Turning everyday activities into speech and language opportunities is both functional and effective.
Activities of daily living present the most natural setting to learn/practice speech and language goals that will generalize outside the confines of a therapy room.
IN THE CAR
- Practice speech sounds by taking turns thinking of as many words as you can that begin with target sounds.
- Practice language by labeling items within certain categories.
- Play 20 questions; have your kids guess an object based on clues.
- Play “I Spy” with items outside the car that include target sounds.
- Involve siblings/friends to encourage carryover during play/social situations.
DRY ERASE MARKERS/CHALK
Kid’s love making a mess! Let them use dry erase markers on mirrors or chalk on the driveway to practice their speech sounds and/or language goals. Turn simple arts and crafts supplies into an interactive and exciting way to practice.
- Board games help with social communication via turn-taking, eye-contact, and non-literal language.
- Game pieces may be labeled with words and sounds (i.e., Jenga).
- Rules may be added to games (i.e., name x amount of words with target sound based on what number is rolled on the dice)
- Some board games even double as speech-language activities: Scattergories (language/categories/phoneme awareness), UNO (counting and colors), Chutes and Ladders (/sh/ sound), etc.
- This is as easy as turning off the lights and heading around the house with flashlights to discover as many words as possible with a target sound, or items that fit a certain criteria (may be modified to fit goals).
- Photo/Speech/Vocab Flashcards may be printed and hid within a certain room or space; encourage kids to collect as many as possible.
Make a map (following multi-step directions) and have kids work together to complete a puzzle with clues.
- Play hide and seek with multi-syllabic word cards that are taped around the house.
Play Dough is an interactive sensory activity. It can be used to describe slow stretchy speech for children with fluency disorders. Children learn best through multiple modalities, especially hands on!
- These two environments offer the opportunity to learn about spatial concepts, verbs, and adjectives! New places, people, and things can help expand your child’s lexical repertoire. Target words such as “under”, “above”, “big”, “small”, “fast”, “slow”, “push”, “swing”, “swim.”
- Bury laminated objects or picture cards in the sand and/or dirt for kids to find. When they find the objects or speech cards have them say the word as they put it in their bucket.
Choose books that are interesting to your kids, as well as those full of target speech sounds and vocabulary! (See previous blog post about the importance of reading!)
ON THE GO
- When in doubt, grab your iPad, phone, or tablet and have fun practicing words, sentences, stories, category games, memory, etc.
- There are endless options for enriching “therapy” apps on smart devices.
- They range in price and difficulty level.
- Some of my favorites include:
- Articulation Station
- My Play Home
- Super Duper Publications Apps
- Hear Builder Phonological Awareness/Auditory Memory
This is always fun for kids and perfect no matter where you are!
Ashley DiGregorio M.A. CF SLP TSSLD