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People often wonder what kinds of things they should do or games they should play at home to encourage their child’s speech and language development. Providing a language-rich home environment can make a difference. The daily, repetitive interactions we have with our children have a cumulative effect on their learning. If you’re hunkering down inside, here are some indoor activities that can help nurture your child’s speech and language skills.
Board and Card Games
Board and card games are goldmines when it comes to speech and language development. If your child is receiving speech therapy, then you don’t need the same game that their speech-language pathologist has. Trade games with friends or see if your local library has some available for loan to try out a few.
Go Fish teaches question asking, conversation skills, and matching.
Solitaire teaches counting, colors, shapes, and a way for children to entertain themselves.
High Ho Cherry-O teaches counting and fine motor skills.
Children learn strategy and counting in Sorry.
Games help children understand that rules might change depending on the game, similar to how we have different rules about speech depending on the environment (i.e. loud voice outside but a quiet voice inside) or who they are talking to (i.e. Games provide basic structures of turn-taking, which is important when having a conversation so we’re not talking all over each other.
Warm-up with a sweet treat by enjoying a cup of cocoa together. Whether you’re making it from scratch or making an instant version, making cocoa requires sequencing and direction following.
Make a Fort
Grab some blankets, move some furniture, and hunker down in a homemade fort. Making a fort encourages pretend play fostering creativity and imagination. Your child might create rules about their fort or particular passwords for entrance, allowing for new ideas and child-defined structure.
Reading with your children each and every day has a lasting impact on their language and academic development. Whether your child is enjoying the illustrations of picture books, reading Newberry Award books or enjoying graphic novels, or devouring comic books, reading increases a child’s exposure to new words and new worlds.
Any of these activities will help make memories and help nurture your child’s speech and language development.
If you’re concerned that your child’s speech and language skills just aren’t where you think they should be, then contact SpeechWorks about a consultation.