Building Speech and Language While Building a Snowman

By Melanie Krupowicz, M.S., CF-SLP

The holidays may have ended, but unfortunately winter in Chicago is here to stay! With the kids out of school and long winter nights ahead, what better way to keep boredom from setting in than to get outside and build a snowman together? This common winter activity has a surprising amount of opportunities to build better speech and language. Here are some ways you can sneak in strategies for building speech and language while building a snowman…

Language Opportunities

  • Before you build the snowman, have your child explain the steps you will take to make the perfect snowman. Encourage the child to use sequencing words such as, “first, then, finally”. Make sure your child is being as detailed as possible and pretend that you do not know how to do it yourself to encourage further detail (ex: you can ask “does the smallest snowball go on the bottom of the snowman?”). This activity promotes sequencing and sentence organization to improve your child’s expressive language.
  • You can also work on pronouns while building your snowman. Before you start building, have your child decide whether the snowman is a boy or a girl. Then, encourage your child to say what he or she needs and emphasize use of the appropriate pronoun (ex: he needs a scarf, she needs buttons”). You can even make two snowmen and have one be a boy and one be a girl to work on differentiating between the two pronouns.
  • If you have the time to build two snowmen, you can work with your child on similarities and differences. Make the snowmen different in any way you can imagine (ex: sizes, shapes, clothing, etc.). When you are finished, talk with your child about how they are different and also how they are alike (ex: they are both made of snow, they both feel cold).

Speech Opportunities

  • For many kids working on speech, the “s” sound is one of the harder sounds to master. Luckily, building a snowman provides many opportunities to produce “s”! Encourage the child to emphasize that sound and correct errors while having fun at the same time! If it is snowing, have your child try and catch a snowflake on his/her tongue and then blow it off to practice oral movement and increase awareness of the mouth, which is important for making accurate speech sounds.
  • Younger kiddos often have a hard time with “s- blends” and may leave off one sound (ex: “sow for snow”). If your child has difficulty with these blends, encourage them to “keep two sounds together” while building your snowman. There are many “s-blends” you can talk about in this activity including: snow, snowman, scarf, snowflake, hats, mittens, sticks. Make sure to really emphasize these sounds for your child to encourage the concept!

A great way to end the activity and encourage further speech and language growth is to snuggle up by the fire and read a book about snowmen together. A personal favorite of mine is, “Snowmen at Night” by Caralyn Buehner. This is a really fun story that will get your child thinking/talking about the secret life of their own snowman!

As you can see, there are a variety of ways to incorporate speech/language into one simple activity. The most important thing to building speech and language with your child is to have fun experiences together, such as building a snowman, and make communication fun!

Discover how our autism treatment services can help you

Discover how our autism treatment services can help you

Get Social With Us

Related Posts