Our family just returned from a fun beach trip and one of the highlights for my daughters was collecting and playing with seashells. Seashells are so cool and can be super fun for language building. Nature presents so many fun learning opportunities and we were so excited to learn in a new and beautiful location (for those of you who live near the beach, ok, I’m slightly jealous! haha).
Here are 5 fun ways to build language with shells:
1. Opposites: big and small (or little)
Help your little one find a big and small shell and place them next to each other and then let your child hold them and talk about which one is big and which one is small (or little). For older children, use synonyms for small and big (e.g. miniscule, tiny, large) to build vocabulary.
2. Where questions?
Hide the seashells in a bucket of sand (or anywhere else) and ask “where is the shell? Let your little one explore in the sand (a fun sensory activity) to find the buried shell and talk about it where it was hiding.
3. Talk about textures:
Find shells with different textures and let your little one hold them and feel the differences. Talk with them about which ones are smooth and which are bumpy.
4. Sally Sells Seashells Tongue Twister
For a fun speech activity say the tongue twister: “Sally sells seashells by the seashore.” If your baby is little show them a shell and say it to them with an animated voice to make them laugh. This tongue twister is great for practicing the “s,” “sh,” and “l” sounds in words (if a child is not yet able to produce these sounds, model the correct pronunciation of the sounds in a playful way, but don’t directly correct unless a professional has advised you to do so).
5. Expand on the topic:
Read books about seashells and the ocean, bring seashells home and start a collection or use them for arts and crafts, Google pictures of creatures who live in shells or other sea creatures, and play with the shells. Check out our post that lists Fun Beach Books and Learning Activities from great blogs for more ideas and our Summer Speech Tips post for fun tips from Speech Pathologists.
What are some fun things you are doing this summer with your kids? What learning opportunities do these activities present? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below!
Have questions about your child’s speech and language development? Visit our Milestone Page for more information on communication development.