We understand that due to the coronavirus outbreak, you and your children are spending more time at home and you might be looking for a bit more inspiration for things to do. Start by trying some of these simple, fun activities.
Many little things light up hungry little minds. Kids take everything in, and even the smallest things you do with them can make a big difference start by trying some speech therapy games.
They love it when you chat, play and read with them, even when they’re too young to understand everything. Whatever the time and wherever you are, you can turn almost anything into a game. And every little thing you do together will help set them up nicely for the day they start school.
Here are some ideas for speech therapy games and activities to try at home:
- Try sharing familiar books at bedtime. Pause when reading so that your child can join in. Talk about the sounds at the beginning of words and words that start with the same sound (like words beginning with P).
- Encourage your child to recall what has happened in the story. For example, ‘Why is bear feeling sad?’ Ask them to guess what might happen – ‘What should they do next?’ – or how the story might end – ‘Do you think they’re going to find the treasure? Where could it be?’
- Try role-playing games together such as shopping. Set items out on the sofa, give your child a bag and some pretend money. Then switch roles and let them be the shopkeeper.
- Play teddy bears’ picnic. Put soft toys in a circle and give your child a few cups and spoons. Give your child a chance to tell you what to do like, ‘Stir teddy’s tea.’ You could chat to them as you are doing actions, for example, ‘let’s cut the cake in half.’
- Start conversations by using open questions with lots of possible answers, for example, ‘What are you going to play with today?’
- Plan a treasure hunt game, where your child has to listen to your instructions to find a clue or an object. For example, ‘Try looking behind the sofa.’ Help your child look for a specific number of objects and count them together – such as 3 cups, 2 pink socks, 5 pens.
- Help your child make a puppet show about their favorite story using objects around the house.
- Play sorting games together. Collect a range of different household objects and practice sorting them into different groups, perhaps by size or color. Once you have finished, count all the objects in each group.
- Play a make-believe journey game with your child. Make a car out of a cardboard box that you decorate together, or just grab some cushions, pile in a few teddy bear passengers, and let your child drive you off on an adventure.
For the older children, board games for speech therapy at home are great. I think using regular games helps kids to feel less singled out, it’s usually cheaper than buying specialist resources.
Board games have long been a staple of childhood development. There’s a host of academic functions being put to use when our children play board games.
Whether it’s reading the cards for the next clue, or drawing crazy pictures to describe a word or sentence, the best board games for speech therapy all have a little bit of educational value tucked inside the good-hearted competition of the game.
Youngsters are encouraged to recognize numbers on the dice and put their counting skills to use as they count off the number of paces they can move. Many popular board games let us put our math skills to use to count up all our money and see who’s winning!
Board games are also great for developing your child’s social skills and manners. Every child will at some point have an absolute meltdown if they don’t win, but eventually they will come to terms with fair play, honesty and the value of playing just for fun. Learning to take turns, share and be a good sport all come from a night of playing games with the family.
Some of the best board games for speech therapy on the market today are the same ones you played when you were a kid, so you may recognize some of the names below.
Taboo – Get your team to say the Guess Word at the top of your card by giving them clues, without saying any of the banned ‘Taboo’ words.
Crocodile Dentist – Try to take out all the crocodile’s teeth without being the player to trap their finger when his jaws spring shut.
Jenga Game for Speech Therapy – Take turns to take a block from somewhere on the tower and place it on the top, building higher and higher, until the tower collapses.
Headbandz – Children use yes/no questions to guess the identity of the card they’ve been dealt.
What are your favorite games?