Get Ready for Back to School with these Fun Language Activities
As we approach the end of the summer, there remains plenty of opportunities for parents to target their child’s language skills in preparation for the upcoming school year! After a summer of adventure and freedom, language-based activities can be enjoyable while enhancing your child’s overall academic, social, and emotional well-being. Check out the following activities that can be used throughout your child’s everyday activities!
- Story Time: Shared story reading is the best way to promote overall academic by targeting communication, language form/use, and literacy skills. Shared reading is powerful interactive approach involving participation of both the parent and child. As the parent demonstrates proficient reading skills, they involve the child through active participation. This type of involvement will help improve the child’s lexical repertoire (vocabulary), print awareness, as well as the sound correspondences between written and spoken words. In addition, shared reading targets a child’s attention skills, conversational skills, and verbal reasoning. To target their critical thinking skills, ask your child to predict what will happen next or reason why something happened.
- Treasure Hunt: This activity is the simplest way to enjoy a beautiful day with your kids! Take a few household objects and make a list of descriptive words to describe each item as well as the location (behind a chair, under the statue) they will be hidden in your backyard! Give your child the list of clues and have check off each item as they find each item. Additionally, this activity can be modified to target articulation skills if the objects hidden include the targeted sound. For example, to target the /s/ sound: scissors, can of soup, sunscreen, sunflowers, necklace, sock, etc.
- Go on a picnic: This type of activity is great to target vocabulary, sequencing, descriptive words, and following directions! Have your child gather and identify all needed items to go on a picnic (basket, utensils, napkins, cups). Then, create a menu for the lunch you will want to bring on the picnic. For example, if you are bringing sandwiches, have your child identify the ingredients needed. Then, together write down sequenced steps to create the sandwich. Last, have them follow the directions to create their desired sandwich!
- Watch a Movie: What a better way to target language skills than to watch a movie on a rainy day! After watching a movie, conduct a family discussion and have your child provide a recap of the movie. Their recap may include, description of the characters (protagonist, antagonist) and their personalities, discussion of the main idea, sequencing the movie scenes, discussion of both your favorite part and your child’s favorite part (or not so favorite part) of the movie, etc.
- Re-cap the Summer: Discuss all the exciting adventures you and your child have completed over the summer. This helps prepare your child to answer those ice breaker activities typically introduced in the beginning of the school year to begin conversation and help children establish rapport with their peers. Some questions may include:
- Something fun you did this summer
- Name a cool/fun place you visited
- Talk about a new hobby
- What is something you tried for the first time?
- What was your favorite thing to do? or Did you find something new that is your favorite thing to do?
- What do you expect to learn this year?
Ashley F. M.S., CF-SLP TSSLD