This is a re-publish of one of our most popular summer blog topics – how to use sidewalk chalk for speech therapy sessions. We are bringing it out of the vault to share this summer, since we’ve heard that it’s been helpful for SLPs and parents looking for some fun summer activities. Enjoy!
Is your child enrolled in speech therapy? Are you worried about the summer slide, and your child potentially losing speech skills over the summer?
Are you a speech-language pathologist working this summer? (I’m right there with you!) Are you looking for fun and engaging ideas for summer activities?
If so, grab some sidewalk chalk, and let’s chat!
The Summer Slide
Summer is fast approaching, and families with kids in speech therapy may be worried about regression. With these families in mind, I have come up with some fun speech-focused summer games. All it requires is a slab of pavement and a few dollars of sidewalk chalk!
Create a storybook directly on the pavement! Make up a story and ask your child to draw it as you go along. Your child can then retell the story with the aid of the drawing. Next, switch roles and draw your child’s story. When retelling the story, try making “mistakes” and see if your child catches it. Ask your child to correct you and explain why you were wrong. Children relish the opportunity to correct adults! They’ll also get some practice explaining their thoughts and ideas to others.
Tongue Twister Hopscotch
This activity would be a great pick for a child who needs articulation (speech sound production) practice. Rather than numbers, draw letters in a hopscotch game. A soft toy or a beanbag could take the role of the hopscotch marker. Each time the child lands on a letter, he has to repeat a tongue twister containing that letter. The adult could prepare tongue twisters beforehand, or encourage your child to come up with something silly and new. Make sure to take turns and get silly along with them! A little laughter can help ease up a child who may be self conscious of their articulation.
Create a target and take turns throwing a soft toy, sponge, or ball at the target. If your child is ready for numbers, use a point system and assign someone to draw a scoreboard and tally points. This game can be adapted for any speech or language goal. Some possibilities: taking turns and answering questions, articulating challenging phrases, or making rhymes and songs.
Think of a few categories and draw several items for each. Your child can circle each item in a category with a particular color of chalk, or connect them all with lines. Talk about why some items do or do not belong to a category. An item may not be part of a category because of its size or color, for example. The categories can be adjusted to the right level for your child. For instance, animals versus non-animal items would be an easy categorization, whereas animals categorized by habitat (sea or jungle?) would be more challenging.
In this activity, one person chooses a secret item and gives the other person 3 clues. Using the clues, the other person draws a picture of what he/she thinks the item is. Switch roles so your child gets opportunities for both listening and talking. Another way to play this game is to draw three pictures and the other person chooses the described item. To make it more difficult, use two clues that apply to all the items, and only one that gives it away. For example, draw a broccoli, a lizard, and a lime. Two similar clues could be that the secret item is small and green. Then announce one differential clue: it is used to make juice!
5 Sidewalk Chalk Ideas for Speech and Language Development – Let’s go!
Are you ready to hit the pavement and sharpen those speech and language skills? Remember, working on speech and language at home is always a huge part of a child’s success, no matter the season. Just because summer is here doesn’t mean your child has to lose the skills he worked so hard to gain over the school year.
If you’re local to the Rogue Valley and are looking for speech therapy this summer, please contact me. I’ve got a few spots left open for this summer, with more spots available in the fall.