Summer break is often a time for growth, as kids meet new people and try out different activities. The break in routine leaves time to explore and enjoy favorite places as well as unfamiliar spots. Wherever your summer vacation may lead, you can find ample opportunity to help your child practice speech and language skills and develop new ones.
Building Vocabulary: Learning new words can be a treat when the vocabulary is tied to an activity your child likes to do. Maybe you’ll be heading to a river, the ocean, or into the woods this summer. Each place and activity comes with its own specialized vocabulary to learn and practice in advance. Even a walk around the neighborhood offers a chance to talk about what you see and to point out new sights, whether that’s a type of bird or flower or something you spot along a city street.
Sequencing and Following Directions: Host a summer cookout and ask your child to develop a list of things to do to get ready, like setting a date, inviting guests, making a shopping list, etc. On the day of the event, your child can help with food prep and set-up, also great ways to practice following directions and doing things in a specific order.
Cookout Conversation: A social event like a cookout or summer outing are perfect opportunities for your child to interact with friends or relatives. Role play some scenarios where your child describes some of his or her summer activities and asks others what they’ve been doing. Come up with specific questions the child could ask if the conversation needs a boost.
Summer Show & Tell: Encourage your child to share the family’s summer adventures through smartphone photos or an old-fashioned paper-and-glue scrapbook. Describing the activity or trip to someone who wasn’t there is a great way to practice articulation and new vocabulary. The child can also practice writing by coming up with a sentence for each photo or scrapbook item.
Enjoy your break and be sure to build speech, language and social practice into the summer mix!