Speech Fun in the Sun

Speech Fun in the Sun

School’s out for the summer, but the learning doesn’t have to stop there! As a speech-language pathologist, I am excited to share some engaging and fun summer activities that you can enjoy with your children while also supporting their speech and language development. Summer is the perfect time for outdoor adventures, creative play, and new opportunities, all of which can provide wonderful opportunities to enhance your child’s communication abilities! Whether you’re at the pool, on the go, or hanging out in your backyard, these activities are designed to be enjoyable and educational, helping your child build vocabulary, improve social skills, and develop better speech and language capabilities. Let’s dive into some exciting summer activities that will make learning feel like play!

Planning a pool or beach trip? Have your child help you list out some of the items needed to take along!

  • Towel
  • Goggles
  • Snacks

If your child requires extra prompts or enjoys guessing games, try using more detailed and descriptive language:

  • We will need something to dry us off after we get out of the pool, what could we use?
  • I need something to help me see under the water, what could I grab?
  • I might get hungry after swimming for so long, what should I bring?

Not only are you working on vocabulary and descriptive language, but promoting autonomy for your child to feel included in the decision making process. (You can also target descriptive vocabulary in a classic game of “iSpy!”)

Taking an evening stroll down the block? Create a treasure hunt with clues that involve following directions!

  • “Take three steps forward, turn left, and look under the bench.”
  • Use a mix of directional terms (left, right, straight), landmarks (big tree, blue house), and distances (10 steps, around the corner).
  • Choose a small reward or prize for the final destination to add excitement and motivation!

Plan playdates and picnics in the park to encourage natural social interactions and friendships.

  • Encourage children to play games, share snacks, and participate in role-playing games where they can pretend to be different characters, such as lifeguards, chefs, or astronauts. This promotes imaginative play and social communication!

Is your child having difficulties with speech sounds? Choose a target word that begins with the desired sound and relates to the activity they are participating in. Practice and repeat them in a fun way!

  • Practice the “s” sound with words like “sand” and “sink” while swimming.
  • Incorporate scavenger hunts that only include words for their targeted speech sound like “ball, bike, boat, bench..” Have them practice it within the rote phrase “I found a ___.”

After a fun day out in the sun, ask your child to recall and sequence the activities they did! For example, “First we went swimming, then we had lunch, and finally, we played with our friends.”

The best part is these skills can be tailored to fit ANY summer activity you choose! As we enjoy the wonderful days of summer ahead, let’s seize the opportunity to create memorable moments that also foster our children’s speech and language development. These engaging and fun activities are designed to seamlessly integrate learning into everyday summer adventures! The key is to make these experiences enjoyable and interactive, turning each day into a new chance for learning and connection. Here’s to a summer filled with fun, laughter, and meaningful language development!

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