Building Speech-Language Skills at the Park

Building Speech-Language Skills at the Park

How is language learned?

Language is learned in different ways. Did you know that you could build on speech-language skills at a park? Yes, you can!! Language is best learned when done in a more natural way & when play is engaged. So how about a visit to the park? Following, we shall see some speech-language tips on how children can develop these skills in a place that they love the most: The park!! These tips can be used by parents and caregivers with young children.

Things to do before going to the park

You can start working on speech-language skills even right before you get to the park. You can say to your child, “Today, let us do something fun! Let’s go to the park today!! You can start off by talking about the different activities you will be doing. You can ask your child what they want to wear before going to the park. Give them choices like “Do you want to wear a red t-shirt or the blue one?” So, in this way you can make use of every opportunity to get those language skills growing!

Things to do while going to the park

This is an additional opportunity to work on language. While you are walking or driving to the park, you can talk about the different things that you see on the way. You can take pictures of your child along the way with flowers, trees, or anything else that you see. Later on, these pictures can be used to start off conversations & talk more about the things that you saw.

Things to do at the park

Let your child choose what they want to do in the park. You can follow them. Ask them what they want to do. Don’t forget to take pictures! For example, if you see your child running towards the park, you also run along with them and ask “Hey, where are you going? Are you going to the slide or the swing?” So if you are working on vocabulary, you will be working on target words like “Slide”, “Swing” etc. If longer sentences are the goal, your child’s response will be “I’m going to swing!” Below are a few strategies to be used:

Self-Talk

Instead of your child talking or if they have limited speech & language skills, you could be the one doing the talking. Ex. “I am swinging on the swing! Yay!! I am running towards the slide now!”

  • Use Parallel Talk

Similarly, you can use the speech to talk about the events with your child as the center. “You are swinging on the swing! You are playing on the see-saw!”

  • Use Descriptions

You can use descriptions to describe the objects or activities that you are doing in the park. “Oh, look the BIG RED bird sitting on the SMALL tree!”

  • Making Comments

You can make comments about what is going on around you. You can talk about other kids on the swing, different animals that you see in the park, etc.

  • Expansions

If your child responds with single words like “Swing!” you can increase the utterance length by saying “You are swinging!”

  • Extensions

You can also expand on the simple sentences that your child says by adding more information to them. If your child says “Swing!” “Yes, you are swinging” You are swinging on the blue swing!”

  • Repetitions

To improve on vocabulary, use repetitions. If you are working on “Ball”, you can say, “Oh wow!! Look at the ball, it’s a blue ball!” “I love playing with balls!”

For some Fun movement-based activities for speech development: https://1specialplace.com/2021/02/15/fun-movement-activities-for-speech-development/

Things to do after returning from the park

Use the pictures to talk about past events. Talk about all the fun activities that you did at the park. Talk about what was the most favorite part of the park. You can even use the strategies that we discussed above here. Make a separate album of the pictures & use them later to target different language skills!

Vaz Larisa
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(1 Comment)

  • Jesa Coelho

    Thank you for this it was very informative especially when you are around 3 children.

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