10 Suggestions for Speech and Language Enhancement over the Summer


  1. Obstacle courses outside- Create simple or complex obstacle courses outside. Give auditory directions with increasing difficulty. Start with a simple two step direction and make it harder as they go along; “First, go run around the tree, then jump over the stick, and finally give me a high-five” This is a great way to work on auditory memory, sequencing, and language concepts.
  2. Making a list- Going on a picnic, going to the beach, or going for a hike? Have your child make a “list” of things to pack. Let them pack their own bag or try making their own sandwich.
  3. Pretend Play- A lemonade stand, a pretend restaurant, a pretend surf shop…..Any type of pretend play fosters receptive and expressive language and helps children to learn reciprocal interaction skills.
  4. Incorporate naming and retrieval into any kind of play. Play catch with a ball and each time you throw the ball you have to name something in a category (“lets name farm animals while we play catch”). You can do the same with just about any motor task outside- name something before you go down the slide, throw a water balloon, or each time you jump in the pool….)
  5. Some great games to play inside or outside include: Barbeque Party, Shark Bite, Spot It, Pop up Pirate, Princess Cupcake Party, Mustache Smash, Soggy Doggy, Simon. Any of these games and a multitude of others can be played inside or outside at the picnic table or on a blanket. Games work on concept development, memory, turn taking, vocabulary, and comprehension skills.
  6. Group outdoor games such as Red Light/Green Light, What Time is it Mr. Fox?, Drip, Drip, Drop, Ring Around the Rosie, and Duck, Duck, Goose are also great for many areas of language and social development.
  7. Teach your child some functional skills! Watering flowers with a watering can works on measurement skills, motor skills, and independence. Other things that kids can learn to help with include: weeding, planting, digging, raking, picking up sticks, washing bikes, helping wash the car.
  8. Scavenger hunts are great for summer. You can make a list, use pictures, or just give auditory information for things they need to find. (“Find an acorn, a leaf, a pebble, a dandelion, and 3 rocks that are all different sizes”)
  9. How about try to learn a new skill? Tying knots, Macrame, jump rope, pogo stick, balance beam, dribbling a ball, blowing bubbles (with gum or regular bubbles), can you think of anymore?
  10. FUN, FUN, FUN!!!! Enjoy outdoor fun and play. Spend time with your family and friends and become a better communicator!

Joanne Hanson MS, CCC-SLP

Download the ideas here