Summer activities to encourage speech and language skills for kids
Summer is here! Here are a few fun summer activities to encourage speech and language skills for kids:
Water play is essential for those hot summer days. Ideas for activities can include watering flowers, running through the sprinkler, or playing in a pool.
Vocabulary: on, off, in, out, wet, dry
Actions: pour, jump, swim, spray, dump, splash
Following directions: water the yellow flowers, turn the water on/off
Bubbles are great any time of the year. This is a great activity for targeting early sounds such as P, B, M.
Vocabulary: big, small, wand, wet
Actions: blow, pop, more
Sounds: B (blow, bubbles), P (pop), M (my turn)
Turn-taking skills and following directions: My turn. Your turn. Pop it. Blow more bubbles.
SCAVENGER HUNT/SCAVENGER WALK
Make a checklist before you go. This list could have written words and/or pictures of what to find. Pictures are great for younger kids.
Examples: Butterfly. Red car. Bicycle. Clouds. Worm. Flowers (pink flower, yellow flower). A big leaf. A small leaf. Sprinkler. Swings.
You can have your child check off each item on the list. You can also target phrases and sentences: I found the butterfly. I found a red flower.
Target a specific sound. Look for things that have the L sound, or the S sound.
Take a walk and play I spy. This activity can target single words through sentences. Point and say what you find.
Tree. See tree. I see a tree. I see a tall tree.
Car. See car. I see a car. I see a blue car.
For older kids, you can take turns providing clues to target expressive language: I see something flying (bird). I hear something quacking (duck).
Play in a sandbox or at the beach.
Buckets, shovels, include different colors of each. Small cars and trucks.
Vocabulary: bucket/pail, shovel, color words, fast, slow
Actions: dig, dump, build
Make car and trucks, sound: vroom, beep.
Following directions: dig a hole, dump the bucket, please hand me a shovel.
Make a book about your summer. Take pictures or have your child draw pictures of their favorite summer activities. Use one picture per page. Then you can add specific words, phrases, sentences, or target sounds for each activity. Such as: I like going to the park. I play in the pool. I found a worm.
LETTER/SOUND OF THE DAY
This is a great way to incorporate target speech sounds into your daily activities. Choose a letter/sound for the day. For example: B. Play with a boat in the pool. Put sand in a bucket. Eat bananas, beans, broccoli, etc. Go on a bug hunt.
Have a wonderful and safe summer!
- Kathy Smith, MS, CCC-SLP-Pediatric Speech/Language Pathologist