The end of summer is here! Hopefully, your children are looking forward to going back to school after lots of summer fun. There’s nothing quite like the excitement of this time of year. If you’ve done all your back-to-school shopping and have some extra time on your hands before that exciting first day, here are some things you can do with your children to keep them busy while encouraging their speech and language development:
The playground: You’ve probably spent a lot of time at the playground this summer! This is a wonderful place to teach your young child about basic concepts such as up/down, over/under. If there are other kids around, encourage your child to play and take turns with others. This will help prepare your child to navigate social situations during the school year. Describe everything you see using vivid vocabulary (twisty yellow slide or bouncy green teeter-totter).
Backyard kiddie pool: If you have an inflatable pool you’ve been using all summer, that works great but you can also fill up a plastic storage box and it will work just as well for many experiments. Help your child with the hose and teach them about the concept of full and empty. You can also do an experiment to see which of your child’s toys float or sink. Have your child predict what they think will happen.
Baking or preparing a snack: This is a perfect activity to use when it’s rainy or too hot to be outside. Teach your child new vocabulary that they may be unfamiliar with (mixer, scoop, liquid, spatula, recipe, ingredients). Encourage your child to be as independent as possible when pouring and mixing. It might get a little messy but independence is so important. After you’ve prepared the recipe, have your child recall what they did and sequence the recipe.
Sidewalk Chalk: Grab your bucket and head outside! Create a hopscotch board with sounds or words in the boxes. Have your child practice producing the sounds or words correctly. You can also have your child describe an animal or object to you while you use their descriptions and try to draw it accurately.
Grocery Store: You’ve probably had many trips to the grocery store with your child this summer. Make this errand more exciting for you and your child by creating a scavenger hunt out of grocery shopping. Have your child find 2 yellow vegetables or 3 things with peels. You can even have your child go up to the deli counter or bakery and ask for something on your list. You can practice the conversation your child beforehand. This is a great opportunity to work on politeness and social language!
Enjoy these last few days of summer fun. Hopefully, some of these activities will help your child prepare for school and speech therapy!