Well here it is… the 1st blizzard of 2015 .Let’s make this snow day a fun, yet productive one! Below are 10 indoor snow day activities to enhance your child’s speech, language, pragmatic, and critical thinking skills.
1. Pajama Party Fashion Show– Pick out ridiculous outfits, accessories, and shoes from around your house and have a little fashion show down your hallway. You can be the first ‘model’ by strutting your ridiculous outfit down the hallway. Have your child narrate and describe the attire that you are wearing. For example, “Here comes mom, dressed in red and white plaid pajamas, with socks around her ears to keep her warm.” Take turns ‘modeling’ and judging the pajama fashion show! This is a great way to build vocabulary, form SVO sentences (subject, verb, object, sentences), and expand language!
2. Build a Fort– Gather up some old boxes, bed sheets, and a flashlight. Build a fort together and have fun! When the fort is made, shut off the lights to set the scene. Tell ghost stories or silly stories inside the fort together. This is a great way to be creative with language in a relaxed atmosphere.
3. Indoor Picnic- Grab a basket, a sheet, some plates, utensils, and finger foods and you’ve got yourself a picnic! Work on prepositions (ie., “I’m putting the muffin ON the plate, or the turkey is BETWEEN the bread). Prepositions take some time to learn; allowing this to be a hands on experience will be very beneficial for your child. Another activity is the ‘ABC Alphabet Picnic Challenge.’ What might this be you ask? Well it’s a challenging game that makes you think (and helps to build vocabulary and categorization skills). Take turns reciting each letter of the alphabet, as you say a letter state a food that starts with that letter! For example, A- apples, B- bananas, C- carrots, D- Doritos, E- Eggs, F- Frozen yogurt… (and so on). See how far you can go! Can you repeat the alphabet again with different foods??
4. Bake Cookies– Baking cookies is always fun! Pick out a fun recipe together. Target following directions (receptive language tasks), “Bring me a spoon.” If this is hard for your child, model it and do it together. If you notice your child is doing well, bring it up to 2-3 step directions. For example, “Bring me a spoon and then put it in the bowl.” In addition you can also target auditory processing skills. Read your child a small section of the recipe. Have your child recall information presented auditorily to them (How many tablespoons of sugar did the recipe call for). Lastly, you can also target sequencing. Read the first 3 steps to the recipe, and then have your child recall what those steps were in the appropriate order. If this is difficult for your child, give him/her choices!
5.Snow Castles Inside-Bring a small baby pool inside the house and make snow castles! This is great way to increase sensory awareness and build on language. You can use words like my castle is “Bigger, smaller, taller, wider, shorter, and/or smoother.” You can even create a Venn diagram comparing and contrasting your castles. Use words like “same” and “different.”
6. Play Board Games– Target turn taking skills and pragmatics!
7. Cook Dinner Together– As stated earlier under the ‘Bake Cookies’ section, have some fun targeting language skills, auditory processing, and sequencing in the kitchen.
8. Make Magazine Mosaics– Grab a bunch of old magazines, some scissors, and glue. Create a collage (a wintery collage, funny pictures, your initials, or anything you want). Take turns explaining your creations to each other or your family members.
9. Tell a ‘Story in a Bag’– Similar to charades, tell a ‘Story in a Bag’ is a fun way to think on your feet and have fun with language! All you will need is 2 large grocery bag (or any bags) and a few random items around the house. Pick out random objects for each other and put them in your bag, but don’t say what they are! When you both have your random objects in the bag- switch bags! 1 person at a time will tell a story using all the objects in the bag. This is a great way to target critical thinking and problem solving.
10. Exercise– Target receptive language and listening skills through “Simon Says.” This is a great way to be active and productive! For instance, “Simon says do a sit up, then a jumping jack.” This will keep the children engaged and listening attentively. Not only are they working on their language skills… but it also gives them a chance to partake in physical activity (which will benefit their overall physical and mental health). I recommend that you also go ahead and checkout GoNoodle!!! It’s a fantastic website that parents, speech-language pathologists, teachers, and children can use to target physical activity and following directions (https://www.gonoodle.com/)
Classrooms doing GoNoodle together:
& here’s a small segment of what GoNoodle looks like:
Have a wonderful, fun, and productive snow day!!
Pamela Leibowitz MA CF-SLP TSSLD