By Sam Secrist, M.A., CF-SLP
From play dates, swim lessons, and soccer games to picking up dinner or stopping by the grocery store, families are always on the go! It’s no wonder that setting aside time for speech practice is so difficult! While ultimately speech practice should become a natural part of everyday interactions with your child, it is also important to set aside time to target specific skills. So, why not utilize the time you spend in the car?
- I Spy: This game is great for describing, asking/answering questions, and taking turns. To begin, one person spies something and keeps it a secret. The other players take turns asking questions until someone guesses the item correctly.
- 20 Questions: This game targets describing, categories, and vocabulary. Have your child think of a person, place, or thing and hold it in their mind. Ask your child questions involving salient features to identify what they are thinking of (e.g., what does it look, where can I find it, what is it used for, what category does it belong to?). The goal is to guess what your child is thinking of in 20 questions or less.
- The Category Game: Think of a category and have your child name or find 3 items that belong in the category (e.g., something green, restaurants, etc.).
- Talk: It’s that simple, just talk! Talk about where you are going, sequence the events that you are going to do once you get there, have your child tell you three things they did during their day, etc.
- Sing Songs: The Wheels on the Bus, ABC’s, nursey rhymes…the possibilities are endless!
- Books: If you child can’t read encourage them to name objects in the photographs, describe what they see, or make up their own story using the pictures. If they can read, have them read to you. Afterwards, ask them questions about what they read or ask them to retell the story
- Flashcards: Keep a folder of speech words or a deck of homemade articulation cards for your child to practice while in the car.
- Look Around: Challenge your child to find 10 to 20 items inside of outside of the car that contain their speech sound. Have your child repeat each target word 3 times and then put it into a silly sentence.
- Books: Have your child search for pictures or words in a book that contain their speech sound. You can even have them practice their speech sound(s) while reading to you aloud.
- Paper & Crayons: Ask your child to draw pictures of words that contain their speech sound. Encourage them to practice their target word while coloring.
- Tablet Apps: Download apps like Articulate It! or Articulation Statation onto a tablet. Your child can easily and indepdently use the app(s) to practice their speech sound(s) while in the car.