As summer progresses, it’s important to keep speech skills sharp so as not to erase progress made during the previous school year. You may be able to recommend speech practice tips to parents and other caregivers via your school website or other vacation communication tools.
Speech practice can be easily incorporated into ongoing summertime activities such as playing, outdoor recreation and traveling. With just minimal preparation and creativity, they simply become part of the fun, yet provide a learning experience at the same time.
Here are some ideas to create these “win-win” scenarios:
An Alphabet Game for the Car
You’ve probably played the alphabet game where you go through the letters, thinking of an animal, a food or another category of items that start with each letter. Play a similar game, targeting speech sounds. For instance, the /k/ sound is used in “cat” and “cookie” as well as “kite” and “ketchup.” Take turns until someone is stumped and can’t think of another word.
Fun with Sidewalk Chalk
There are numerous speech-related activities that can be tied in with using sidewalk chalk. These include:
- Hopscotch or life-size board games with speech words.
- Drawing, coloring and then saying targeted words.
As an added bonus, kids can express their creativity, hone their drawing and coloring abilities, and get some fresh air and exercise while improving speech strengths.
Picture Scavenger Hunt
Go through your house or yard and take pictures of as many things as you can that start with a targeted speech sound. Organize a scavenger hunt so children can find and possibly photograph the objects themselves. In order to win a prize, they also must pronounce each word clearly. You can even make a book of all the pictures to use for review later on.
Write down a series of speech sound words on small pieces of paper. Have each child pick one from a hat and then shape playdough into that word. Other players can then guess which object has been created. For extra points, have them say the use the word in a sentence.
Find a way for kids to practice speech sounds at the playground.
- Practice the /p/ sound by giving a child a “push” on the swing.
- Practice /b/ by making it a “big” push and /w/ and /m/ by saying “watch me push.”
- Roll marbles down a slide into a bowl. Practice /m/ by asking for “more marbles.”
- Have children practice /s/ by saying “sssss” all the way down the slide until they reach the bottom.
Treasures in the Sand
In your backyard sandbox or at the beach, bury objects or laminated picture cards for kids to find. When they do, have them say the word as they add them to their sand pail.
Right about now, parents are probably looking for ideas to keep children entertained until school starts again. What better way than through some fun and different activities that also target their speech skills?