The summer is a great and fun time to focus on, develop, and expand your child's language. Your child can maintain the goals he or she has achieved during the school year. Here are some ideas:
TAKE DAY TRIPS: Before you leave, read stories about where you plan to go. Look at maps, brochures, or websites of where you will be going with your child. Involve your child in the planning of the trip. Talk about new words that you will come across when you visit the beach, museum, or a historical site. While on your trip, discuss with your child which things where the same from the things you learned from books, pamphlets and/or websites. Expand vocabulary by asking your child to talk about his or her experiences, how it makes him or her feel, what it reminds him or her of, etc. When you get home, discuss the things you've seen, describe the parts of the trip that each person liked best.
READ BOOKS: Visit your local library and pick a special book for each week. Try different books --fiction, non-fiction, chapter books, rhyming books, and picture books. Take turns reading, ask questions, predict what will happen next, and retell the story. You can make up a new ending to the story or change the characters.
PLAY CAR GAMES: While driving to the store or on vacation, use the time in the car to your advantage. Play rhyming games and think of words beginning or ending with a specific sound. Name items in a category and play "I Spy" describing objects to help with verbal expression. Observe your surroundings and talk about how things are alike and how they are different.
ROLE PLAY: Play school, make puppets, do arts and crafts, or take a pretend plane ride. Children love to play and explore their world of pretend. You can help stimulate their imagination and language while joining the creative fun!
KEEP A JOURNAL OR MAKE A SCRAPBOOK: Start a daily or weekly journal about what activities you are doing. Make a scrapbook about your vacation. Each member of the family can draw a picture or write comments about the fun your having together or individually. If drawing is too difficult, glue pictures, use stickers, or have them tell you about the picture and you write down what they say.
SPEND TIME TALKING: Practice makes perfect! During the summer there's a lot to do and more time to talk about it. Engage in dialog with your child. Encourage question asking, describing things, telling stories, and sharing experiences. Slow your rate of speech and model correct pronunciation of words with emphasis on speech sounds your child may have difficulty with.
MAKE LISTS: Make lists, categorize, and organize! You can do this activity with trips to the grocery store, camping trips, planning a vacation, or anything else you can think of.
SEQUENCING: It is very important for your child to develop a sense of order. Whenever you have the opportunity to talk to them about first, second, third, before, after, while, next, etc...
DIGITAL PICTURES AND WEBSITES: Take digital pictures and make a story using the pictures you have taken. Search the web for educational websites like www.funbrain.com/vocab or www.starfall.com or www.funschool.kaboose.com for language games and activities.