Winter and summer breaks are an excellent way to prevent both students and school professionals from being worn out. However, it is also important for students to stay consistent with not only their school work, but also any therapy they are doing during typical school hours. Progress can be lost both academically and socially during extended breaks if a student doesn’t practice what they have been taught in class and therapy.
For students and children that are enrolled in speech therapy, any regression they might see over winter or summer break can easily be prevented. While it does not have to be as consistent as regular schooling, providing your students with at-home speech therapy activities is an excellent way of maintaining the progress they have made.
Speech Therapy Activities for Students
Being creative with speech therapy is one way to keep a child’s attention and help them learn while having fun at the same time. When designing speech therapy activities, it is important to consider a variety of things when you are assigning students speech therapy activities while they are on break.
- Does the activity relate to what the child is learning in school? In an ideal learning environment, speech activities at home should coordinate with their classroom studies to enhance and reinforce both.
- Is it grade-level appropriate and challenging? Reaching kids who grew up on video gaming and social networking requires a delicate balance between being educational and being boring.
- Does the activity provide a multisensory experience using visual, auditory, and interactive technology? Activities that engage different senses have a better chance of keeping the child interested. Text-based activities are lifeless and dull. The more the child is required to interact by solving puzzles, making decisions, and answering questions, the more time she will be willing to invest.
- Does the activity provide opportunities for the child to learn new words and practice new sounds? Ideally, the activity should incorporate language goals into the session. A tall order, but one that may be achieved by outlining special instructions on activities designed for other purposes.
Whether it is winter or spring break, getting your child to enjoy the outdoors while practicing their speech and language skills is always a win. These activities can focus on articulation, pragmatics, self-confidence talking aloud, or more. One activity kids can do is jumping rope. Jump rope rhymes and games are fun to play together. Kids can work on words while they jump. Younger kids can also practice rhyme time as they jump, or come up with as many words with the same start and end sounds while hopping.
Similar to jumping rope that gets kids moving and working on their speech is hopscotch. The twist on this is to use the numbered spaces to practice speech and language skills. If a child tosses the bean bag and it lands on the three, they have to use that number on their turn. Perhaps they have to rhyme three words with the -at ending on it. They may have to make up three sentences in a silly story. Others may use vocabulary words in three different sentences. This may easily be changed up to work with a variety of IEP goals which students are working on.
Walking around and using your senses is always fun to do with kids. A bingo game is easy enough to plan during student breaks. Simply make your own cards that have different things a student can see, hear, feel, taste, and smell. Allow kids to take them outside, or even around the house, with a dry erase marker to cross off spaces that they find. The twist with speech and language is they must take turns announcing what they found and share details about it. This is a great way to work on vocabulary and descriptive words.
Fortunately, the internet offers a lot of resources, activities, and interactive educational tools that are fun and free. This makes the job easier for parents who have to oversee and ensure that their children are practicing their therapy while they are at home.
Games Used for Speech Therapy
Using card games and board games that encourage language skills are a way to keep children interested, even while the outdoors beckon. Keeping kids engaged in speech and language development over the summer and winter break doesn’t have to be a struggle if it’s kept fun and laid back.
Using everyday activities as a basis for language and speech building blocks is a great technique to help children start conversing and learning sounds. Games such as Apples to Apples and Tell Tale, both of which use words and abstract thought to inspire children to communicate. Encouraging parents to select board games based on educational goals is one way to ensure their children don’t experience any loss in progress. Going outside and talking about the environment or discussing a child’s recent sporting event is another way that language skills can be kept sharp throughout breaks.
Regardless of the activities and methods used for students while they are on break, the important thing is that school districts and speech therapists provide children and parents with the knowledge, tools, and resources for them to excel on your own. And if you are a speech therapist looking for a new opportunity where you can help students grow, make sure to visit ProCare Therapy’s job page for SLPs. Search thousands of opportunities across the country through the button below!Search SLP Jobs