Summer Activities to Promote Speech and Language Development

Activities to promote language development

School’s out for summer! Here are some easy ways to engage your child in play-based speech and language activities this summer.

A trip to the beach has loads of opportunities for language development tasks, including practicing following directions. Following directions is a receptive language task that will benefit your child’s academic and social success. While playing in the sand, you can practice following directions in many different ways! You may begin by modeling the steps as you say them and then asking your child to do the same. Allow your child the time and opportunity to process and fulfill these steps on their own before repeating them or providing assistance. 

One Step: Simple one-step directions are a great place to start! 

  • e.g., “Find the shovel”, “Give me a rock”

Multi-Step Sequential: First/then, first/second, start/end

  • e.g., “First take the shovel, then dump the bucket of sand” 

Multi-Step Temporal: Before/after; Temporal directions are tricky! So be sure to give your child ample time to process the correct order of steps.

  • e.g., “Before you dig a hole, give me the bucket”

Spatial: Under, over, above, next to, etc.

  • e.g. “Put the ball under the bucket”

Quantitative: Few, one, more, some, etc.

  • e.g., “Give me one shell”

A quick walk down the street can also be a fun place to practice any speech and language skills! Playing “I Spy” as you walk to work on expanding verbal expressions and vocabulary description is a great way to target expressive language skills. You can incorporate what an item looks like, smells like, where we find it, what it’s made out of, etc. If your child has articulation goals, you can look for objects with the target sound! For example, if they are targeting ‘r’, you can look for items like rock, rain, flower, umbrella, road, car, deer, thorn, etc. 

There are even more opportunities to target speech and language goals when writing/playing with chalk. For speech articulation goals you may draw target words and practice them, or even just incorporate target sounds during play (e.g., /d/ draw, /k and /r/ color). If you’d like to target language goals, draw a few pictures and create a narrative then practice retelling the story! Some other ideas to incorporate might be vocabulary (e.g., colors), following directions, or social skills (e.g., taking turns, requesting a color that is out of reach). When you finish, turn on the sprinkler to wash it away and start all over again.

The possibilities are endless this summer! Incorporating speech and language activities into play-based activities is a very motivating way to target these goals outside of The Clubhouse

Written by Aubrey Elwood M.S., CF-SLP

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