Wednesday, June 13, 2018

10 Ways to Use Speech & Language in Everyday Summer Fun

Today's post requires $0, just the motivation to get up & go exploring or play at home!
If you're like me, your just trying to think of a n y t h I n g that prevents all the summer screen time.  Which, obviously I'm a normal mom in that department.  I struggle with that when we are at home & I have things to do.  It's very easy to turn on the t.v. or give into the begging over the iPad & use those things as a babysitter.  And although I think everything in moderation, I like to encourage play & being active for most of their day.  Sometimes, I exhaust my options so I'm always ALL about anything out there sharing creative ideas to get my boys up & at em' in hopes I can keep them distracted from that urge to slip into mindless gaming.

Here, I have ten things to do during the summer that are things we can all do for our babes 0-5 to enhance their language & speech development + have fun while doing it!
Win, WIN.

number one
 Vocabulary:  splash, swim, float, towel, bathing suit or swimming trunks, goggles
Language Activity: Have your kiddo help you pack for the pool.  See if they can label & describe items... if not, do it for them!  Such a great opportunity to model words:). ALSO... bring a bunch of pool friendly pool toys & see which ones "sink" vs. which ones "float.". Have your little guy make a prediction before demonstrating!
Speech:  Look around the pool & find items that have a sound your child has
 difficulty with.  When they spot it & practice, dunk them or throw them into the water to make it a fun game.
Concept focus:  under + above
Go under & above the water.  Make the pool toys go under and above the water.  Talk about "under" and "above."
number two
Vocabulary: fort, sheets, blankets, chairs, pillows, dark, flashlight
Language Activity: Draw a plan for your fort.  Talk about all the things you need to build it: big sheets & or small blankets?  Soft or hard pillows?  Do we want it to be dark or light inside?  What would we need if we want it to be light? (flashlight)
Speech:  Tell a spooky story that uses your kids' speech sound!  For example, if your kiddo is working on /sh/ how about Sharky & the shocking shore?  Fit in as many opportunities for the /sh/ sound as possible!
Concept focus:  in/out or dark/bright
Go in and out of fort & talk about how it's dark inside without your flashlight but outside it is bright!
number three

Vocabulary:  paintbrush, paper, clean (brush), art, colors, painter, art
Language Activity: does your kiddo have trouble following directions?  Choose an item they want to draw/paint & provide instructions. 
EX ) A puppy dog. 

2 STEPS: draw the puppy's body first, and then his head.  His head goes on top of his body.
3 STEPS:  Draw his nose after you draw his eyes and ears.
Speech:  Choose to paint items that have the sound you want to target.  Encourage your babe to use that sound correctly throughout the activity.
Ex. Trouble with k/g?  Draw a cat.  Talk about claws, his tongue, long tail, his back, cute, black, gray, etc!
Concept focus:  clean & dirty
My brush is clean before we dip it in the paint.  After we use it to paint, it is dirty & we have to clean it for a new picture.  If we don't clean the dirty brush, it will make a mess.
number four

Vocabulary:  seek, hide, find, quiet, behind, under, ready
Language Activity: My boys love to play hide & seek with items. For example, Chewy, Cam's beloved Build a Bear, is always our go to object to hide.  And then Conley hides his beloved "Blue" dinosaur.  Hide your eyes & count.  After your little one hides their stuffed friend, ask them questions to get clues about where you might find their object.  This is such a great opportunity to use descriptive words & ask wh questions!  And I'm pretty sure they'll love this in return.
Speech:  Use all those toys they forget about to your advantage.  Gather together items with your kiddo's speech sounds, & hide them around the house or outside.  Tag along as they search or give them a bucket to gather everything, & at the end, use that opportunity to name each item & work on their correct productions of the sounds!
Concept focus:  on top of & below
When you are hiding, or you are hiding objects, you are sure to use "on top of & below" as a way to describe where you find /found them.
number five
Vocabulary:  cookie, icing, bake, decorate, sprinkles, mix, dough
Language Activity: With this activity, think following directions and sequencing.  It wouldn't hurt to roughly draw or print (Pinterest!) a visual for how to make & decorate cookies.  Allow your babe to help with each step and let them help. Yes, I'm asking you to get messy:). When your finished, see if they can remember what comes first, next, last...etc!  You may cut up your instructions or visuals to help them organize them in the order you did them.
Speech:  Make their sound out of red hot's, m&m's, or skittles.  Ex. Ice a cookie, make a /d/ out of the candies, and then think of all the /d/ words & practice for a few minutes!  Focus on any /d/ words (or whatever sound they're working on) during the process like "decorating!"
Concept focus:  big/large + little/small
Make a big cookie and a little cookie.  Talk about how they are different and ask them which one they would like to have.  Which one do you want to give your brother/sister?  Which one do you want to give daddy/mama?  The big one or the little one?  The large one or the small one?  Make sure mama gets the "big" one;)
number six

 Vocabulary:  push, roll, cut, soft, hard, shapes, colors
 Language Activity: There are so many ways to use play dough to build language, but I'm going to give you two specific tasks.  Requesting & verbs.  Keep the cookie cutters & tools out of reach so that your buddy has to request something they want or need.  Focus on using words roll, cut, squeeze, push, smash, open, close, & take out while playing... so many opportunities to teach verbs, huh?
 Speech:  Make items that start with a specific sound your child has difficulty with.  Name those items & focus on those sounds.  They'll never know they are practicing speech sounds.
Concept focus: full & empty
At some point, talk about the play dough containers.  Make sure one is full & another is empty.  Ask them what color is empty & which color is full.  Ask them to fill the empty container, or empty the full container.  Give them practice & exposure to these words so they're sure to stick:)

 number seven
Vocabulary:  chocolate, graham cracker, roast, marshmallow, fire, hot
Language Activity: Sequencing & following directions!  Draw or print out a visual including the steps to make a marshmallow (Always remember, Pinterest is your friend).  Discuss what we need to make s'mores... show a picture of a s'more.  See if they can tell what ingredients are needed.  After that, lay out all the ingredients & lay the instructions to them.  See if they can follow along.  After it's all said & done, see if they can remember how to make a s'more without your help. 
Speech:  If speech is your focus, in order to get the ingredient they need, have them practice a sound or a word.  After they've given you three practice words, give them a graham cracker.  Three more words before they get the other half!  Get the drift?
Concept focus:  before & after, between
Great opportunity to talk about the differences we see before we put the marshmallow in the fire & then after!  Also, what a cool time to learn what the word "between" means.  The marshmallow & chocolate are between the graham crackers.  What goes between the graham crackers?
number eight
Vocabulary:  bust, fill, throw, wet, cold, waterhose
Language Activity: In speech language pathology, we have a little thing called communication temptations.  Meaning... we create situations that tempt children to communicate that they want us to do something!  We, for lack of better terms, ignore their desire until they make some attempt to let us know what they want us to do!  In this case, pop a water balloon.  Start by showing them what happens when you throw the balloon. It bursts & water goes everywhere!  Most kiddo's love this!  After you show them what can happen, place the water balloons out of reach, & stop what you are doing.  Odds are, if they enjoyed the balloon bursting, they'll use some method to get your attention & express that they want to do it again.  It may be a gesture (point), it may be the word "pop!". Whatever level your child is at, model something one step harder.  For example, if they point, say "more!".  And then give them more.  If they say "more!"  Expand that word to "more balloons!" or "more pops!"
Speech: Have a few pictures, it could be from a book or you can print some off that have a speech sound your little buddy is working on.  Have them practice their sound + word, & then let them throw a balloon in return!  Talk about motivation, huh?
Concept focus:  wet & dry
Grab a target of any kind & talk about how it is dry.  Throw a balloon at the target & make it wet!  Talk about how we make things wet & how it can dry again.  Talk about objects that are wet (fish) & some that are dry (paper).
number nine 
Vocabulary:  cart, cashier, buy, price, shop, choice
Language Activity: What a fun way to work on categories!  Challenge your little one to spot objects based on a color, food group, texture, or temperature. For example, you might ask them to find “3 yellow things”, “2 cold things” or “1 sweet/candy product”.  Is your child working on social skills?  Assist them in greeting people in the store as you shop!
Speech:  Initiate a scavenger hunt with the speech sound of choice!  Example, "Alright! We are going to play a game... we are going to see how many things we can find that has the /g/ sound!  Ready, set, go!  Because, we all know the "ready, set, go" line gets kids going!  Practice whatever word they find that has their sound.  If they aren't at the level yet, don't worry!  It's ok to do it for them & hopefully they'll eventually catch on.
Concept focus:  hot & cold
As you pass the items kept hot & the freezer/refrigerated sections, talk about the things that are hot & cold.  Discuss what would happen if you left ice cream out too long, or if you didn't bake a cookie & make it hot so that we can eat it!
number ten
Vocabulary:  slide, spin, jump, swing. climb, ladder
Language Activity: This is an awesome place to work on taking turns & providing opportunities to talk about things your child is doing & just let them sit back (ok, well play, while you immerse them in language.)  Talk about what they are doing, where they are, & describe all the colors of the playground equipment you see (it's often bright in color) & how everything feels (lots of different textures that can usually be found) think "bumpy, hard, soft."
Speech:  Use a piece of equipment as a reinforcement for sound practice.  For example, say you are pushing your babe on the swing.  Every time you give them a push, have them say a word with their speech sound.  To make it easier since the swing is a fast paced activity, pick one word & have them say it 10 times before switching it up again!  Other activities?  The slide (say a word before sliding down), the seesaw (every time they go up in the air, have them practice the word before coming back down!)
Concept focus:  up & down
There are a lot of opportunities to use up & down at a playground!  Think of see saws or getting up and down off of the equipment or going up & down ladders, or up & down the slides.  You can use lots of prepositional words here!  Think above, below, behind, in front of, beside, below, through, over, under, etc.
I hope these help!  Let me know if you have any questions, comments, or fun ideas to add:)

New & looking for more?  Check out my first speechie post of the summer here.

Amie said...

Again this is so helpful!! Although I work and my kiddo goes to daycare they will be closed for a week in July. I am taking all of these suggestions in for that extra time we will have home together.

Cassidy Adams said...

You are so welcome! Thank you for taking the time to comment & share that they are helpful! Let me know if I can help you trouble shoot anything:). Does he got to speech anywhere, Amie?

Amie said...

I took him to be assessed and they said he scored appropriately/passing (can't remember the term) for his age range and to watch him between now and when he turns three, he is 2 1/2. If he doesn't progress then he would need to go back. They are also gave me tips to help him and a packet with things to do to help him. I just have no creativity what so ever so I feel like in that aspect I am not as helpful as maybe someone else could be. I thought it was interesting that she could understand some things he said that I could not. I feel like he is making progress but there is still times he when I catch zero words out of what he says.

Cassidy Adams said...

Amie, that sounds like great news! So many parents worry, when there isn't anything to worry about:). Sounds like he is on the right track & you are an awesome advocate for him in the process:)

Amie said...

I just feel like other kids his age can say more things than he can, so of course I worry.

Cassidy Adams said...

Absolutely! I understand completely! All kids are different though, & I think the fact that you've had him evaluated & you are willing to work with him at home are all amazing things that will help him thrive:). Just trying to encourage you!

Amie said...

Thank you so much!! I feel better knowing I am doing the right things :)