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Summertime Speech and Language Activities for Littles

Summertime Speech and Language Activities for Littles

by Stacie Fox, SLPD, CCC-SLP, CAS
Mary Washington Pediatric Therapy

It’s summertime—a perfect opportunity to focus on activities with your infants and toddlers that allow for time together and stimulate language development in fun and engaging ways!

Ideas for time with infants:

  1. Sunshine Tummy Time: Take advantage of sunny days by doing tummy time outside on a soft blanket or towel. Encourage your infant to lift their head and look around at the bright colors and moving leaves. Use descriptive language to talk about the warmth of the sun and the gentle breeze.
  2. Water Play in the Shade: Fill a shallow tub or basin with a few inches of water and place it in a shaded area of your backyard. Let your infant splash their hands and feet in the cool water while you describe the splashing sounds and the feeling of the water on their skin.
  3. Outdoor Lullabies: Take your infant outside in the early evening and sing lullabies together as you rock them gently in your arms. Use soothing melodies and repetitive phrases to help calm and comfort them as they listen to the sounds of nature.
  4. Gentle Breeze Bubble Fun: Blow bubbles gently in the breeze and watch as they float and dance through the air. Encourage your infant to reach out and touch the bubbles, describing the shimmering colors and delicate shapes.
  5. Picnic in the Park: Pack a blanket and some snacks and head to a nearby park for a relaxing picnic with your infant. Spread out the blanket in a shady spot and enjoy the sights and sounds of nature while you share a meal together. Introduce baby signs including “eat”, “more”, “drink” and “all done” to help foster communication.

Ideas for time with Toddlers:

  1. Nature Walks: Take your little one on outdoor adventures to explore the wonders of spring and summer. Point out colorful flowers, chirping birds, buzzing insects, and the warmth of the sun. Describe the sights and sounds that you encounter, nurturing their curiosity about the natural world.
  2. Water Play: Set up a backyard splash pad or fill a kiddie pool with shallow water. Let your toddler splash, scoop, and pour to their heart's content. Use words like "splash," "pour," and "float" as you describe the water's movements and sensations.
  3. Garden Exploration: Spend time in the garden together, digging in the soil, planting seeds, and watching plants grow. Use descriptive language to talk about the colors, shapes, and scents of flowers and herbs. Encourage your little one to gently touch the petals and leaves, fostering sensory awareness.
  4. Berry Picking: Take a trip to a local berry farm or farmer's market and let your toddler pick their own strawberries, blueberries, or raspberries. Talk about the colors and flavors of the different berries as they gather them in a basket. Have them sort the berries introducing size concepts “big” and “little”.
  5. Bug Hunt: Go on a bug hunt in the backyard or park. Carefully lift up rocks and logs to discover insects like ants, beetles, and worms. Use words like "crawl," "fly," and "buzz" as you observe the bugs' movements and behaviors.