How we can continue to promote speech and language skills while off for the summer months? Whether your child receives speech services or not they can all benefit from language-rich activities. Just like how it is important for students to read over the summer so they don’t regress, we want children to work on communication skills over the summer so they don’t regress in that area. I will share with you five different activities you can do with your child so that they can continue to work on their skills while having fun. These activities can be easily adapted for children of all ages. They won’t even realize they are learning!
Road Trip Alphabet Game
You don’t have to go on a long car ride to play this game. You can play this game on your way to the beach, park, or pool. Pick a letter or sound that your child is working on and have them find items during the carried that has that sound. Here are some examples:
- If your child is working on the /r/ sound, let them look for “red cars.”
- If your child is working on the /th/ sound, let them look for street signs that say “north” or “south.”
- If your child is working on the /l/ sound, let them look for traffic lights or mail boxes.
Just pick something with their sound and let them locate it while you are in the car. It will keep them busy and practicing their sounds at the same time!
Bubbles are a fun way to elicit a ton of language skills. Students of all ages can have fun with bubbles. You can easily work on a variety of language skills with something that you can easily make or purchase cheaply. What are some ways you can address these skills with bubbles?
- You can work on prepositions. Where did the bubble land?
- Can they describe the way the bubble looks?
- Can they express in a sequence the steps to make a bubble?
- Let them predict what will happen to the bubble.
- Can your older children hypothesize which ingredients can make the biggest bubble?
- And more!
Who doesn’t love playing with bubbles?! It is a great summer activity, gets children outside and interacting with others.
Watch a Garden Grow
Planting seeds is fun and can be used to promote a ton of language skills. Can they follow directions? Can they express the steps of the process? Can they make predictions or ask questions about what might happen to the seeds? Can they make observations and use descriptive vocabulary to talk about what is happening to the seeds over time? Not only will they work on their language skills but this will also teach them about responsibility and they will have fun!
Create a Summer Journal
Grab a notebook or some paper and encourage your child to document the exciting activities that you do over the summer. Let them draw a picture and/or write about their experiences. Let them add photos. Have them recall the events, use past tense verbs, and let them describe the emotions that they felt. This will help them work on sentence structure, grammar, vocabulary, narrative skills, written expression and more. Let your child bring the journal into school when they return in the fall and show their teacher all of the amazing things that they did. This will help them recall with significant details and encourage that social interaction too.
Go on Scavenger Hunts or Nature Walks
Go outside. Explore. Talk about what you see. Talk about what you hear. Talk about what you smell. Talk about what you experience. You can give them a vocabulary list of items to look for or let them generate their own lists of what they saw. You can even let them create the list that you will use to find things on your hunt or walk. How do they know they might see that? Let them use their background knowledge to guide them. Let them draw about their experience. Let them tell others about it too. This will encourage your child to categorize, describe, and make observations. Let them ask and answer questions. Let them be the tour guide. If it is a rainy day, go to the mall and have a scavenger hunt there! It doesn’t always have to be outside!
As you can see, there are a variety of different activities you can do with your child over the summer that will promote language and communication. It is extremely important that children continue to grow and learn over the summer. Learning can be fun! Communication is fun too! Have a great summer!
Hallie Sherman, M.S. CCC-SLP is a licensed speech-language pathologist from New York and the author of the blog, Speech Time Fun. She loves finding and creating creative, quick, and fun ways to keep speech students motivated and shares them on her blog, Instagram, and Facebook page.