Summer Speech Tips

Summer Speech Tips #summer #speech

Summer Speech Tips #summer #speech

My Speech Pathologist friends have such great tips for supporting speech and language development. Today I am sharing some of their summer speech tips. Enjoy!

1. Talk about Travel

Talk about travel before you leave for your trip to build background knowledge about the concepts they will likely encounter while traveling. Read books on topic, show your child pictures of what they are going to do and talk about it.

○ If you are going to the beach, play with buckets and shovels before the trip and then bring them on the trip with you. Visit an aquarium before the trip and talk about the fish and explain that fish also live in the ocean.

-Shayna Labadie, M.S., CCC-SLP, Speech Pathologist

 2. Out & About:

Go on outings to support children in learning through real world experiences.

○ Look for scheduled story times at your local library or a nearby book store. After story time talk to your little one about the concepts from the book and look for items around your house that give your little one more opportunities to expand on those concepts.

○ Visit the splash pad and bring a variety of buckets, cups, or toys to play with. Before you go, ask, “what do we bring to the splash pad?  Have your little one label the items you usually bring (e.g. (towel, swimsuit, sunscreen, toys, buckets, cups). Lay the items out in front of them and model the name to provide them with visual/verbal cues if they need help saying the items’ names.

-Shayna Labadie, M.S., CCC-SLP, Speech Pathologist

3. Rely on Routines

Encourage language development by taking advantage of routines, like bath time. Bath time provides a fun context for learning that is part of the routine.

○ Talk to your child about shapes, colors, basic vocabulary, and prepositions. Practice language skills like making requests and taking turns. Don’t shy away from doing the same activities night after night because repetition is important.

-Jeanette Spetz, M.S., CCC-SLP, Speech Pathologist

4. Master Media

While children’s exposure to media is a hot debate, it can be great opportunity for language building when you make it an interactive experience (e.g. talk to your child about the concepts that they are seeing, the new vocabulary words they are hearing, and help them learn about conversational skills and storytelling by asking them questions about what they are seeing before, during, and after).

○ If you are watching a show (or movie) together, have him/her guess what might happen next. You can also ask about how certain actions make characters feel-both on and off screen. Once the show is over, you can have your child retell the storyline, including the characters, the setting, the problem, the solution, and how the characters felt about the solution! For younger children, model language by telling them what they are seeing in the show (the characters, types of animals, colors, concepts, etc.) and asking them simple questions (if they are too little to answer, you might pause and model the answer for them).

-Rene Utianski, PhD, CF-SLP

If your child is old enough to use a computer, introduce them to learning websites, like and play interactively with them.

○ Ask questions, and have them repeat the sounds, words, and phrases they hear in the game.

-Shayna Labadie, M.S., CCC-SLP, Speech Pathologist

5. Tie it All Together

When introducing concepts related to summer (e.g. water, pool, beach, towel, sunscreen, etc.), find multiple examples of these concepts around you and weave them into your daily conversations to build background knowledge and vocabulary.

An example of this might be talking about an upcoming vacation to the beach by saying that you are visiting the ocean and that the ocean has water. Then when you visit the splash pad that day, talk about the water. At bath time point out the water and link it back to how there is water in the ocean and at the splash pad. When watching TV find examples of water and point them out and talk about them. At bedtime, read a book that relates to the these concepts.

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!

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Have questions about your child’s speech and language development? Visit our Milestone Page for more information on communication development.


11 comments on Summer Speech Tips

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  • Sadia

    One thing that we do daily is answer the following questions at bedtime:
    1. What was one thing you learned today?
    2. What was the best thing about today?
    3. What was the worst?
    4. What happened that was funny?

    Not only do these give us a point of connection every day, they encourage both conversation and critical analysis of the day’s happenings. Thanks for linking with #TwinklyTuesday.

    • Alison Edelstein
      Alison Edelstein (author)

      Sadia- What a great nightly language building routine! 🙂

  • steph mignon

    Wow! This post made some serious lights go on for me… My 14-month is ready for me to start connecting the dots for her through language. All the stuff here I never even thought of… we are prepping for a trip in the next few days and now it will be so much more exciting and meaningful as I weave in these simple exercises. Thank you!

    • Alison Edelstein
      Alison Edelstein (author)

      Steph- Isn’t it exciting to realize how much our little ones are capable of? So glad to hear that the tips will useful for you! My SLP friends have such great advice, I love getting their ideas. 🙂

  • Valerie

    Great ideas! We are definitely talking about travel a lot this week before we go to California :).

    • Alison Edelstein
      Alison Edelstein (author)

      Thanks Val! 🙂

  • Lilly Steirer

    This is great! Our little two-year old is a bit speech delayed and I cannot wait to start chatting with him all about our beach, flying and travel plans this summer. He is a smarty pants, but struggles to communicate, so this will be a fun way to get him on board with everything. Thanks!

    • Alison Edelstein
      Alison Edelstein (author)

      Lilly-so glad the tips were helpful! Hope you have fun travels with your little guy! 🙂

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