Sand....you either love it or hate it. Most kids love it. Most parents hate it:)
So, if you can handle sand all over your house or car, 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. Remember, keep playing fun and weave speech and language learning in naturally.
To work on vocabulary with young children, you don't bring out flashcards. That is not how they learn best. They learn by playing. So, while playing with sand, use the following vocabulary words in sentences. Your child is listening! If they can, have them repeat a few sentences as well.
Following directions is a crucial language skill needed for academic and social success. It requires a person to know vocabulary, have working memory skills, and pay attention. Below are some ideas to practice following directions while cooking.
Sequential: This type of 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. Teach your child concepts such as few, one, many, a lot, etc...
Basic: Basic means one step, simple directions. If your child is having trouble. Start here!
Below are some games that target both expressive (speaking) and receptive (listening) skills. Read below for some ideas!
Comparative: You will practice comparing and contrasting language skills. These are important!
Sequencing Narrative: Retell all the steps needed for different activites in the sand such as:
Naming: Name all the different vocabulary words that fit into the following categories:
Sorting: Organize sand toys by attributes. Below are some ideas!
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, read more about our practice ideas based on age and skill level.
For a quick review, executive functioning is basically our personal CEO. Executive function skills are our abilities to plan, control impulses and emotions, multi-task, pay and shift attention, and organize. Our executive functioning skills will continue to develop as our 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 really one of the MOST IMPORTANT skills we NEED to know in order to be a successful at school, jobs, and really any aspects of life. Social skills develop throughout our life through experiences, observation, and direct teaching. You can demonstrate good social skills from the start through modeling.
Is your child working on saying sounds better or otherwise known as "articulation therapy?" If so, you can practice articulation skills while you play in the sand.
Below are some words to practice while playing. We 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. Very 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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