As the month of May comes to an end, it is time to start thinking about activities to keep your children busy over the summer months. Summer is full of sun, fun, and exciting opportunities to work on speech and language! Summer is a great time to try new activities for children who have speech delays and for typically developing children to expand their expressive language.
Summer is a great time to get outside. Have a picnic and let your little ones help pack up the picnic blanket and basket. If you are lucky enough to go on a cloudy day, look up in the sky and talk about the shapes the clouds make. Have a scavenger hunt to find leaves, bugs, flowers, something yellow, and whatever else you can find! Another fun activity to get outside and fill your summer days is to visit a local farmers market. There are plenty of opportunities to expose your children to new vocabulary, work on attributes, and categories! For older children, this can also be a great time to work on pragmatic language and social skills including requesting, ordering, and interacting with new faces. Challenge your child to label things you see at the market while also working on your child’s speech production skills.
One of my personal favorite activities is visiting a nearby zoo and/or aquarium. Here you can discuss different types of animals, environments, and have fun! On the car ride home, you can talk about your favorite animal or exhibit you saw. Discuss where the animals live, what they looked like, and what sounds they make. You could even have a contest to see who can make the best elephant sound! Animal sounds are a great way for your little ones to practice their speech production. On a hot day visit your local library. Libraries typically have events tailored for children to have fun and learn. From playgroups, bingo for books, and game days to movie showings you can find something for every child in your family.
Summertime is a great time to work on speech and language in a fun, exciting ways. It is imperative to take a break from video games, iPads, and television to provide your children with opportunities for creative play and learning. You can work on speech production, receptive and expressive language, and pragmatic skills out in your community. Home programming to increase your child’s receptive and expressive language, articulation, and even social skills can be provided by a licensed Speech Language Pathologist.
If you have concerns regarding your child’s speech or language skills, please don’t hesitate to reach out to T.E.A.M. 4 Kids for a free screening or an evaluation with one of our lovely Speech-Language Pathologists here in Surprise, AZ or at our new clinic in Peoria opening soon!
Dana Messer, MS CCC-SLP