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Maintaining Speech and Language Skills over Summer Break
by Julie A. Daymut, M.A., CCC-SLP
Summer break is almost here! For many students who receive speech/language services, the break from school also means a break in treatment. During summer recess, parents can help their children maintain communication skills learned during the school year. Providing your children with fun, engaging activities is a great way to make practicing skills more enjoyable and less of a “chore” during their break!
Activities for Practicing Speech and Language Skills
Below are some fun suggestions for speech and language activities to do with your child during the summer. A great way to keep track of practice days is to have a summer calendar where you place a sticker or draw a smiley face on each day you work on speech/language skills with your child. Before using any of the following suggestions or doing other activities, be sure to talk with your child’s speech-language pathologist (SLP). The SLP can provide you with goals to work on, strategies for maintaining specific skills, and materials to practice with, such as word lists or worksheets.
Speech
  • Practice word lists in the car. Have your child practice his/her “sound” by saying target words during car rides. Have him/her repeat a word five times at each red light or stop sign.
  • Create a sound book. Help your child make a book of words, pictures, or words and pictures that contain his/her target sound. Put one target word on each page and review the book every week.
  • Read comics. Read comics from books or newspapers with your child. Use a highlighter to mark words that contain his/her target sound.
Language
  • Go to the library. Sign your child up for the local summer reading program at the library. As he/she reads each book, ask questions like “Who is the main character?” “What do you like about this story?” “How do you think it will end?” “What was your favorite part?”
  • Keep a journal. Have your child keep a journal of summer events. If your child cannot yet write, have him/her draw pictures to tell stories. You can have him/her tell you the story and you write it in the journal.
  • Play board games. Encourage social skills like turn taking, being a good sport, and topic maintenance when playing board games as a family.
 
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