Speech Tips & Activities
Over the past few weeks, we have shared a variety of strategies and recommendations that parents can use to support their child’s learning at home. Today’s post is a continuation of this theme. Below, our speech language pathologist Marika Gaul shares even more suggestions of activities that are easy to do at home, showing how young ones being away from school and therapy doesn’t have to mean a stop to developing their language skills.
Dialogic reading is a procedure that can be done while engaging with your child’s favorite books. You can practice this by target identifying objects/attributes/actions by asking children to “point to ___.” You can label objects found in the book or ask your child to label items in the book, you can ask simple ‘wh’ questions, and can describe things that are happening in the pictures beyond just reading the book. For children with more advanced skill sets, you can get creative and take turns making up your own story related to the pictures in the book.
Sorting can encourage your child to form groups of a variety of objects from colors to shapes to objects. This can be an interactive activity of turn taking while also exposing your child to language and giving them something to manipulate.
A lot of children present difficulty producing language using intelligible speech. As a parent you can emphasize certain sounds when speaking to them to encourage intelligible sound production. You can also tap their hand to encourage them to produce word syllable by syllable in hopes it will slow them down and help them enunciate their words. If your child is having difficulty with specific sounds, try to find simple consonant vowel consonant words that begin with that sound, such as “dog” or “hat”. Here are some great links for kids that are generally the hierarchy for kids with apraxia however, they are also helpful tools for any kids struggling with speech production:
As you can see there are a lot of ways we can use language to teach children through natural and play based activities. At the end of the day, the ultimate goal is to get your child to learn without them realizing it while also engaging with them as a parent and we hope you find these activities enjoyable and simple to add to daily routines!