Outdoor Water and Bubble Play
The summer months are important for maintaining gains in speech and language therapy. For the children that are able to receive summer sessions, you have to continue to work on their goals in a creative and fun manner. The last thing anyone wants is to have regression during the months away from traditional school. In addition to working on specific words, patterns, or articulation practice, these activities will give everyone a chance to enjoy and practice language skills during play and conversation.
Fun Time with Bubbles
Bubbles are a great way to get children to practice mouth movements and have fun. Set a time and go outside for bubble walk to explore different types of bubble making strategies. If you are feeling adventurous, Blog Me Mom has a great resource for different homemade bubble recipes, games, and projects. She has posted multiple recipes to make bubbles with kids. In addition to this, there are art project suggestions that incorporate bubbles. FrugalFun4Boys also shares a way to make a giant bubble wand and bubble snake. Each of these ideas would allow for modeling, sequence talk, conversation skill practice, and more if you work more specific items into them for the individual child.
Paint with Water
Grab some buckets for water and different sized paint brushes and head outside to paint with water. This activity is flexible, quick, easy, and there is little-to-no mess. For younger children, have them paint a picture and talk you through the process. If they are a bit older, you can play more of a game. Make a picture of a sound/word they are working on. Next, they will have to paint something that rhymes with it. If children are able to spell words, they can spell them out with the water and paint brushes and do similar games. Allowing everyone a chance to come up with an idea with this is a great way to actively involve them in the process.
Ice Chalk Exploration
Trying something new during the summer is a lot of fun. While most children have probably used chalk, they may not have tried ice chalk. Reading Confetti has a post explaining how to make it using cornstarch, water, and food coloring. When you make the mixture into ice, it adds a new dimension to the sensory experience. While trying out different mixtures, you can talk about the texture, note how it melts, and explore other items as well. Think outside of the box and incorporate fun into this. You could hide letters inside of the frozen chalk and once it melts, they need to use the start sound to share a certain number of words they have learned. Be creative and think about ways to utilize this fun with different age groups.
Be sure to send sheets home to the families to give them ways to encourage children to practice during the weeks of summer break. Suggest some of the outside activities that you have done and encourage them to create videos, photo books, or draw books about items they do together. Parents can write it in the other language spoken at home, and these can be shared at the end of summer.