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Friday
Jun082012

Fun Summer Activities

Summer is here! The kids are out of school and are looking for entertainment! Here are a few ideas to keep minds busy while enhancing speech and language development! Suggestions are offered for a variety of ages. If you need help adapting any of the activities for your child, contact your SLP for assistance.

Water play: It’s hot outside and what better way to cool down than add a little water!

  1. Give the kids different size cups or containers. Have them catch water from a sprinkler. See what containers fill up the fastest. Then use the water to give a nearby plant a drink!
  2. Spray bottles of water are so much fun and great for “water wars.” This is a great social pragmatic activity if you are working with multiple kids (e.g., “Does my play partner like to be sprayed in the arm, face, feet?” by reading body language and listening for verbal clues).
  3. Paint with water! Give the kids buckets, paintbrushes, or rollers and let them design pictures or paint the patio, deck, house, etc. Incorporate concepts such as high/low, short/long strokes, fast/slow, etc.
  4. Bathtub Alphabet Soup! Great way to get clean while learning your letters/sounds. Give your child a large spoon, dump in some foam letters, and mix! Grab 3 out and stick them to the wall of the tub. Target a specific sound and have the child identify the letter. Mix it back into the soup again!

Nature/Outdoor Suggestions: For the children who like the great outdoors!

  1. Pretend to set up a campsite. Have your child identify and gather things that you need to camp with (e.g., tent, flashlights, various foods, bug spray, sticks for a campfire, marshmallows). Add real friends or make believe!
  2. Draw a road map with chalk on your driveway or patio of a fun town! Have your child brainstorm different ideas on what would be in the town and where it would be found on the map (e.g., ice cream store, amusement park, library, pool). Then enjoy your town while playing!
  3. A great activity that doesn’t involve any props is I SPY. It works such a wide range of skills from vocabulary to articulation. Grab a blanket and a cold drink, sit in the backyard and play using lots of descriptive language (e.g., I spy something that is green, shaped like an oval, and is attached to a branch…..LEAF!). Or target phonological/articulation skills by saying they have to “spy” something that has the sound “k” in it.

Indoor Suggestions: When you need a break from the heat and just want to cool down, try these activities!

  1. Make lemonade: This is a great language sequencing activity that works on vocabulary and concept development as well. Older kids can identify all the items that are necessary for making the lemonade (e.g., cups, spoons, sugar, water, lemons, etc).
  2. Freeze bananas or grapes. Dip them in yogurt, peanut butter, or chocolate. Use the activity to work on oral motor awareness or pacing for speech (e.g., “Dip in the _____).
  3. Read a book and then act out the story.  Incorporate props when the ideas start to flow!
  4. For older children: Brainstorm a list of ideas that they want to do over the summer. Have them defend why they want to complete the activities.  Works on organization, planning, ideation, and reasoning skills. Reward them by completing some of their wishes….within reason!
  5. Playdough letters: Give your child a template for a letter and have them create the letter using playdough.  Add color accents using different colors (e.g. polka dots on a “p”)!
  6. Make homemade finger paint for a fun sensory experience and target creativity! Parents: mix 5 cups of cold water with 2 cups of flour in a saucepan over low heat. Stir in ¼ of a cup of salt and add food coloring. Once cool, pull out the paper and let the creative juices flow!

Summer vacation plans???? Remember to take plenty of pictures of activites of your trip that are meaningful to your child. Help them to create a photo album. Older children can write sentences below the pictures. Younger children can verbally tell about the pictures. Pretend to be a newsreporter and videotape the child reporting about their trip. Great memory to look back on years later!

Have a great summer!

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