Mealtime Speech Activities for Children

Mealtime Speech Activities for Children

Here are some mealtime speech activities. These are fun ways you can work on speech and language during meals and snacks that you have every day!

Mealtime Speech Activities #1: Request Foods

You can have your kid work on requesting objects by having them request all of the various foods that he would want for dinner/lunch/snack.  If you would like your kid to eat a bit of everything, begin by giving him a tiny portion of every food item.  Then, once he desires some more, let him ask you for it. You may keep the food besides your partner or any older siblings so your kid will need to request the food items from different people. The quantity of language you expect your kid to use should be supported their current language skills.

Attempt to build a little more language than he’s presently using. For instance, if your kid uses one word to request (“Milk”), ask him to use a 2-word phrase to request (such as “want milk”). 

If your kid has difficulty requesting even single words, one word (the name of the food/drink) is that the simplest thing to plan. You can start of by using your kid’s favorite food items. If your kid has a lot more linguistic skills, you can ask him to make a full sentence.

You may even have your older kid say the name of the person he’s talking with and saying (“Mom, might you pass the inexperienced beans please?”)

Mealtime Speech Activities #2: Recall the Day’s Events

Talk about your child’s day throughout their meals. Encourage your kid to talk to you about how their day was.  For younger children who have a lot of difficulty with the language, you can ask simple & specific questions about their day, like “what did you eat for lunch?” or “who did you play with at school?” For older kids, attempt sequencing events from the day by talking concerning what happened first, next, and last.

For instance, if you visited the shop together with your kid, ask them what they did after you went to the shop, what they did next, and what they did last.

Mealtime Speech Activities #3: Devise a Plan

When you want to do an activity with your child, talking about it in advance will not only help them with the speech and language skills, but also it will prepare them mentally for the activities that they will be doing next. Talk to your child about what activities you have planned for the day. Just like how you would explain a routine. Talk about going to school, then lunch, then going to the park, etc.

Make a visual plan, you can use a paper as well. Mention the order in which the activities will be done. You can also encourage your child to make some plans using their favorite activities. You can ask them questions like “What do you want to do?”, “Do you want to play catch or sing some rhymes?” In this way, you could organize the events as well as tick them off once they are completed. Make sure to enjoy your day!!

Mealtime Speech Activities #4: Playing with sounds

Sometimes children may have trouble saying specific sounds. You can work on these sounds during meal times. Pick a sound that your child is not able to say. Pick up her favorite food items that have that sound in them. This helps to motivate the child. You can talk about those food items and also focus on the speech sound that your child is not able to say. Consider this time as the speech sound time.

If your child says the sounds correctly, encourage them and tell them they have done a good speech sound. If not, then you show them how it’s done. You could also say, “Let’s try that one again!” So in this way, your child knows that they can still try again to get it right. As they get better at the sounds, try to incorporate them in sentences, conversations, stories, etc. over mealtimes.

Mealtime Speech Activities #5: Show & Tell your Food and Drink!

Mealtime is a fun time. You can talk about anything about the meals. Talk about colors, textures, smells, tastes & temperatures. You talk about how the food feels in the hand and in the mouth. You can talk about if the food is hot/ cold, tasty/ salty/spicy/sweet, chewy/crunchy/juicy, etc. There are different things you can talk about.You can use various speech and language strategies as well during these activities.  You can also talk about each one’s favorite food on the table. Take turns to describe the food items. In this way, it will not seem like an activity but more like a fun game. 

 

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