In this season of life, a lot of parents are home with their children for an extended period of time. You might be struggling with things to do or what to work on with your kiddo that might be used to receiving therapy during the day. For those children who had been receiving speech therapy, these are some great ways to continue their progress at home...
Be a Speech and Language Role Model
- Speak clearly and slowly
- Make sure to face your child when speaking
- Encourage turn-taking play routines
- For younger kids, take turns stacking blocks or banging a drum
- For older kids, play games
- Cleaning up toys together after play is a great time to work on object identification, vocabulary development, and following directions. Instead of picking up the toys yourself, see if your child will give you the requested toy you ask for one at a time thus indicating knowledge of the word.
- Sort laundry or silverware together
- Look for faces in magazines and books and talk about facial expressions - label how the people likely feel and why they may feel that way
Make Sure to Play
- Play grocery store or restaurant
- Play games that encourage your child to guess the item you are describing.
- Play category games. Find the thing that does not belong in a group. For example, "A shoe does not go with an apple and an orange because you can't eat it. It is not round. It is not a fruit."
- Play “I spy” with colors or items that begin with certain sounds or rhyming words or things that are big or small or spotted or smooth or rough – choose any vocabulary word you want to work on
- Play with toy food and dishes – have a tea party – talk about the food and drink items – talk about which is ‘mine’ and ‘yours’ – make requests – etc.
- Play with Play-doh
- Play dollhouse or baby dolls – role play
- Play pet shop with plastic or stuffed animals
- Play with cars -build garages out of shoes box – talk about going in and out of the garage -practice words such as go, stop, fast, slow, etc.
- Build with blocks and legos -build houses, trains, trees, etc. Talk about building them ‘up’ and knocking them ‘down’
- Take a walk and talk about what you see in the neighborhood
- Work puzzles but first hide the piece and see if the child can find them ‘under’ the couch or ‘behind’ the chair to work on prepositions
- Have a puppet show
- Find a muffin tin and small toys, then add small balls or toys to put in and take out of the tin. You can then count the items, make patterns with the items, label the items, etc.
- Take toy cars to the car wash – wash them with soapy water – talk about clean, dirty, wet, dry, etc.
- Build a farm and play with farm animals
- Play vet with stuffed animals – talk about body parts and how the animals feel
- Make jewelry – use beads to work on colors, counting, patterns, etc.
- Introduce your child to a variety of toys. Choose toys that inspire creativity and imagination, encourage exploration and problem solving, and encourage physical activity. Encourage unstructured play! Make playtime fun and engaging!
- Cut out pictures of favorite or familiar things. Put them into categories, like things to ride on, things to eat, and things to play with, etc.
- Enjoy music together
- Do crafts together
- Tell stories together – make up stories with characters, conflict, adventure, and a happy ending