School’s out, which means you have extra time to spend with your child. As you plan activities to fill the day, you might find yourself needing a few “tricks” to tie in learning with fun. Here’s a list of my top five activities to encourage speech and language development while still having a good time.
1. Create a summer scrapbook.
Take digital pictures or save ticket stubs and brochures from special summer outings, and glue them in a construction paper book after special events throughout the summer. Help your child write a sentence about each page. Where did you go? Who was there? What did you see there? Afterwards, encourage your child to share their book with family and friends.
2. Have fun with sidewalk chalk!
Winter is finally behind us and the sidewalks are snow-free, so enjoy being outdoors with sidewalk chalk. Draw pictures of summer words or different shapes. Play a listening game by encouraging your child to step on the pictures as you name them: “Hop to the sunglasses”, “Bear crawl to the sun!” or “Skip to the beach ball!”
3. Design a homemade placemat.
This activity can be easily tailored to your child’s age. For younger children, use crayons and pre-cut shapes to decorate a large piece of construction paper with fun summer pictures. For older children, hunt for category pictures in a magazine and glue them onto the placement. You can encourage your child by saying,“Find three cold foods”, ”Find three yellow things” or “Find three pieces of summer clothes”. Afterwards, laminate your child’s placemat and enjoy using it at mealtime. Encourage your child to share their placement with family and friends.
4. Make a creative snack.
This activity never lets me down. Chose a fun recipe, such as Ants on a Log, Apple Smiles, or Gummy Worm Dirt Cups. If you’re looking for ideas, the internet is a great resource for creative, kid-friendly recipes. When you’ve picked one out, show your child a picture of the recipe ahead of time and help them make a list of needed items. Plan out each step by making a list or drawing pictures (e.g. “First, put peanut butter on the celery. Then…”). Enjoy making your fun snack together. Afterwards, encourage your child to share her snack with others and describe how she made it.
5. Plan a treasure hunt.
Choose five to ten items to hide around the house or outside. Give your child clues about where each item might be hidden, and have them cross each item off a list as they find it. Then let your child hide the items and encourage them to describe where items are hidden using descriptive words and location concepts.
What are your favorite summer activities?
Leave us a comment below and share a favorite summer activity your family has enjoyed over the years!