Thursday, May 26, 2016

Therapy Tip: Building Language Outside

It's therapy Thursday--the day I give a tip based upon my experience as a pediatric speech-language pathologist and a mother of a child with special needs.

Today's tip is:

Building Language Outside

Warm weather is upon us! It's time to use outside activities to target language. Here are some easy ways to work on language development for toddlers or minimally verbal children.

*Swings: I love toddler swings that have the child secured in safely because you have control over the child's swinging. You can stop the swing and say, “Want to swing? Say ___.” Push them a few times and then stop them again to target a word.

            Words to target: up, down, go, stop, whee, push, high, more, please

*Action words: Naming actions and understanding actions are both important language skills. Being outside, allows you to practice different actions. Some examples of actions to try: jump, walk, run, throw, kick, and march.

            Ideas for actions: Play ball. Switch between kick and throw. Throw the ball past him & tell him to run.  March around the yard saying “march, march.” Find a stick and “jump” over it.

*Containers: Give your child a bucket or some kind of container. Let them walk around putting things in it. You can look for rocks, leaves, small sticks, flowers, etc. Use the concepts in/out when placing things inside and outside the bucket. Name the items that the child is putting in their bucket. You can also use the bucket to target following directions.

            1 step directions: Put this in your bucket. Take it out. Smell the flower.

            2 steps: Pick up the leaf and put it in. Go by tree and pick a leaf.

*Big/Little:  (For those over 2 years old) Compare two items outside and tell your child big/little or ask them, which one is big/little. Ideas: 2 rocks, 2 leaves, 2 balls, 2 sticks

*Cars: For something different, take your child’s toy cars outside. Let them drive over the rocks or slide them down a slide. Take the car through the grass or dirt. Give them a small cup of water & let them wash the car.

            Target words: bump, go, stop, car, up, down, dirty, clean, fast, slow

See you next Thursday for another tip!

Therapy Thursday is for educational purposes only and not intended as therapeutic advice.

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