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Summer Ideas for Families to Maintain and Generalize Speech and Language Skills

Summer is the ideal time for families to practice speech and language skills so that their children can maintain and generalize skills in a fun and functional way! I like to provide my families with different examples of free or low-cost activities that they can engage in as a family while still targeting speech and language skills in a fun way. Here are a few examples for the Summer season.

SUMMER CRAFTS- Working on crafts with kids is a wonderful way to not only practice speech and language skills but also to spend quality time with our kids. I found some wonderful craft ideas to share with you!

  1. DIY Fruit Fans by the Idea Room – These are so cute and FUNctional!
  2. Sponge Sailboat Craft by Easy Peasy and Fun – After making sailboats, families can take it further by looking around the house for items that might sink or float!
  3. Easy Bird Seed Ornaments by Crafts by Amanda – This looks so fun and super easy!
  • make requests for materials
  • sequence steps that were taken to create their crafts
  • describe their craft
  • practice using their best sounds

MAKE SUMMER SCENTED PLAYDOUGH- Parents can find a lot of wonderful no-cook playdough recipes online.  Check out these Summer themed recipes: orange and lemon playdough and summer fruits playdough.

  • describing materials using senses
  • sequencing steps and recall
  • use the playdough to create items to describe or as visuals when telling a story
  • set a timer so that students are practicing self-monitoring and self-correction for specific articulation sounds or actively use fluency shaping and stuttering modification techniques while communicating while making and playing with the playdough

GO ON A SCAVENGER HUNT- Going on a hike as a family can provide inexpensive fun and a wonderful way to engage kids in communication. Many families will also go on vacation and look for items in their new environment or in a magazine or on a favorite television show will also work! Use this FREE SCAVENGER HUNT

  • receptive identification
  • expressive labeling
  • discuss weather and clothing options
  • adjectives to describe items found/seen in their environment/vacation/magazine
  • target prepositions with where the child found the item
  • compare and contrast items
  • give instructions on how to return to the starting point
  • sequence the order for what they checked off of their scavenger list

ENJOY the OUTDOORS & COMMUNITY LOCATIONS– During the Summer, many families take the opportunity to engage in some outdoor fun. However, not all of our families can afford to do so or have opportunities within reach (for example, the beach within driving distance). Here is the list of my personal favorite places/opportunities during the Summer season.

  1. Opportunities to Engage in Water Play – Families can target speech and language at the Beach, Lake, River, Pool, and/or when enjoying a Slip n’ Slide, Water Balloon Fights, and Sprinklers. During the Covid Summer 2020, our local pool was shut down and it was super hot outside. Since we do not have a pool in our backyard and can not afford one, our daughter engaged in water play with friends the same way I did when growing up. That is right, the sprinkler, Slip N’ Slide, and water balloons were rolled out along with the laughs!
  2. Camping – Many campsites do not cost much and provide various experiences for families, including fishing, camping in a tent or cabin, campfires, and s’mores.
  3. Informational Community Locations – Families can head to their local library or town tourist/visitor/historical center. Families can learn more about their town and its history or engage in arts and crafts and storytime at the library.
  • given instructions or state what they did in the water
  • compare/contrast available activities or differences from the town’s history versus the current state
  • event sequencing and story retell
  • explain why they chose one local activity over another
  • share interesting facts that they learned about their town or experience

Other locations in the community that families may want to explore if they have one in their area would be zoos, aquariums, planetariums, and amusement parks. However, these locations usually cost and are not available for free.

You can find additional ideas to share with your families to help them avoid the summer slide for speech and language skills here! I hope you share these ideas with your families that are looking for opportunities to help their children maintain, generalize, and reduce the summer slide with speech and language skills this summer. Families can also work on using carryover of speech sound system skills (articulation and phonology) and using fluency techniques while engaging in these fun activities.

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