Sand....you either love it or hate it. Most kids love it. Most parents hate it:)
If you can handle sand, you can keep your child busy for HOURS and target speech and language skills at the same time. The best learning takes places when children are engaged and naturally interested/motivated.
Read below for ideas on how to use sand to target any speech or language goal.
To work on vocabulary with young children, don't bring out the flashcards. This is not how children learn best. They learn by playing. So, while playing with sand, use the following vocabulary words in sentences.
If your child is not talking yet, check out how to encourage first words with a kindle!
The ability to follow directions is a crucial language skill needed for academic and social success. Below are ideas to practice following directions while playing with sand.
Sequential: This direction is multi-step and something has to be done first, second, etc..
Before/After: This is a temporal direction. Your child has to do something before or after they do something else. This is TRICKY!
Spatial: Give a direction with a spatial aspect (under, over, above).
Quantitative: Quantitative means quantity.
Basic: Basic means one step, simple directions. If your child is having trouble. Start here!
Below are games that target both expressive (speaking) and receptive (listening) skills.
Comparative: Practice comparing and contrasting. This is important!
Verbs: Dig vs Dump - Talk about similarities (things you can do in the sand, it moves sand) and differences (gather vs gets rid of it, moves sand up vs down, etc...)
Sequencing Narrative: Retell all the steps needed for different activities in the sand such as:
Naming: Name all the different vocabulary words that fit into the following categories:
Sorting: Organize sand toys by attributes.
A solid foundation in speech and language skills in necessary for success in reading, math, social relationships, and language arts! For more specific speech therapy activities, check out our practice ideas based on age and skill level.
For a quick review, executive functioning is our personal CEO. Executive function skills are the abilities to plan, control impulses and emotions, multi-task, pay and shift attention, and organize. Executive functioning skills will continue to develop as the frontal lobe continues to grow; however, we can start things off on the right foot!
Like I've said before, there is so much technology and SOOO much academic pressure put on little ones, social skill development is lacking these days. It's becoming a soap box for me.
Social skills are one of the MOST IMPORTANT skills we NEED to know to be a successful at school, jobs, and any aspects of life. Social skills develop throughout our life through experiences, observation, and direct teaching. You can show good social skills from the start through modeling.
Is your child working on saying sounds better? If so, you can practice articulation skills while you play in the sand.
Below are words to practice while playing. I created sample target words for all sounds in all word positions (beginning, middle, and end). If your child is working on any of these sounds, pick a word and practice it while you play in the sand. Functional and easy!
Some ideas on how to practice include:
Read articulation therapy for how to do speech therapy at home and access free word lists!
For more information on specific sounds, read about our apps for speech therapy!
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