The holidays can be a busy and hectic time for families, and it can be easy to let your regular routines and activities fall by the wayside. Consistent speech and language practice can lessen during the winter holiday break. Even though the holidays can be busy, try to include speech and language skills in your holiday schedule by adding practice to your holiday activities.
It can be easy to incorporate speech and language therapy during the holiday season and maintain progress and continue making progress toward communication goals. Here are 5 fun ways to help your child’s speech and language skills over the winter holidays by incorporating practice into holiday activities:
Make gift-wrapping an opportunity for language practice.
As you wrap gifts with your child, label the objects you are wrapping (e.g. "This is a shirt for Grandma."). Encourage your child to repeat the names of the objects and people to help build their vocabulary. You can also ask your child questions about the gifts and have them describe the gifts using words like "big," "small," "soft," or "sparkly."
Play holiday-themed vocabulary games.
Create flashcards with holiday-specific vocabulary words (e.g. "ornament," "mistletoe," "reindeer") and play a matching game with your child. You can also play a game where you describe a holiday object or activity and have your child guess what you are describing (e.g. "I'm thinking of something that you put on a tree and it's shiny and red.").
Bake holiday treats together.
Cooking with your child is a great way to incorporate language practice into a fun activity. As you follow a recipe together, discuss the ingredients and the steps of the process. Encourage your child to give you directions and to describe what they are doing (e.g. "I'm mixing the flour and sugar together.").
Tell holiday stories.
Reading holiday-themed stories with your child is a great way to build their language skills. Encourage your child to retell the story using their own words, or to make up their own holiday stories. This can help with narrative skills and creativity.
Play holiday-themed charades.
Charades is a classic party game that can also be a fun way to work on language skills. Make a list of holiday-specific actions or objects (e.g. "singing carols," "building a snowman," "opening presents") and have your child act out the word or phrase for the rest of the family to guess. This can help with vocabulary and communication skills.
The key is to make speech and language practice fun and enjoyable for your child. By incorporating it into holiday activities, you can help your child's language skills grow while also creating special memories together.