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Summer Speech and Language Play, Wellness and Fun

By Maureen Penko

This is such a welcomed season for us. SUMMER!

What is so wonderful is the amount of outdoor activities.Summer brings about a whole new set of opportunities for play, wellness experiences and fun activities all, of which allows for language stimulation.

So, what do we need to focus on?

Concentrate on building new vocabulary, using adjectives and focusing on grammatic structure, all of which can be promoted through experience.
Play time can enhance social language and speech sounds through your repetition of the rules of the game, or certain words for the game.
Day trips and wellness activities can help reduce stress and anxiety in a child as they spend relaxed time with you.

Whatever the activity, the time spent with your child as well as exposure to group situations such as camps, will be what is most important for speech and language development.

So where can we go and what can we do?

There is a lot that can be named and described in the summer, through various themes, such as a field trip to the museum or a day at the beach. Words such as "exciting","fun","sand","sunny", "adventure" can be used during the excursion.
A trip to Fort Whyte Alive allows for a special time with so much to look at and experience. The area itself makes you feel as if you were at a lake or in the woods. There is so much to learn about here and you and your child will feel relaxed while engaged in the experience.

There are also camps with a focus and themes such as science camp, math camp, nature camp, social skills camp, adventure camps and there is also Mini U. The whole idea of getting ready to go to one of these camps is an experience for the child and the adult. Preparing is about researching together, organizing, sequencing, and talking about the activities each day. Camps brings about more development in confidence and learning.

Capture the events with your cameras and create books of experience to review with your child

It is important to also remember the child with challenges. The changes can bring about more stress, so we want to take a visit before if we can. Definitely take photos of the day trips, and review them so that it becomes familiar. Showing the location through perhaps a website if available and talking about the site pictures will help the child know what to expect.

The book can have a title:" Going to the ...... "Each page can also have print below if your child is learning to read and write.

Playing games such as tag, hopscotch or bowling, all lend to developing social communication exchange skills. In addition, you can teach the rules of the activity.

Here are some communication and language activities for children that can help with learning and providing speaking and language skills models. You can always make the game more mature for the five-year-old.

  1. Telephone Game
    This activity can help your child develop phone etiquettes and improve their speaking skills.

  2. Sing
    Singing lyrics of rhymes and songs can help your child have fun and improve their language. You may also introduce new words and teach nouns and verbs using a song.

  3. Name the Thing
    Point out various things you see for the young child and model the name clearly to promote sound accuracy. For the preschool child, you can play an I spy game. This is an easy way to build and improve vocabulary. This game can be played anywhere, including your house, in the park or even in the supermarket.

  4. Read Books
    Reading to your child every night is a great way to introduce your child to the world of words. Read a simple book with pictures and questions related to the story. You can also try pointing at images in the book and ask him to identify them. Talk about the story. Does it relate to something you have done together?

  5. Puppets
    Give your child puppets and encourage them to have conversation. Create an imaginative game. Kids are very creative, once you show them the way, they will take over. You can also use puppets to have simple conversations with your child. You can even put on a puppet show to make play-time all the more enjoyable.

  6. Match Alphabet
    Draw the letters of the alphabet on cardboard and make the sound that it represents. You can then match pictures of things that have the sound and the letter. This will help match letters to sounds using phonetics and help with spelling later on. You can try this with tracing a dotted outline of different letters of the alphabet.

Did you know that there is information put out by UNICEF that helps a parent with ideas for to use with their child in summer? Here is the site:

50 Fun Summer Activities for Kids! - Unicef Kid Power

So stay safe, have fun, play, promote wellness and expand your child's speech and language skills this summer.


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