With winter soon approaching, it’s important to think about how we can, while spending time with our kids, work on increasing their speech and/or language abilities. There are many activities that we can take part in with our kids that can work on these skills all while having so much fun!
Wondering what to do this upcoming holiday break, or all throughout the winter months to help your child? Below are some ideas for you:
- On a snowy day, work with your child to sequence the steps to build a snowman. You can work on basic steps or sequence more complex steps (using more details such as “build the largest snowball first, put it on the bottom, now put a medium-sized snowball in the middle, and the smallest snowball at the top”). Work at whatever level is best for your child, while keeping things fun and engaging.
- Make and decorate snow angels and compare and contrast them – how are they the same? How are they different?
- Have your child give you directions for how to put on your snow gear! Provide outdoor winter activity options to your child and have him/her choose by vocalizing, gesturing, etc. Encourage these communicative attempts!
- If you purchase a live tree, have your child help decide which tree to get. Ask him/her to describe the perfect tree (tall, short, bushy, wide, narrow, etc)!
- Follow directions with your child to create a paper snowflake.
- Describe the paper snowflake and real snowflakes using as much detail as possible – this works on building their vocabulary!
- Make hot chocolate and talk about the steps needed to complete the task.
- Make wreaths – get your child to describe each item used to make the wreath (the tool, the pine cones, etc.) as well as the wreaths themselves.
- Give your child directions to build a bird feeder out of pinecones, peanut butter, and birdseed.
- Read a winter themed book – ask who, what, where, when, and why questions.
- If playing board games with your child, remember that it’s ok for you to win! When conducted properly, losing can teach your child valuable social skills.
- Follow a favorite cookie recipe and then recall the ingredients that were used.
- Make cookies shaped as your child’s target speech sound (i.e. S, L, R etc) and with icing, write words on the cookie that start with the target sound!
Winter break is a great time to engage in fun activities with your child while building his/her speech and language skills.
-Sabrina Mottershead, Speech Therapist