Speech snow is a fun activity that can support a child’s use of language and an opportunity to practice articulation of various speech sounds. I find that kids love the sensory component of playing with the “snow” and are very engaged. (For children with aversions to strong smells, consider skipping this activity as most shaving creams have a fairly strong scent.)
- 1 box baking soda
- Shaving cream
- A pan or small tote (something with a lip)
- Mixing spoon
- Optional: glitter
- Add 1 box of baking soda to a small pan.
- Add 5-6 pumps of shaving cream and stir with a spoon. Add more shaving cream as needed, the mixture should stick together easily without crumbling and seem almost “wet”. Add a little glitter if you would like and mix together with your hands.
- Enjoy your speech snow and see below ways to use articulation and language while you play!
While making the snow and playing with it, children can practice a variety of speech sounds. This activity is perfect for children working on /s/ blend sounds. Before starting, have your child practice the word “snow” 10x and provide reminders occasionally during the activity to draw attention to a successful /s/ blend. If your child is working on longer speaking tasks, ask them to think of different sentences using the word snow as they work and play (e.g. “I’m stirring the snow”, “I made a snowball”). For other sounds,you can find 5-10 small toys or images of items including their target sounds. For example, if working on the /k/ sound I would use a picture or small toy of items like “cat”,“cup”, “cake”, “duck”, “sock”, “key”, etc. Bury the pictures or toys in the snow and have your child try to find them. They can label the items as they find them using their good speech sound, use a short phrase “I found the _”, or think of a full sentence to describe the item (e.g. “A black cat is in the snow”).
Similar to finding words with their speech sounds, I like to use 5-10 small toys or images of winter themed vocabulary items. This could include a small ornament, mini candy cane, penguin/polar bear, doll sized hat/gloves/boots, etc. Bury the items or images and help your child label them as they’re found. You could also create a simple game for your child to find a specific item in the snow before a timer goes off.
Children can also practice language skills related to describing the speech snow. Ask them to think about the following ideas.
● How it looks (e.g. colors, shapes)
● How it feels (e.g. cool, fluffy, smooth/rough)
● How it smells (e.g. likely the fragrance of your chosen shaving cream)
● What can you do with it (e.g. make a snowball/snowman, burry toys)
● What it’s made of (e.g. shaving cream and baking powder)
We hope you have SNOW much fun!