Summer Activities to Support Development of Phonological Skills
POSTED ON: July 4, 2022
Summer time is known for sunshine, fun activities, pool time, and longer days. Developing phonological processing skills doesn’t top the list for fun summer activities! However, there are countless ways you can support your child’s language development and phonological processing skills while having fun in the summer sun. Below are language rich and fun activities you can do with your child to support their phonological processing development. These activities can be altered to fit the needs of your child, for different age groups, and current ability levels.
- Weekly trips to the public library
- Public libraries aren’t just a great place to escape the summer heat, it’s full of opportunities to build language and phonological skills! Most public libraries have free activities during the summer for kids of all ages. Taking a weekly trip to the library can allow your child to explore their different interests through books, learn about how a library card works, and the responsibility of returning books on time.
- Reading books at home
- You can use books you already have at home or that you are borrowing from the library, incorporating phonemic and phonological skills on every page of the book. (See our phonemic vs. phonological awareness post). Striking a balance between telling the story of the book and targeting those important skills will likely be different for each child. I may or may not have had children call me out for this by saying, “Miss Whitney…can you just read the story please?” I had to appreciate the honesty in that situation! Remember that we want to promote a love for books at a young age, not make it seem like work. For younger children who are at the beginning of developing their phonological skills, you can point out what longer words look and sound like compared to shorter words on the page. Book orientation skills are great to model at a young age. Talk with your child about where the front cover, back cover, and spine of the book are. Talk about what an author does and what an illustrator does. Books have endless language opportunities and activity possibilities!
- Water letters
- I can’t take full credit for this idea-it was my mom’s when we were growing up! All you need is a bucket of water and a foam paint brush. Simply dip the paintbrush in water and “paint” the sidewalk. This is a great way for older students to practice letters and for you to model letter sounds to younger children.
- I Spy on road trips
- This game can be switched up from the traditional “I spy something purple” method to “I spy something that starts with the /s/ sound” or “I spy something that has three beats in the word!” This can be played in the car on a road trip, on a nature walk, or in the grocery store.
- Bubbles are a crowd pleaser and great for all ages! For your younger kiddos who are developing their speech sounds, you can use bubbles to model sounds. For example, “Let’s POP the bubbles…p…p…p… pop!” For older kiddos, you can pop a bubble per syllable in a word. For example, “Let’s pop the beats in the word “tiger”! Ready? “Ti-ger”
When thinking about ways to help your child continue to develop their skills over summer, incorporating these skills in a way that engages your child’s interests and uses a game format will make it a more positive and fun experience for your family.