4 Fun and Simple Language Activities with Common Household Items


With so many new toys and activities on the market, it can feel to like you constantly need to buy new things to keep your kids engaged and motivated to practice language skills. But the truth is, you don’t need to drain your wallet or reinvent the wheel to target language skills at home! Here are a few items you can usually find around the house that will work great for home practice!

  1. Cardboard Boxes
    • Pretend the box is a car and push your child around. Practice language concepts such as “stop/go”, or “fast/slow”.
    • To encourage pretend play, make a house, or color the box red and turn it in to a fire truck!
    • Hide things in or under the box to practice questions “where is it?”, naming objects inside, and spatial concepts “under, in/out”.
    • For kids working on speech sounds, go on a scavenger hunt around the house to fill the box with things that have that sound.
    • With just a pair a scissors, you can make the box in to a refrigerator, oven, mailbox, etc. The possibilities are endless and you can introduce lots of new vocabulary!
  2. Toilet Paper Rolls
    • Pretend it is a microphone and use it to sing songs or have them imitate words and sentences.
    • Use it as a telescope or make binoculars. Play “I spy” around the house or outside to label or describe items.
    • Hide a special object or a favorite toy. Have your child follow directions to find the object using their binoculars. For example “Look next to the lamp”, or “Find the toy under the blue pillow”. Play with the object as their reward for finding it.
  3. Blankets
    • Use the blankets with furniture to make a fort with blankets. Encourage pretend play skills by making it into a castle, house, cave, or anywhere they want to go! Bring in pillows and a flashlight and use it as a cozy place to look at books together.
    • With two adults, you can make the blanket into a swing for the child. Practice “go/stop”. Have them request when they want to swing again using a word or sentence. Sing a song together while swinging.
    • Make capes and become superheroes! Practice action words like “run”, “jump”, and “fly”. Find things around the house to fix or maybe some stuffed animals to save!
    • Play “What’s under the blanket?” Hide different objects under the blanket. Have your child feel it to see if they can guess what it might be.
  4. Bowls and Utensils
    • Use bowls and spoons for pretend play. Talk about the foods you can make, then pretend to cook and eat.
    • Use the bowls as silly hats. Talk about different colors and sizes.
    • Turn the bowls over and make them in to drums! Sing different songs together. If your child is not singing with you, stop at various parts of the song and see if they will fill in words. Or use the drum to practive multisyllabic words that might be hard to stay for your child. Hit the drum for each syllable.

Try these ideas and use other household items to see what creative games you and you child come up with! Remember that the most important this is that you are engaged and playing with your child. While this is happening, they will always be learning!


By Aly Fergus, M.A. CCC-SLP

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