Language Activities That You Can Take Outside
Language Activities and Kids – Get the kids outside!
A lot of people think that speech and language therapy consists of flashcards and worksheets. However, there are some fabulous activities that will keep your child smiling, having fun and staying active, while supporting his/her speech and language development!
These activities are simple, creative, adaptable and do not require many materials.
Below is a list of activities that you will find helpful on beautiful days when you want to be outside!
Language Activities -> Scavenger hunt
This is a great activity that will get you and your child outside having some fun in the sun! Together, hunt for items such as flowers, rocks, four leaf clovers, tree branches/twigs, leaves, plants, sand or whatever else you can find. While you and your child are walking, ask and answer each other WH questions (e.g., Ask your child about where they are looking for items, what the items look like, or what color/size they are, etc.)
You can work on increasing your child’s vocabulary by discussing the items that you find. Discuss differentcategories such as things found in the soil, things that are the same color, things that grow, etc. You can also practice following directions (e.g. “Find the pinecone first, then the twig.” OR “Put the flower under the log.”)
Collect different rocks
Take your child out into a driveway, park, or for a walk and find as many different rocks as possible (Kids LOVE collecting rocks). These rocks can be useful when talking about adjectives. You and your child can talk about the different weights (heavy/light), sizes (small/medium/large), and textures (smooth, bumpy, rough) you see in the rocks.
You can compare and contrast the rocks you find. You and your child can also put the rocks into different categories based on their similarities and differences.
Additionally, these rocks can be useful to practice prepositions. Practice taking turns placing your rock under, over, beside, on top of, or below other rocks. You can get creative and use the rocks you find for letter and sound recognition. Your child can practice printing letters on the rocks with different colored chalk or markers.
When he/she masters this, he/she can make words with the rock letters they have created.
Children love to get down and dirty in the soil, plant seeds and watch them grow; therefore this activity is a great motivator for children and also an excellent way to support their speech and language development!
You and your child can take a trip to the Dollar Store to purchase his/her favorite seeds or you can simply use seeds that are found around the house (sunflower or apple seeds work great!) While planting the seeds you and your child can practice WH questions by asking and answering questions about what you need, where you plant the seed, when you should water or how to plant a flower.
You can also practice sequencing skills. Talk about the steps you need to take to plant the flower, before you start. Then talk about them using words such as; first, second, third, and last while you are planting the flower.
Make predictions about what type of flower it is, the color, how big it might be or even how long you think it will take for it to grow. You can also target articulation goals while planting. You can work on blends (e.g. fl-flower, gr-grow, pl-plant)
Fly a Kite
Flying a kite is an excellent way to motivate your child, while supporting his/her speech and language goals!
There are many things you can talk about with your child. You can discuss categories such as other items that fly in the air, or items that start with /k/.
Alternatively, you could discuss various things you find in the sky, the water or land. You can practice using prepositional words such as, beside, below, under, or over while flying the kite.
Work on WH questions by talking about where it flies, when you should fly it and how it works. You and your child can even target articulation goals while flying your kite.
Practice initial k (kite), final t (kite), or blends fl (fly) with your child.
These are just a few of many different activities that can keep your child engaged, active and outside while supporting his/her speech and language development at anytime!
Always feel free to be creative and adjust these activities to target just about any speech or language goal!
Are you looking for more summer speech and language activities? Click here for part 2!
Erin is a Registered Speech Therapist and Clinical Director of Speech Kids Canada, an In-Home Speech therapy company.