Building Communication Skills in Spring

With the warmer weather and melting snow, it is starting to feel and look like spring. Here are some ideas to help your child in building their speech and communication skills during a spring time activity.

Introduce new vocabulary and describing words while planting a seed and taking care of a growing plant. New vocabulary may include: fertilizer, trowel, soil, etc. Be sure to utilize any new vocabulary words in sentences multiple times throughout the activity. Encourage your child to describe the texture of the soil and seeds, explain what they are doing, and discuss what they hope will happen as the plant grows. Describe the flow of the water as you water the seeds (e.g., slow, fast, dripping, etc.).

As you are planting, identify key words that contain your child’s target speech sounds. For example, if your child is working on the /s/ sound, target words could be soil, seeds, and sun. Plant the seeds in a can if your child is working on the /k/ sound, or plant rosemary seeds if your child has the /r/ sound as a target. While working on speech sounds keep in mind:
-Repeat words with your chid’s sounds to model good speech sounds.
-Do not focus on correcting your child’s errors.
-If you hear a correct production of the target sounds, reinforce it by giving specific feedback such as “I like how you said the /s/ sound in seed.”

Model the language skills your child is practicing in therapy and recast their productions as needed. Recasting is a therapy technique where you repeat what your child said back to them with the error corrected. For example, if your child says “Me digging,” you could say “You are digging”.

Remember to have fun with your child as you support his/her speech and language goals!

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