For children who have problems with articulation, it is important to get as much speech and language practice as possible. This often means that parents need to plan some activities while their child is out of school for the summer to help prevent any regression or delay in their progress. The great thing about speech therapy is that it can be done virtually anywhere, from the backyard to a summer vacation. Some of the best skill-building techniques can be made into fun activities that the child will enjoy doing. The following are some examples of games to play with children to enhance their abilities.
Play In The Sand
Nothing illustrates summertime better than sand, whether it is at the beach or in a sandbox in the backyard. While children are playing with their sand toys, take the opportunity to turn it into an activity that will help with their language skills. Bury some small toys in the sand for the children to find. As they pull them out of the sand, have them say the word for the object before they place it in their sand buckets. If this game is done at the beach, be sure to do this activity in a small area, and do not bury the objects too deep, or it could become frustrating for the children.
Road Trip Games
If the family is taking a summer road trip, think of some different language games that can be played on the way. Games using word and letter sounds, like the “license plate game” or the “ABC game,” can be both fun and educational. Have the child name objects that he or she sees that make the “k” sound, for instance. Including the entire family in this game, as it can be really fun and challenging.
Summer is an ideal time to play outside, and many children enjoy drawing on the sidewalk or driveway with chalk. Think of different games that the family can play together, such as hopscotch with letters instead of numbers. Another idea is to have the children lie on the driveway (when it is cool, of course) and outline each other. Then have the children name items of clothing or accessories as they draw and color them in. The child could also just draw pictures of objects and name the letters and sounds of each item. The chalking options are limitless.
Few things are better for a child than reading. It is even more essential for a child needing speech therapy to read along with a parent in order to work on his or her skills. During the hot part of summer days, gather the child with a favorite picture book and have him or her tell you a story using what he or she sees in the book. Have the child articulate the words they are using.
Speech therapy is very important for the development of language skills in many children, so it is crucial not to miss out during the summer months. Take some time before school is dismissed to come up with some ideas to enhance the child's articulation skills.