There are many different ways that you can target speech and language goals while in the home. Right now, we are all in the home more than normal and we are finding ourselves being the caregiver, the teacher, the therapist, as well as mom and dad.
At CI, we pride ourselves at making therapy functional and fun, as well as making it family/client centered. What is a better way to work on speech and language goals then in the most functional place (the home). In this blog, you will find several ways to work on speech and language goals using your normal everyday routine/activities you already do in your home.
Kids have many toys that they use in the bath. Use this as an opportunity for them to request the items they want, hold the toy until they request by saying the name of the toy or by providing them with a model such as, “I want ____” or other phrases that they are practicing to expand language or produce words/signs. You can also use this to work on imaginative play or creating complex sentences and stories.
Get your kids in the kitchen with you. This is a great way for kids to explore and come in contact with new and familiar foods. You can explore these foods by talking about your senses (e.g., sight, smell, hear, feel, and taste) and also to create fun food art. This is also a great way for additional family bonding time, by learning a new skill. This can also be a great way to practicing taking turns.
Helping with the family pet
Having your child practice giving commands to your family pet. This will help teach verbs (e.g., go, sit, lay down, shake, etc.), increase motivation for communication, and also help children learn about caring for something other than themselves. This also could give them a new activity to do at home during this time. If you are all feeling ambitious you can even see if your kids can teach your pet new tricks.
Washing the dishes
This may seem like a chore, but kids love to play in water. Have the children help with the dishes and you can work on “turning on/off water, popping bubbles, give directions to help improve this skill, and this is also good for sensory play.
Our homes are probably getting dirtier these days with all the time we are spending in them. Having your children help with household chores can we another awesome way that you can work on following directions, identifying common household items, and participate in turn-taking. You can even clean and play a game. You can have the children make up the rules to work on recalling information or practice the use of their grammatically appropriate sentences.
Practice folding laundry to help with gross and fine motor skills. Find colors or words associated with the laundry to target your child’s articulation targets. You can also use this for sorting the clothes into categories of different colors, or types of clothes. Folding laundry is also another great way to work on following directions. You can have your children fold, put items in the basket, and put them away in the appropriate place. If a child doesn’t know where the items goes, this is a great way for them to advocate and speak up for help.
Movies, clips, and television shows can also be used for home practice. If your child has a favorite show or movie, put it on and make it a retelling activity. You also could use it as a way to start a new story or to find things that start with their articulation target. At the end of the show or movie, have the child decide what would happen next to the characters. You could also use this to spark crafts and art activities relating to these characters or topics.
By: Sarah Bodine, MA, CCC-SLP