5 Fun Outdoor Activities to Build Speech Skills

speech activities at the beach

As the weather gets warmer, your kids might be itching to get outside. Learning doesn’t have to stop at the door. In fact, your family can continue enjoying the outdoors while the kids develop their speech and language skills. Below are some easy activities to continue building those speech skills that are both fun and educational!

Blowing Bubbles:

There are so many opportunities to model language when blowing bubbles. Screw the lid onto the bubble container tightly, then model the word and sign “open”. Provide your kid with 5-10 seconds of wait time to see if they will imitate the word or sign. If they don’t, no worries! Model the word and sign again and then open the container. You can practice the phrase “ready, set, go” while pausing before “go” to see if your child will fill in the blank. Narrate what you are doing and include various descriptive words such as “big”, “little”, “wet” or “sticky”.

Sensory Bin:

Fill up a water table (or large Tupperware container) with items around the house. Pinto beans, uncooked pasta, water, sand, and bubble wrap are just a few items that could be used. Throw in some spoons or containers and let your kid scoop and pour. Model action words such as “scoop”, “pour” or “float” and describe how the various textures feel. The water is “wet”, the sand is “dry,” the beans are “hard,” etc. Let your kid get messy outside. You can then hose them off for even more language opportunities!


Swingsets also offer great opportunities to model speech and language. Start off the phrase “ready, set” while holding the swing up high and see if they will complete “go” while you let them go. Sing songs while swinging and stop at a certain point to allow them to fill in the blank. Introduce new concepts such as “high” or “low” or “fast” and “slow” while pushing the swing accordingly. You can also make up your own song about swinging. Kids love to sing and often pick up on singing quickly!


Grab some balls of different shapes and sizes. You can sort the balls by color, size, or shape. You can use descriptive language including big, little, small, round, oval, bumpy, smooth, bouncy, hard, or soft. Work on pronouns “I” and “you” by modeling phrases such as “I am throwing” or “you are catching.” You can also make up a simple game and have your kid practice following the rules or verbally sequencing the steps in the game.


Include your child in helping pack a bag for a day at the beach! Your kid can work on executive functioning skills by planning out what will be needed and then problem-solving how to fit everything into a bag. What size bag will you need? Do you have enough sunscreen? Do you need to pack a lunch? They can help with that too!

If your child is a bit older, they can help guide you on your walk or drive (e.g., turn left at the light, then walk down two blocks). Once at the beach, you can use descriptive language to discuss everything you see. Play “I Spy” and see if your child can guess what you are describing and then take a turn being the describer. You can help your child interact with other kids at the beach by modeling appropriate phrases such as “do you want to play with me?” or “let’s go swim!”

While these are just a few speech and language-building ideas, the outdoor learning opportunities are endless! Try going on a scavenger hunt, to a water park, or even taking a trip on an airplane. Include your child in planning activities, enjoy the outdoors and keep on learning! For even more speech and language activities, check out our other blogs here!


Written by Sara Shapiro, M.A., CCC-SLP

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