10 Ways to Encourage Speech and Language Skills During the Holiday Break

Are your kids home for school during the holiday break and you are looking for ways to improve their speech and language skills but you also want to have fun and enjoy time together?

Below are 10 ways to encourage speech and language skills at home during the holiday break (and still have fun with your child)!

1. Engage in conversation: Ensure to have regular conversations with your child during the holiday break. Ask open-ended questions about their day, interests, or experiences. Listen attentively and encourage them to express their thoughts and ideas. Have them teach you how to play their favorite video game or talk about their favorite toys and characters.

2. Play language-based games: Incorporate games such as "I Spy," charades, or storytelling. These games can promote vocabulary expansion, sentence formation, and turn-taking skills.

3. Read together: Take advantage of the extra time at home to read books with your child. Choose age-appropriate books that interest them. Encourage them to participate by asking questions about the story, predicting outcomes, or retelling the story in their own words.

4. Encourage imaginative play: Provide opportunities for your child to engage in pretend play. This can involve role-playing with dolls, action figures, or creating imaginary scenarios. This type of play promotes language development, social interaction, and problem-solving skills.

5. Cook together: Involve your child in simple cooking activities. Encourage them to follow instructions, name ingredients, and describe textures and tastes. This helps enhance vocabulary, sequencing skills, and sensory experiences.

6. Sing and dance: Singing songs and dancing to music can be a fun way to promote language skills. Encourage your child to sing along, practice rhyming words, and imitate actions or movements.

7. Arts and crafts: Engage in arts and crafts activities that encourage communication. For example, create a collage where your child describes and discusses the materials they are using or encourage them to narrate a story while drawing a picture.

8. Plan scavenger hunts: Set up a scavenger hunt at home where your child has to follow written or verbal clues. This activity encourages listening skills, problem-solving, and understanding of prepositions and descriptive language.

9. Watch educational shows or movies: Utilize screen time to watch educational shows or movies with your child. Pause periodically to discuss and ask questions about the content. This can help improve comprehension, vocabulary, and critical thinking skills.

10. Explore free holiday activities in the community. Local libraries, park and rec centers, and other organizations often host free events designed for families. Talk about the things you see and experience together. See who can list the most things that have your child's target speech sound/s.

We hope you have a wonderful holiday season with your family!