Summer Themed Activities for Speech and OT 

Summer is finally here! We are excited to share some summer-themed activities you can enjoy with your child. These activities offer therapeutic benefits, helping your child work toward their goals while still enjoying the summer season. 

Ice Cube Animal Rescue 

To do this activity, put little plastic animals in an ice cube tray, fill it with water, and freeze it. Gather some tools found in your home to break the ice and rescue the animals. For example, use a small hammer to break open the ice, tongs/tweezers to pull the animals out, or an eye dropper with warm water to melt the ice. Use the tools to break and melt the ice more quickly. Once all of the ice melts, you have rescued the animals! 

To target language goals, talk about the animals using descriptive language. Describe the animal’s appearance, where they live, and the sounds they make. Use language like, “Oh no, we need to rescue the animals,” “The animals are stuck,”  “It feels very cold,” “This animal is really fast,” “That animal has cool stripes,” etc. 

To target occupational therapy goals, use a variety of tools, as mentioned above, to work on hand strengthening, force modulation, and grasping patterns, which will contribute to your child’s overall fine motor development.

Use your imagination with this activity! If you do not have little animals, you can freeze other mini objects or toys, little craft pom-poms, etc.

Fun with Chalk 

Use sidewalk chalk to draw pictures to target both speech and language goals! Draw pictures and practice speech sounds your child works on in speech therapy. For example, if your child is working on “s,” draw a sun, a bus, an octopus, ice cream, etc. Play pictionary! Take turns drawing pictures and guessing the drawing. Use language to describe colors, patterns, etc. Drawing with chalk is great for developing fine motor and visual motor skills as well! 

Make a sensory path! Use sidewalk chalk to create a series of guided movements to challenge your child’s gross motor skills while providing regulating sensory input. These movements could include anything that involves running, jumping, skipping, spinning, or balancing. 

For example, start with a two-foot bunny hop, then walk along a curved line, trying to maintain balance. From there, do an animal walk, such as a bear walk or frog jumps, followed by a hopscotch sequence. Then, balance on one foot for 10 seconds and end with a race to the finish line! Get more inspiration on Pinterest or Instagram!

For an added challenge, have your child create their own sensory path to work on executive functioning skills such as planning and organization. See how creative they can get!

Scavenger hunt

Get outside and look for items in nature that are a specific color, texture and/or size! For example, look for something pink, yellow, bumpy, smooth, crunchy, etc. This simple activity can target skills such as describing, following directions, and increasing vocabulary. It is also great for tactile sensory processing, for example, exploring and discriminating between textures. Scavenger hunts can also help your child develop visual perceptual skills, such as finding differences between items and scanning through a busy background to locate an item. 

By Nathalie-Rose Malecot, MS CCC-SLP and Jamie Carlson, OTR/L

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