Now that summer is finally here; you’re probably wondering if there is a way to enjoy the fun while preserving those significant teletherapy gains your students have achieved over the past several months. Well, you will be delighted to know that there isn’t only “one way,” but in fact “many ways” to do just that. Here are some of the most popular.
1. Solidify Teletherapy Gains While on a Summer Stroll
Incorporating speech-language skills into a summer stroll can be as simple as a walk around the block. Or for those bolder ones amongst us, an exciting hike to somewhere beautiful and scenic. Incorporate open-ended observations or questions into the conversation to encourage the child’s self-expression. The novelty will work wonders!
2. Plan Day Trips
Planning a day trip to a park, museum, beach or amusement park holds the promise of much more than a fun way to share time with your child. It provides an enjoyable opportunity for your child to develop crucial foundational knowledge that will be available to be accessed later on in reading comprehension.
Sharing different experiences broadens the child’s vocabulary and helps the child to connect to stories and other sources of information that will come his/her way over the coming school year. Aside from bolstering reading comprehension, these experiences will prepare the child to participate more in class discussions and social interactions.
3. A Family Road Trip
A family road trip provides a unique opportunity to work on communication skills and reinforce online therapy sessions over the past year. The key is not to succumb to those electronic devices that will keep your child busy (and a zombie) for hours on end. Instead, use the time to play word games that build observation and expression skills.
4. Time to Make a Treat Together
What promises a more delicious reward than making a treat together? Now that things are a bit slower and your child isn’t bound by that daily schedule, take the time to find a simple recipe and create a delicacy with your child. The process will build skills in following directions, sequential vocabulary, and descriptive concepts.
5. Playdates With Friends
After those critical teletherapy sessions, perhaps the single most crucial component that will build the speech-language skills is social interactions with peers. Interactive play and conversation are ideal, structureless opportunities for organic growth. Summertime is perfect for arranging those playdates for your child. Take advantage!
6. Keep Reading
It has been well documented that reading to your child is a significant activity to develop speech-language skills. In fact, some studies show a direct correlation between the time a parent spends reading with his/her child and academic success. You might think that since summer is the time to relax that this includes reading. It doesn’t!
7. Take Your Kid to the Movies
Going to a movie isn’t the activity that comes to mind when you think about how to foster speech-language skills. After all, how can sitting quietly in a dark movie theater help the child to communicate better? But aside from cooling off and relaxing in the movie theater, the trip to and from the theater is an excellent opportunity to discuss what movie your child wants to see, and then afterward to have a lively discussion about it.