Where do we, as caregivers, spend most of our time? My guess is one of three places: doctors/therapists office, the car (because of all those appointments), and home (because you have appointments there too!). We’ve covered some waiting room activities to help keep everyone out of trouble, so let’s zoom along to the car.
The car is a great place to practice speech. After all, your charge is strapped in and can’t run away!
1. Play “I Spy” or “I See” : Depending on their speech development you can point out different objects with “Look! I see _________!” or play a more genuine came of I Spy using descriptive words to see if they can identify what you’re looking at, “I spy with my little eye… something red. Shaped like an octagon. On a pole. Beside the road. etc.”
2. Sing : Keep the radio turned off for simple, favorite duets (The Itsy Bitsy Spider never gets old around here.) or crank up the radio and sing along at the top of your voices. Practice is practice. Use karaoke tracks for extra fun!!
3. Talk : I love me some quiet time in the car, but, again, it’s a great place to practice speech with a somewhat attentive audience with no where to go. The obvious topic is what did you do today or what are you going to do today. Action Jackson gives very vague, random answers, so I’m usually prepared with more questions such as, “What did you have for lunch?” “Who did you play with today?” “Did your class do anything special today?” Talk about where you are going, and what you are doing. Tell jokes. Catch up on favorites (colors, animals, games, etc.).
4. Tell a story : You can tell a familiar story or make one up as you go along. You can have them chime in with the next sentence or throw in a question (i.e. One day, the farmer was out walking his… Hmmm… What was he walking?).
5. Play Virtual Hide & Seek : Pick any place in your house to hide. The other person asks yes/no questions to figure out where you are.
6. Listen : Put on an audiobook so you increase word power!
7. Read : Give them a book to look at or read. They can read aloud, or, describe the what they are seeing, making up a whole new story as they go along.
8. Silly Voices : Talk only like a pirate. Maybe you’re a cat?! Make up voices for different emotions. What do colors sound like?
9. Alphabet Games : Any version of the alphabet. Sing it. Name animals/people/places/foods that correspond to the letters. Name anything that starts with the letters.
10. Practice : My least favorite of my options is to simply go over whatever targeted sound Action Jackson is working on. It seems the speech teacher at school has been working on /L/ forever and a day… lollipop, lung, lace, llama, lock… Say the word and have them say it back. Have them come up with words that start with the sound.
Taking advantage of time together in the car is such an easy way to get in that extra speech practice. It adds up, and makes a difference. Do you have any fun car games for practicing speech?