Speech and Language home practice does not have to seem like a chore! Try these free or almost free fun ideas for winter speech and language home practice. Your kids will have so much fun that they won’t even realize that they are working on their speech and language goals!
- Build a Snowman: You can help your child work on language concepts while out building a snowman this winter. Talk about the size concepts big, medium and small when making the 3 snowballs. If your child already knows these concepts see if he/she can use comparatives and superlatives (i.e. “big, bigger, biggest” or “tall, taller, tallest”) when talking about the snowballs. Talk about the location concepts top, middle and bottom when putting them together. While dressing the snow man see if your child can follow 1, 2 or even 3 step directions using those concepts (i.e. put the hat on the top and then put the buttons in the middle). You can also talk about the concepts “tall” and “short” and see if the snowman is taller or shorter then you and your child. If you are really into this activity you can build more then one snow man and work on using attributes to have your child compare and contrast how the two snowmen are the same or different. Tip: If it is too cold or there is not enough snow you can do this activity indoors with paper as an art project. Cut out different size circles and make the snowman with paper and glue and talk about all of the same concepts. OR, add a tasty twist by making the snowman out of marshmallows. Use candy for the eyes, nose, mouth and buttons, a cracker or gum drop for the top hat and pretzels for the arms. A toothpick will help to hold the snowman’s body together. Have fun!
- Make an Ice Sun Catcher:Fill a flat container with water. Put items in (we recommend environmentally friendly items such as leaves, pine cones, acorns or other lightweight natural items, but sparkles, food coloring, googly eyes and other things are a lot of fun too and are great for working on vocabulary!) as well as a thin wire for hanging. While making the design you can work on vocabulary words, colors, size concepts, and the concepts sink/float, wet/dry, heavy/light, and empty/full. See if your child can use attributes to describe the items you are putting in the water. Have your child answer “wh” questions about the items. Once you are finished making your design, leave it outside in freezing temperatures. Talk about the cold and have your child predict what will happen if you leave it outside. Check back on your creation later and after it is frozen, remove the design from it’s container and hang it from a tree to enjoy while the cold lasts. As it melts talk about what is happening and why.
- Frozen bubbles: If your kids like bubbles this adds an exciting twist! Bubbles are not just for summer time. You can use regular bubble solution and bubble wands to blow bubbles outside on a cold day. The cold weather will turn everyday bubbles into icy spheres! This is a great activity for children who need to practice oral motor skills and work on lip rounding. Have your child try to round their lips while blowing bubbles. You can work on bilabial sounds /b/, /p/ and /m/ by having your child say these words during bubble play “up”, “more”, “pop”, “bubble” and “me”. You can also work on turn taking as well as the concepts high and low (blow the bubbles up high, blow them down low) and many, few, some and just one. Enjoy!
- Snowy Day Treasure Hunt: This is a fun activity that can be used to work on many different speech and language goals. The idea is simple. Hide items or objects outside in the snow and have your child go on a treasure hunt to find them! You can make the hunt simple or more challenging depending on your child. Items can be peeking out from the snow, or they can be more hidden and have messages with clues attached to them that will lead them to the next item. You can select items that target a certain articulation sound (i.e. for the /s/ sound you can hide sun glasses, spoons, soap, a toy snake, etc) and have your child say the name of the item 3-5 times each or say them in a sentence when they find them. You can select items targeting the vocabulary words that your child is working on to help them learn the new words. You can make this more challenging by having your child follow directions on how to find the items (i.e. to find this treasure you need to look: left, right, above, below, next to, across from, between etc). You can make the directions simple or more difficult depending on your child and their goals.
- Winter Time Social Skills: Your child can invite a friend (or a few friends) over for some snow day fun. You can work on concepts such as turn taking and cooperative play skills by having the children work together to build a fort, snowman or snow animals. The children can take turns playing winter games such as riding a sled down a hill or pushing/pulling each other on a sled. The kids can bundle up for a snow picnic! Use a waterproof blanket and share some snacks picnic style. You can also have the kids enjoy some snow bowling! To do this, use plastic cups and fill them with water. Color the water using food coloring. Once frozen you can stack the ice blocks into a pyramid shape. Have the children take turns knocking them down using snow balls. After a fun filled day the children can talk about what they did while drinking hot coco!
We hope that you enjoy these winter speech and language ideas from Speech Language Pathology in Motion! If you try these ideas let us know how they went. If you have more ideas please share them below!
© 2012, Tina M. Rocco, M.A. CCC-SLP, HPCS. All rights reserved.