By Rebecca Walton, MS/CCC-SLP
Being outside is one of the best things about Summertime. It’s also a great place to target your child’s receptive and expressive language skills. There are so many opportunities to label objects, actions, and describe things. You can also practice following directions in a fun environment and your child probably won’t even realize that they’re “working”.
Three Outside Speech & Language Therapy Activities
- Use the playground equipment to practice labeling all the activities that are there: “Swing, slide, steps, tire, sand”. You can also label the actions that your child is doing: “climb, walk, run, jump, slide, swing, go up, go down”. Describing things is also an easy way to get some 2-word phrases: “red slide, big slide, soft sand, small swing, jump high, swing fast”.
- Practice following directions by telling your child, “first go on the slide, then get on the swing” or “Come scoop some sand, then blow some bubbles”. You can also play a game such as “I Spy” with a couple of changes to help your child learn to listen to details. It’s very easy, and can be a fun game. Start describing something with 2-3 attributes and then have your child guess what you’re describing then they can go play on the describe item. Example: This activity is red. You have to use stairs to get to it. It’s made of metal. Answer: “Slide”
- You can use these kind of activities for pretty much any outdoor fun that you’re having this Summer. Sidewalk chalk is also a fun activity to practice labeling items and describing items. It’s also a fun way to target following directions. If your child is old enough, you can tell them to “first draw a circle, then put a nose in the middle” or “pick up the green chalk and write the letter B”.