Heading to the beach this summer? Here are 15 must try activities that can be used to promote speech and language skills in children while splashing in the ocean and building that sand castle:
1. Engage the Senses:
Talk to your kids about what you see, hear, smell, taste, feel.
2. Encourage speech through fun language:
“oooooh hot hot hot!” with your toes in the sand or standing under the sun “ahhhh how refreshing is your _____?” popsicle, icecream, or ice cold water “weeeeee!” spin around in a circle in the water, the sand, or for a ride in the stroller “peeeeeek-a-boo!” with your big sun hats, sunglasses, umbrellas, or towels
3. Use early developing sounds and simple words:
Incorporate these words into beach play: pop, up, ball, boom, wee, more, bye bye, boat, water, walk, bubbles, play, wet, woohoo, waves, push, hot, me, want.
4. Incorporate early developing social skills with new vocabulary:
Utilizing a social greeting such as“Hi”, and label new things you see, such as a crab, sand, water, etc., will promote longer utterances and word combinations “Hi crab,” “Hi sand” “Hi water” “Hi bird.”
5. Practice the turn-taking
with eye contact in games like peek-a-boo, rolling a big beach ball, blowing bubbles, or playing catch. You can use phrases like “go” or “my turn” “your turn.”
6. Basic wh-questions:
Ask and answer some basic WH questions: who, where, what, when, why.
7. Write and draw in the sand
Practice drawing lines, writing letters or numbers, even short messages in the sand
8. Hide and seek with locations
Hide items and help your kids find them by giving them clues like “under the” “between the” “behind the” “next to the” “on top of the” “in front of the” inside the.”
9. Describe and discuss the weather
Is it cloudy, sunny, rainy, windy, humid, hot, cool?
10. Compare and contrast
big/little, hot/cold, smooth/bumpy, soft/quiet, long/short, near/far, happy/sad
Ages 8 and up
11. Tell & Show:
Describe an item with 2-3 clues without showing your child, see if they can guess what it is. Think about items like: water, towels, sunscreen, sunglasses, flip flops, whales, birds, umbrellas, popsicles, ice cream, swimsuits, goggles, shovels, buckets.
12. Pack the bag for direction practice
Have your kids pack their beach bag. See if they can pack 4-6 items in the order you tell them. “We need a towel, sunscreen, goggles, flip flops, and the umbrella.”
13. A listening obstacle course
Make an obstacle course with 4-6 steps and have your kiddos race to finish the challenge to work on auditory skills, following directions, and working memory.
14. Beachy sentences
Practice helping your child identify different nouns, verbs, adjectives, and at the beach, then have them use the targeted word in a sentence.
Adjectives: salty, delicious, bright, wet, slick, slow, long, loud, close, cold, wet, far, hot, exhausted
Nouns: crab, smells, ride, shoes, bird, French fries, burgers, sunscreen, gators, boat, noise, hat, tree, sand
Verbs: snoring, starving, burning, groaned, snoozing, yelled, ate, swimming, sleeping, crying, sat, waited
15. Sequence your day
Practice sequencing the events of the day by calling a family member who is not on vacation and have your child retell the events of the day.