For children who have articulation problems, it is important that they practice speech and language as much as possible. This often means that parents need to plan some activities while their child is out of school for the summer to help prevent any regression or delay in their progress. The great thing about speech therapy is that it can be done just about anywhere, from the backyard to summer vacation. Some of the best skill building techniques can be turned into fun activities that the child will enjoy doing. The following are some examples of games to play with children to improve their skills.
Play in the sand
Nothing illustrates summer better than sand, whether it’s on the beach or in a backyard sandbox. While the children are playing with their sand toys, take the opportunity to turn it into an activity that helps them with their language skills. Bury some small toys in the sand for the children to find. As they pull them out of the sand, ask them to say the word for the object before placing it in their sand buckets. If this game is played on the beach, make sure you do this in a small area and don’t bury the objects too deep, as it could be frustrating for children.
road trip games
If the family is going on a summer road trip, think of a few different language games that can be played along the way. Games that use word and letter sounds, such as the “license plate game” or the “ABC game,” can be both fun and educational. Ask the child to name the objects he sees that make the “k” sound, for example. Include the whole family in this game as it can be a lot of fun and challenging.
Summer is a great time to play outside, and many children enjoy drawing with chalk on the sidewalk or driveway. Think of different games the family can play together, like hopscotch with letters instead of numbers. Another idea is to have the kids lie down in the driveway (when it’s cold, of course) and outline each other. Then ask the children to name items of clothing or accessories as they draw and color them. The child could also draw pictures of objects and name the letters and sounds of each item. The chalk options are limitless.
Few things are better for a child than reading. It is even more essential that a child who needs speech therapy reads with one of her parents to work on her skills. During the hot part of the summer days, gather the child with his favorite picture book and ask him to tell you a story using what he sees in the book. Have the child articulate the words that he is using.
Speech therapy is very important to the development of language skills in many children, so it is crucial not to miss out during the summer months. Take some time before school ends to think of some ideas to improve your child’s articulation skills.