There are many opportunities to enrich your child’s speech and language skills at home. From gestures to word formation, there are plenty of ways to incorporate learning during your fun. Here are five wonderful suggestions for incorporating ABA therapy practices, speech, and language into your plans:
- Family Walks
- Play Dates
- A Day Trip
- Family Game Night
1. Read with Your Child
Visit the local library to check out new books, order them online, or revisit your own book stash. Reading with your child is one of the best ways to promote speech and language while encouraging early literacy skills. While reading, ask your child questions relating to the story, including:
- Where are they going?
- What do you think is going to happen next?
- Where is (animal, building, or toy illustration on the page)?
Make the book engaging by using different voices for each character in the story. If your child is not yet verbal, encourage the use of gestures or mimicking, as you would with all their ABA therapy best practices. Don’t forget to praise often and utilize their ABA therapy positive reward system to form lasting behaviors.
2. Go on a Family Walk in the Neighborhood
Walks are a great way to encourage communication while getting in some exercise. As you walk, comment on what you see around you and remember to use ABA therapy strategies, including short phrases, open-ended questions, and various gestures. Enhance communication by building upon their speech and language skills. While outside, start up a scavenger hunt, work with your child to write or draw clues, and create maps to find items. The scavenger hunt targets vocabulary, critical thinking skills, and following directions, while strengthening ABA therapy goals.
3. Schedule Play Dates
Playdates foster play, functional communication, peer interaction, and social skills. Offer a few activities, including swinging, bubbles, and snacks, while encouraging communication through various speech and language opportunities. During the playdate, encourage imaginative play between children with camping activities in the yard or playing house. Not only are these activities fun, but they target narrative and play skills.
4. Plan a Day Trip
If you need a change of scenery, plan a day trip to the park, a beach, museum, or zoo. Providing your child with a variety of experiences gives them an enriching vocabulary. It exposes them to various environments and situations and even builds connections to the books they read. Use this chance to discuss behavioral expectations and rely on your ABA therapy strategies.
5. Have a Family Game Night
Board games, bingo, charades, and card games are interactive and fun. Most games encourage multiple players at a time so that siblings can join in on the fun! Games encourage turn-taking, rule-following, social skills, and understanding directions. What better way to boost your child’s communication skills?
Treat every opportunity as a learning one. Through consistent ABA therapy practices, you’ll quickly turn each activity into an enriching speech and language one. Visit us for additional resources and to learn about Blossom Behavioral Wellness Center’s all-encompassing services.