Summer is finally here! Take advantage of this time of year, and enjoy the time outdoors with your child with these 3 easy activities to promote speech and language skills outside. Remember, learning and development don’t always happen at the table. In fact, learning and development are often best accomplished in the context of engaging play and multi-sensory activities. So take the learning outdoors and enjoy spending time with your child in the summer sun!
Outdoor Speech and Language Activities:
- Plan a nature scavenger hunt. Write 10 clues on a brown paper bag (or present the clues verbally if your child is not yet reading), and encourage your child to find each of the 10 items. For example, a clue might be “I am green, and I grow in the ground” or “I am all different colors, and I smell very good.” If you live in the city and have limited access to nature items, use a digital camera to capture items on the list. This activity promotes reading, listening, categorization, and memory.
- Plan a fun outing and record the day in a scrapbook. You might visit the zoo or walk to the park. Take various digital pictures of the outing, and print them off later. Help your child piece together a construction-paper scrapbook to remember the day. Guide your child as they sequence the pictures in order (“What did we do first?”) and tell you about each picture. Ask them wh- questions (e.g. “Where did we go?” or “Who went to the zoo?”). Afterwards, encourage your child to share their book with family and friends! This activity promotes sequencing, answering questions, and expressive language.
- Make an outdoor obstacle course. Include 3-5 steps to get your child moving! For example “walk like a bear around the tree” or “hop like a bunny to the fence.” If your child has difficulty remembering each step, write them down or draw pictures. Later, have your child tell others about their obstacle course. Use the written or pictured steps to help them organize their thoughts as they recap the activity. This activity promotes listening, following directions, memory, sequencing, and expressive language.