We ALL spend a lot of time in the car with our kiddos! Whether it’s trekking to sports, school or weekly errands, here are a few fun speech and language games to make the minutes fly by and build those communication skills!
- I Spy Speech Sounds – Is your child working on a speech sound? Practice using the sound by spying things that begin with that sound. For example, “b” sound (e.g., bus, beeping car, bump, bulldozer, bridge, building). Have your child help you spy and repeat the words you spy!
- Sing those Favorite Tunes – For our littlest language learners singing those familiar tunes build vocabulary, language and speech skills. Sing Old MacDonald-animal names, early sounds baa, moo, Wheel on the Bus, Itsy Bitsy Spider! Try pausing in the song to let them practice using words (e.g., Old MacDonald had a (pause). With a (pause)).
- Word Games – For older children, play word games with Categories, Antonyms, Synonyms.
• Think of 3 Fruits … 1) banana, 2) [fruit 2], 3) [fruit 3]
• What’s the opposite of hot?
• Can you think of another word for cold-freezing, chilly, frigid?
- Picture Books – I keep a soft basket filled with a few picture books for my girls in our back seat. Even if your child is not yet reading they can “read” by telling you a story from the pictures. I often tell parts, once upon a time there were three bears…and allow my child to fill in “a mama bear, a papa bear” I prompt with simple questions-what happened next? How did the porridge taste? Your child can build vocabulary, describing, and work on producing sentence structure.
- Talk About The W’s (who, what, where) – Talk to your child about and wonder together about where you are going, who you’ll see, what you might say in conversation. Previewing and priming this language gives children an opportunity to practice before the actual event. For example, We’re going to Sam’s birthday party. I wonder who we might see? We can say “hi” and “happy birthday” to Sam. I know Sam likes Ninja Turtles, kids might be playing Turtles. What turtle would you be? You could say, “Let’s play ninja turtles?”
- I say, You say – Little ones love imitation games! Play sound games with your little talkers by imitating their sounds, and having them imitate yours. For example, I say ma, ma, ma, ma. (Child’s name) says, ma, ma, (pause). If your child makes a sound, imitate her sound back! You are working on beginning language and early conversation skills such as imitating, turn taking, and making early sounds.
Happy Driving and of course safe driving always comes first!