SPEECH AND LANGUAGE ON VACATION
Family vacations are a wonderful opportunity to teach vocabulary, story telling, articulation/phonological awareness, and social skills. Below are some fun ideas for practicing your child’s speech and language goals while on the road. Enjoy!
- Find the target speech sound on road signs, license plates, and menus.
- I-Spy game. While in the car, by the pool, or in the hotel
- Daily Review- at the end of the day talk with you children about all they did during the day. Try to use descriptive language to help them create a visual picture in their head. Talk about shared feelings and experiences from the day.
- Sing songs in the car with your little one. Act out different gestures that correlate to the words.
- Guess What game. One person (“Captain”) thinks of a familiar object. Everyone else ask yes/no questions to deduce the answer. Whoever guesses the right answer is the next Captain.
- Story Linking game. The first person says the first sentence of a story. The next person adds to the story, etc. Stories can be silly, scary, serious...the possibilities are endless!
- Going on a Picnic game. To help with memory, the first person says “I’m going on a picnic and I’m bringing X (e.g., watermelon).” The next person says “I’m going on a picnic and I’m bringing watermelon and X (e.g., a hat)”. The third person says “I’m going on a picnic and I’m bringing watermelon, a hat, and X (e.g., sunscreen).” Continue this sequence until someone can not remember all of the items.
- Categories. Different food categories on a menu. Talk about the color, the taste, texture, etc.
- Formulating questions. Practice asking a staff member for directions or permission.
- Time concepts. Parents model “today”, “tomorrow”, and “yesterday” when talking about different activities and traveling days.
- Sequencing events-before a trip, make a schedule together and talk about what will happen first, next, then, and last.
- Ordering. Practice ordering from a menu.
- Problem solving. Talk about how you’ll get to your destination and the problems that could happen along the way. Flat tire. Broken windshield. Run out of gasoline.
- Perspective taking. Talk about planning together (e.g., Brother wants to go to the museum, but sister wants to watch a movie.). Talk about the hidden rules of different locations (e.g., pool, park, airplane).
- Talk about the weather and the appropriate clothing to wear.
- Practice how to read public transportation maps and schedules.
- Body awareness. Practice personal space in public areas.
- Rhyming games- pick an item you see while driving in the car, waiting at the airport and see how many words you can find that rhyme
- Initial/final sound matching - pick an item you see while driving in the car, waiting at the airport and see how many items you can name with the same beginning sound (e.g. “gate” - ground, guy, gum) or ending sound (e.g “hat”, mat, net, belt)
- Sequencing sounds- sound out simple words - e.g. what are the sounds in “cat”
- Air writing- Practice “writing” letters of the alphabet in the air with two fingers (or in the sand at the beach!), or sound out words and practice spelling them with air writing