5 Engaging Activities for Speech and Language Practice at Home

Stuck at home with your child? Wondering what you can do to help your child further develop his/her speech and language skills? Try some of these home speech therapy activities to support your child’s speech and language development.

At this point, most parents are wondering how their children’s teachers do what they do day in and day out! Being home all day, every day can lead to boredom and a lack of routine. But, don’t fret! There are MANY fun, engaging ways that you can promote speech and language throughout your child’s daily routines and activities! 

Here are a few ideas:

1. Nature Scavenger Hunt

Go on a nature walk! Nicer days are FINALLY here! Kids love to explore! Get those kiddos outside to expel some energy, get some fresh air, and explore the great outdoors! A fun and inexpensive way to do so is to take a walk in your own community. You could go to the park, a playground, or even a walk around your neighborhood. Asbury Woods (https://www.asburywoods.org/), a nature center, here in Erie, PA is a wonderful place to explore. 

Scavenger hunts can be fun and enriching learning experiences for children of all ages. This activity provides wonderful opportunities for modeling speech and language. You can work on color recognition, numbers, descriptive terms (e.g., cold/hot, big/small, fast/slow), vocabulary, and SO MUCH MORE!

Before stepping outside, make a nature scavenger hunt checklist of things for your child to find. Check off each item on the list one by one. Here are a few examples: 

Find Something That’s…

  • Pointy
  • Rough texture
  • Smooth texture
  • Tickly
  • Smaller than a squirrel
  • Larger than a squirrel 
  • Bigger than ___ but smaller than ___
  • The color ______

There are example checklists that you can print off from Google, or you can come up with your own! 

As you check off the items on your nature scavenger hunt checklist, talk about the items and their characteristics! 

  • What group does it belong to? 
  • What do you do with it? 
  • Where do you find it? 
  • What does it look like? 
  • What other words or items do you think of when you see it? 

This is a great way to elicit language and expand on what your child might have to say! 

If you want to target your child’s specific speech sound(s), create a list of words with his/her targeted speech sound so that there are things to find that include their sound!
For example, if your child’s sound is L, you could…

  • Find something that falls off of a tree (leaf)
  • Find something that turns on when it’s dark outside (light)
  • Find something that you can go up and down (hill). 

The possibilities are endless!!

If the weather isn’t cooperating, and you’re stuck in the house for the day, make an indoor scavenger hunt! This can be just as fun and enriching as being outside! Here are a few examples: 

  • Find an item that’s smaller than ____
  • Find two items you use for entertainment 
  • Find three objects that make you smile
  • Find a cold object

Again, you can find ideas on Google, or come up with your own list. This is a fun activity that will also encourage your child’s use of language and their speech sounds! 

2. Crafts

Crafting/coloring is another great activity to target your child’s speech and language development at home! Check out this link for 31 crafts ideas for your child to make at home (https://www.highlights.com/parents/crafts/31-kids-crafts)

While crafting/coloring, you could work on:

  • Listening/following directions
    • E.g., “Get the scissors and cut a circle”
  • Requesting 
    • E.g., “I want the red crayon please”
  • Sequencing
    • E.g., “First put the glue on the paper, then put the flower on”
  • Vocabulary
    • E.g., colors, shapes, numbers, concepts, descriptive terms
  • Speech sounds
    • Choose a craft that includes pieces that have your child’s targeted speech sound.
  • Asking/answering questions
    • Ask your child questions about what he/she is making, and where he/she is placing the pieces.
    • Encourage your child to ask you questions.


3. Cooking/Baking

Cooking/baking can be a fun way to incorporate speech and language into a productive activity. Gather your family in the kitchen and dig out those recipe books! 

While cooking/baking, you could work on:

  • Making a list
    • Make a list of ingredients you need. Search in your cupboards or make a shopping list. Encourage your child to help you gather the ingredients you need to make your tasty masterpiece!
  • Listening/following directions
    • E.g., “First put the eggs in the bowl, then put the sugar in”
  • Vocabulary
    • Verbs – stir, mix, cut, cook
    • Nouns – kitchen, stove, pan, spoon, spatula
    • Descriptive terms – tastes (e.g., sweet/sour/bitter)
    • Temperature (e.g., hot/cold/warm)
  • Sequencing
    • E.g., “First we put the ingredients in the bowl. Then we mix the ingredients. After we mix the ingredients, we put the batter in the pan. Lastly, we put the pan in the oven.”
  • Recall of events
    • E.g., “What did we do first?”, “What did we do last?”
  • Asking/answering questions 
    • Ask your child questions about what he/she is making, what ingredients you need.
  • Encourage your child to ask you questions.
    • Speech sounds
    • Practice words that include your child’s targeted speech sounds
  • Turn taking
    • Take turns adding ingredients.


4. Reading/Story time

Reading is one of the most enriching speech and language activities that you can engage your child in. Pick up a book at home or head to the public library for a wide variety of children’s books! Read to your child. 

While you are reading…

  • Label vocabulary in the story
  • Describe the pictures and actions of the characters
  • Practice your child’s speech sounds

For a list of some of the best children’s books for speech and language development in children visit: https://booksharetime.com/books#

5. PLAY!

Some of the best speech and language practice can happen through PLAY! Engaging your child in play and modeling language for your child is essential to his/her speech and language development. 

Sometimes you don’t even need physical toys. Tickling, hide and seek, and tag often presents many opportunities for language. Even an activity as simple as pushing the ball back and forth provide many targets (e.g., turn taking, requesting, joint attention).

If you have specific questions about how to help your child with his/her specific speech/language goals or for more information regarding our speech/language therapy services here at Niagara Therapy, please call 814-464-0627 or email info@niagaratherapyllc.com to inquire.

Let us know what’s on your mind!