game you can play just about anywhere, ‘I Spy’ is a great way to engage kids in conversation, build vocabulary and practice mental focus. Play ‘I Spy’ in the car during a road trip, on a walk around your neighborhood or even in your backyard.
Use simple, descriptive language to help your kiddo guess the thing you are spying.
“I spy something that is very big, has brown spots and says ‘moooo’”
“I spy a fun toy that has 2 wheels, a seat and handlebars”
Then let them take a turn and describe to you using colors, shapes, sounds and function what they are spying.
Hit The Playground
A simple trip to the playground creates a great opportunity to work on basic concepts and language skills. Playing in this way can strengthen active listening and comprehension skills as well.
Start with basic directives using various prepositions - “Can you crawl under the swings?” “Let's hide behind the slide” - and continue typical at-the-park play while incorporating clear, direction focused language.
Set Up A Lemonade Stand
Speech and Language therapy isn’t just about creating the correct sounds when we speak, we also focus on using social language when speaking in conversation. Setting up a lemonade stand in your neighborhood is an awesome way to encourage our kiddos to engage in conversation with different people.
Speech At The Beach
Like lots of other summer time activities, hitting the beach makes for a whole lot of great, speech building opportunities.
- Play I Spy - Beach Addition
- Use a stick to draw letters in the sand and identify each sound or draw pictures and have kids name the sounds in each word.
- Collect sea shells and have kids compare them; identify how they are different, the same and then put them into different categories
Create A Summer Reading List
Choose a few books, or lots of books, and dedicate a bit of time each day to reading and talking about each book. This presents so much opportunity for language rich discussion!
- Ask questions about the story you’ve read
- Have your kiddo ask their own questions about the story and characters
- Compare and contrast characters, events and different stories
- Make predictions about what might happen next as you finish a book
- Create a new ending for a story
- Talk about different genres, types of books and characters you’ve come across in the books you’ve read.
Go On A Scavenger Hunt
Parent or kid created, putting together a scavenger hunt at home, around the neighborhood or even at a specific place (the zoo, park, vacation spot, etc) is a fun and creative way to work all sorts of speech-language muscles! Encourage the use of new vocabulary, create small riddles and clues that work inference skills and active prior knowledge and be sure to utilize lots of descriptive language. The language possibilities are endless!
Splash And Speech
Fill the water table and have a good chat! Have kids describe how the water moves through the various toys, talk about what items will sink or float and ask kiddos to make predictions for each item. Engage the senses and ask questions about how the water feels, what the temperature of the water is (cold, cool, warm) and what it sounds like when you splash in the water.
As we play our way through the summer, be sure to encourage a few activities that take everyday play to a new level - play with a purpose and encourage speech and language development throughout the fun filled days!
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