Building Your Child’s Speech & Language Skills During Halloween
As a speech-language pathologist, I love holidays for the language-rich opportunities they provide. For starters, my kids reliably arrive to therapy sessions bursting with things to talk about, from Halloween costumes to anticipated candy. And research supports that children learn best when they’re motivated and excited. By incorporating speech-language goals into holiday activities, you can encourage your child’s development in a fun and engaging context. Enjoy these 5 fun ways to build speech and language skills during Halloween fun.
1. Read a book about Halloween. Choose an age-appropriate book with fun pictures. By reading a book about Halloween ahead of time, you can introduce your child to vocabulary and activities they might experience at Halloween. This activity targets: vocabulary development, literacy, and comprehension.
2. Create a book or timeline about your Halloween plans. For many children, Halloween festivities can be overwhelming. Prepare them ahead of time by creating a book about what you will do during Halloween. Include places you will go, things you will see, and people you will be with. You might even include appropriate phrases your child will use at Halloween (e.g. “Trick-or-Treat” or “I like your costume!”). This activity targets: vocabulary, sequencing, literacy, narrative language, social skills.
3. Create a fun Halloween snack. There are lots of fun and creative ideas on the internet (example: mumified pizzas). Write out the steps needed to make the snack, and help your child brainstorm things you will need. Afterwards, encourage your child to share their snack with others and describe how they made it. This activity targets: executive function, sequencing, vocabulary, expressive language, social skills.
4. Create a Halloween craft. Crafts are a great way to work on sequencing, vocabulary, and following directions. The internet has endless ideas for creative kid-friendly crafts. A few of my favorites are Enchanted Learning and DLTK Kids. Encourage your child to share their craft with others and explain how they made it. This activity targets: sequencing, vocabulary, following directions, expressive language.
5. Make a Halloween scrapbook to remember the day. Take digital pictures throughout the Halloween festivities. Afterwards, print each picture out and glue them into a construction paper book. Help your child describe what happened in each picture (Who is in this picture? What is mommy doing? Where are we going?, etc). Encourage your child to share their Halloween scrapbook with family and friends. This activity targets: answering questions, literacy, expressive language, social skills.
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