By: Jenn Alcorn Westmoreland
During the summer, many children do not receive their regularly scheduled speech sessions due to travel, school breaks, and taking time off. It is really important for parents to take the time to reinforce and practice those skills so that children do not have regression during this break. Here are some easy ways for you to encourage practice at home:
- In the car! Keep a list of words or picture cards to practice when driving or look for road signs to read aloud while traveling.
- Read books together and find all of the words with their speech sound or describe the pictures and characters in the story.
- Take advantage of the warm weather and play with chalk on the sidewalk, drawing or writing target words.
- Cook together! Find a recipe with their target sound or ingredients and practice while you whip up something delicious.
- Chat with Siri or Alexa! Because your speech must be precise for technology to understand, it’s great practice.
- Plan a picnic, and encourage your child to use their best speech during your meal. Look for things in your surroundings, such as animals, colors, plants, that have their target sounds.
- Play games! Have your child practice one word before taking their turn.
- Find a map and discover all of the cities, states, or countries with their speech sound and practice saying them.
- Sing songs together while practicing specific sounds!
- Make a movie! Using the video option on your phone or computer, have your child practice reciting lines from their favorite movie, book, or poem using their best speech.
Homework does not have to be boring! I hope you can use some of these fun ideas to practice your child’s speech and language skills this summer and maintain all of the gains they have worked so hard to make.
Jenn is a school based slp in Florida and author of the blog www.crazyspeechworld.com