Top 11 Summer Speech Therapy Ideas

I LOVE summer, everyone LOVES summer! Summer can also be the best time for speech therapy. Spice up your sessions or practice speech and language skills using our summer speech therapy ideas. 

The BEST Summer Speech Therapy Ideas

Top 10 Free Summer Speech Therapy Ideas

The main idea here is that speech and language practice can be incorporated all day during daily activities. There isn't anything super duper special you have to do but be aware of your child's needs, abilities, and YOUR language when playing with your child.

It is quite simple and quite easy at the same time.

1. Water

What To Do: This is an easy one....play with water. Really, that's it! There are so many ideas on what you can do with water and kids just love it!! You can:

  • Get out a water table and toys.
  • Water flowers
  • Turn on a sprinkler
  • Use the water hose
  • Fill up buckets, cups, and funnels

Target Goals:

  • Concepts: Wet vs Dry
  • Articulation: /w/, /t/, /r/ (water), /s/ (spray), /k/,/p/ (cup) - Really the possibilities are endless. Pick out a toy that matches your child's articulation goal and play with it.
  • Vocabulary: Wet, Dry, Spray, Dump, Fill, Half, Full, Splash, Puddle, Jump, Push, Bath
  • Following Directions: Give each other directions such as "fill up the small cup" or "water the pink flowers after you water the yellow ones." 

Something To Think About:

  • If you are a parent, tell your child that you are going to play with water. Get out the toys or garden hose. As you play, weave your child's goals into the play such as modeling articulation sounds or using vocabulary words in a sentence. 
  • If you are an SLP, tell your client that goal of the activity and then get playing!

For more specific water ideas, click here. 

2. Bubbles

What To Do: Another pretty self-explanatory one...blow bubbles!

Target Goals: 

  • Concepts: Up vs Down, Bubble vs Pop, Open vs Close
  • Articulation: /b/ (bubble), /p/ (pop), /r/ (run), "ch" (chase)
  • Vocabulary: Bubble, Blow away, Pop, Run, Chase, Wand
  • Following Directions: Pop the big bubble, Chase the bubble, Blow bubbles
  • Social Skills: Practice taking turns 

Something To Think About:

  • If you are a parent, get out the bubbles. Blow bubbles to get your child interested. Next, weave in your target goal naturally. For example, if you are practicing articulation, encourage your child to say the target sound before a turn. If you are practicing vocabulary, use the words in a sentence or model what they mean and encourage your child to repeat. 
  • If you are an SLP, tell your client that goal of the activity and then get playing!

For more specific bubble ideas, click here. 

3. Sand

What To Do: Play with sand! If you don't have a sandbox (I don't!), you can make one with a bucket and small bag of sand. 

Target Goals: 

  • Concepts: Dig vs Bury, Build vs Knock Down, Construct vs Destroy
  • Articulation: /d/, /g/ (dig), /b/, /d/ (build), /m/, /k/, (make), /s/ (sand)
  • Vocabulary: Dig, Sand, Soft, Pour, Build, Castle, Pack, Dump
  • Following Directions: Find the cup, Fill up the green bucket before the yellow one
  • Social Skills: Practice taking turns , Practice asking for items out of reach

Something To Think About:

  • If you are a parent, get out a bucket or table and fill it with sand. Next, weave in your target goal naturally. For example, if you are practicing articulation, encourage your child to say the target sound before a turn. If you are practicing vocabulary, use the words in a sentence or model what they mean and encourage your child to repeat. 
  • If you are an SLP, tell your client that goal of the activity and then get playing!

For more specific sand ideas, click here. 

4. Hula Hoops

What To Do: Get some hula hoops. Dollar stores usually sell them. There are many variations to hula hoops! You can:

  • Roll them back and forth
  • Put them on the ground for a jumping contest
  • Use them as target practice (throw a ball in the circle

Target Goals: 

  • Articulation: "throw" (throw), /r/ (roll), "j", /l/, (roll)
  • Vocabulary: Jump, Target, Roll, Spin, Catch, Hit, Win
  • Following Directions: Roll the pink hoop before the blue. Throw the blue ball through hoop. Jump in the center of the hoop.
  • Social Skills: Practice taking turns
  • Motivation: After working for a few minutes, the child can play a game for 2 minutes

Something To Think About:

  • If you are a parent, get out the hula hoop and find a game your child likes. Start playing and get your child interested. Then, naturally start to target a speech or language skill. Make it fun! 
  • If you are an SLP, tell your client that goal of the activity and then get playing. My favorite it jumping from hula hoop to hula hoop. I find that I can target almost any goal in this game and even my older kids like it!

5. Chalk

What To Do: Find some chalk and find a sidewalk or driveway. You can target almost any speech or language goal. For example:

  • Draw articulation words. 
  • Draw some objects and then make up a story to practice narrative structure.
  • Take turns being the leader and give directions to other players to practice following directions. 

The possibilities are endless. 

Target Goals: 

  • Articulation: /d/, (draw), /k/, /r/ (color), /m/, /r/, (more)
  • Vocabulary: Colors, Draw, Dust, Picture, (draw any vocabulary word!)
  • Following Directions: Take turns giving directions to players for what to draw
  • Social Skills: Practice taking turns, Practice asking for items out of reach
  • Narrative Structure: Draw a character, place, and action. Then, take turns creating a story using proper narrative structure.

Something To Think About:

  • If you are a parent, get out the chalk. Start drawing and having fun. Start playing and get your child interested. Then, naturally start to target a speech or language skill. 
  • If you are an SLP, this will be your go to summer activity. Every age loves chalk, even middle schoolers. You can target any speech and language skill!

6. Flower Walk

What To Do: Go for a walk and find as many different flowers as you can. Practice, your speech and language skills along the way!

Target Goals: 

  • Concepts: Walk vs Run, Summer vs Winter
  • Articulation: /k/ (walk), /f/, /d/ (find), /r/ (flower)
  • Vocabulary: Bloom, Grow, Colors, Flowers, Find, Discover, New, Matching

Alternative Games:

  • Play "I Spy" to target language skills (vocabulary description, i.e., I spy something small and sharp) or to target articulation skills (make sure to picture words with target articulation sounds!)
  • Colors: To practice colors, find everything that is a certain colors. 
  • Grammar: Practice a target verb such as "I see," "I discovered," etc...

7. Follow The leader

What To Do: Play follow the leader where one person is the leader and gives directions to the followers. 

Target Goals: Following Directions (As the leader, give directions where to go,as the follower, practice following directions)

Ideas To Chew On: Play Follow the Leader with a twist. Take turns being a leader. The leader creates a treasure hunt by hiding something in the outside. Then the leader gives directions or clues on where to find the object. This is great practice for following directions and forming sentences.

8. Explorers

What To Do: Drive to a park or simply play in the backyard and go on an exploration!

Target Goals: 

  • Articulation: /f/, /d/ (find), /l/, /k/ (look), /s/, /r/ (discover)
  • Vocabulary: Find, Look, Discover, Explore, Play

Ideas To Chew On:

Simply play outside and go on an exploration. The world looks beautiful when in bloom, green and lush. . This is a great activity to focus on articulation. Pick out the sounds you want to practice and then the words that may naturally arise during play. While playing, make sure to weave your previously picked out words into your conversation.

9. Nature Play

What To Do: Make characters out of rocks, pine cones, sticks, etc.... Once your characters are made, have fun telling stories. Make sure to model all parts of narrative structure.

Target Goals:

  • Narrative Structure: (Setting - who, what, where, Problem, Feelings, Resolution)

Ideas To Chew On: With the little characters you make out of things found outside, make up stories. Make sure to include the setting such as "who" your story is about and "where and when" your story takes place. Then, create a "problem" and talk about how your characters "feel" about it. Try to solve the problem and discuss the "resolution." You can use chalk too. This "game" is fun for almost any age!

10. I Spy

What To Do: Try to find some of them such as toys, pine cones, grass, sticks, rocks....etc!

Target Goals: 

  • Articulation /f/. /d/ (find), /r/ (explore), /s/ (see)
  • Vocabulary (explore, dig, find, excited, guess), Problem Solving (look for clues to where a treasure might be)

Ideas To Chew On: This one can be a lot of fun and a great way to indirectly teach problem solving skills. The key here is to THINK OUT LOUD. Let's say you and your child want to see if you can find a pine cone but everything is covered in snow. Talk through your thinking of your child on how to accomplish this task. For example, you might say..."pine cones come from pine trees. I think we should start looking by a pine tree. What do you think?" or "Let's see if we can feel a pine cone under our feet. How do pine cones feel? What shape are they?"

11. Balls

What To Do: Get some balls (bouncy balls, tennis balls, basketball balls) and play! If your child is younger, you might just play catch or throw a ball in air. If your child is older, you can play more complicated games. 

Target Goals: 

  • Concepts: Throw vs Catch, Roll vs Stop
  • Articulation: /th/ (throw), /k/, "ch" (catch), /r/, /l/ (roll)
  • Vocabulary: Throw, catch, bounce, roll, stop
  • Following Directions: Throw the red ball, Roll the blue ball
  • Social Skills: Practice taking turns , Practice asking for balls that are out of reach

Find some more speech therapy ideas for the home here!



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Bridget is an ASHA certified, practicing speech language pathologist. She is passionate about providing parents with information on child speech and language development as well as provide functional, easy activities to do at home! Parents have the power to make a real difference. Follow Bridget at Facebook and Pinterest for more fun!

Author of  child language development eBook series



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