It’s getting hot out there! It’s a great time to turn the heat up on your child’s language skills in everything you do.
No need to put down your ice cream cone or even get out of the pool; you have everything you need to enhance your child’s language skills! Language is everywhere, so working on language skills is always at your fingertips. Whether you are camping, at the pool, at the beach, at the amusement park or coloring with chalk on the sidewalk, working on direction following skills, vocabulary skills, sentence development and articulation skills is a snap!
For your own sanity, set aside a small amount of time (5-10 min) to focus on a specific skill during an activity. As you become more comfortable incorporating these therapy moments, you can expand on the amount of time. Choose a small part of the larger skill your child is working on in speech therapy (ask your Speech Therapist to help identify these specific skills if you need help). In the time span you have allotted,work with your child on the language skill and when the time has expired, STOP working! Over time, ‘working’ on the skills will become second nature. Your child won’t even realize she/he has been ‘doing their speech homework’. Here’s a little example to give you a more clear idea.
Location – ice cream stand/shop
Speech Skill – closing lips for the M sound (the larger speech goal is producing words with B, P, and M).
Time allotted: 5 minutes
Parent: “Let’s play an ice cream game after 5 licks, you tell me how it tastes. You say, ‘mmmm’.”
Child (in a perfect world, where ice cream doesn’t drip down arms and onto shoes): licks ice cream 5 times, says ‘mmmm’.
Parent: “Great! Now, after 5 licks you tell me again how it tastes. You say, ‘mmmmmmmm’.”
Child (again in the same perfect world):licks ice cream 5 times, says ‘mmmm’.
5 minutes is up!
Parent: “That was a fun game! Let’s finish our ice cream.”
There is a high probability that your child will continue the ‘game’ without being prompted. Chances are high that others, especially siblings, will want to ‘play the game’ too. Now the 5 minutes you had set aside will grow to 10 minutes!
Remember to be kind to yourself! Don’t try this suggestion when all forces are against you! Once a day, twice a week, whenever you can sneak in a few extra minutes of practice–it will pay off quickly!
Yours in Speech,
Lakeshore Speech Therapy, LLC