For children who have articulation problems, it is important to practice speaking and language as much as possible. This often means that parents should plan some activities while their child is not in school during the summer to help prevent any regression or delay in his progress. The great thing about speech therapy is that it can be done practically anywhere, from the backyard to summer vacation. Some of the best skill-building techniques can be turned into fun activities that your 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 on the beach or in a backyard sandbox. As the children play with their sand toys, take the opportunity to turn it into an activity that will help them with their language skills. Bury some small toys in the sand for the children to find. As they are taken 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, be sure to do this activity in a small area and do not bury objects too deep, or it could be frustrating for children.
Road trip games
If the family is going on a road trip during the summer, think of a few different language games to play along the way. Games that use word and letter sounds, such as the “license plate game” or the “ABC game,” can be 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 that the family can play together, such as hopscotch with letters instead of numbers. Another idea is for the kids to lie down in the driveway (when it’s cold, of course) and outline each other. Then ask the children to name clothes or accessories as they draw and color them. The child could also simply 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 for a child who needs speech therapy to read together with his parents in order to work on his skills. During the hot part of summer days, gather your 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 he is using.
Speech therapy is very important to the development of language skills in many children, so it is crucial not to get lost during the summer months. Take some time before school ends to think of some ideas that will improve your child’s articulation skills.