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10 Activities to Develop your Child’s Speech Skills

Here at KidsCare Home Health we work with children every day who have a wide range of disorders and developmental delays to help them continue to be able to communicate effectively. While we have found that most parents know the importance of their child’s speech and cognitive understanding skills, most of them don’t know that there are simple and fun things they can do with their child to help ensure they continue to develop. So here are ten activities that your kids won’t even know are good for them!

  1. I Spy Shopping – When grocery shopping, or shopping in any store, play a guessing game in the form of “I Spy.” For example, while in the produce section, “I spy something round and red that grows on a tree.” Also, ask your child to label things as you place them in the basket.
  2. Nature Scavenger Hunt – Take a nature hike with a list of items such as leaves, acorns, flowers, rocks, etc that your child must read and identify. If your child is too young to read a list then use pictures for them to match during the walk.
  3. Photography – Take photos of daily activities with a digital camera, and then print them and put them in a photoalbum. Later, you can look through the photo album and talk about the things you did and what you saw.
  4. Cooking – Use simple recipes such as gelatin or homemade popsicles to talk about the sequencing of events. Use works like, “first,” “next,” “then,” and “last,” to reinforce the fact that things happen in a specific order.
  5. Catch – Play catch with an ordinary beach ball and tell your child that he/she has to label the color where their thumb lands. You can even write something on each color with a marker to expand the activity. For example, write a body part on each color, and when your child’s thumb lands on one, ask them to point to it on their body. Writing categories on each color will also work for this activity (things you eat, things you wear, toys, etc) – when your child’s thumb lands on a category have them name three things that fit into that category. You could even write a simple noun or verb on each color and have your child make a sentence with the word written on the space in which their thumb lands.
  6. Word of the Day – Age appropriate/grade-level vocabulary can easily be found on the internet. Choose a word to discuss at the beginning of each day, and then find ways to use it in conversation throughout the day.
  7. Play Dough Alphabet – Use play dough to form the letters of the alphabet. Have your child identify letters when you name them, or have them label all the letters. You can also do this activity by writing letters in shaving cream on a table top or in foam on the walls of the bathtub.
  8. Hidden Treasure – Fill a large box or a plastic tub with dry beans or rice, and then hid small toys (action figures, cars, etc) in the box. Have your child find a toy without looking and try to label what it is by touch.
  9. “What’s In the Bag?” – Place an object in a paper sack. Have your child use a single sense to figure out what it is. For example, they could listen to the sound the object makes, smell the object, or touch the object and then label it.
  10. Crafts – Any simple craft activity is a great tool to work on identifying, labeling, sequencing, colors, and words. You can use paper bags, empty egg cartons, and empty milk jugs to make a variety of crafts. Ideas can be found by simple searches on the internet. Make sure you and your child are talking through what they are creating and how it looks, as well as the order in which they are doing things.

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