Have Fun with Your Child and Improve Their Speech, Language, and Listening Skills
We are well into Autumn, and the holidays are right around the corner. This may mean no speech therapy sessions for your child during the holiday break – Yikes! This seems like a long time between sessions and you may feel an uneasiness that their skills will begin to slide. However, there are several fun-filled activities you and your child can do to keep those speech-language skills sharp and moving forward.
We will divide them into Speech and Language sections, but some activities may be useful for both! You ready? Let’s Go!
You know the drill – Your child’s speech-language therapist gives you homework to improve the speech sound they target in therapy. Well – continue working on that sound while enjoying the holiday break! Check out these ideas:
- Tongue twisters
- Practice proper speech during mealtimes
- During a walk or drive, look for objects that start with the sound your child is targeting. Whoever finds the most – wins!
- Daily word – choose a word for your child to use as much as possible for one day, every day
- Make a collage with pictures of things containing the sound
- Tape a word on your back and have your child guess what it is
- Hide pictures of words containing the sound and find them
- Tape pictures of words on bowling pins and say them as you knock them down
- Take a pole and a line with a magnet at the end, fish for pictures with paper clips on them. When they catch the picture, they must say the word
These are just a few, but let’s move on to language.
There are several fantastic games for social skills, word finding, vocabulary, expressive language, sequencing, and auditory processing which can be played by the whole family. While relaxing or looking for family activities, here are some great options to improve language skills:
- 20 Questions: Attention, listening, making associations, word retrieval
- Hangman: Word finding, spelling
- Twister: Listening
- Telephone game: Listening, attention
- Password: Vocabulary, metalinguistic skills
- Taboo: Vocabulary, expressive language
- Whoonu: social language, forming opinions, making decisions
- Headbanz: Critical thinking, deductive reasoning
- A Bit of Banter Jr.: Conversation skills
- Apples to Apples: Vocabulary, abstract thinking
- Scattegories: Verbal organization, word finding
- Outburst Junior: Vocabulary, word finding
- Zing: Written organization, syntax, punctuation
- Rory’s Story Cubes Actions: Vocabulary, word finding
- Rory’s Story Cubes: narrative development, verbal organization, and sequencing
You can also tell or read stories. Storytelling is a wonderful way to strengthen language skills and spend time together. During the story, you can let your child:
- retell the story (great for verbal and recall sequencing)
- describe the pictures using nouns, verbs, and adjectives
- predict the character’s actions
Let’s not forget phone and tablet apps. There are too many to list, but apps are fun and effective for speech and language exercises. Just go to iTunes or Google Play and search for Speech-Language Therapy. You will be amazed at how many you can find.
The desired outcome is to have your child speak and listen more effectively, but there is no law against having fun doing it. Perhaps you have some other ideas of fun activities that can help to strengthen your child’s speech and language skills., If you do, we would love to hear from you! Happy Holidays!