It’s the end of the summer term, which means……. it’s the summer holidays!!
It’s been a very busy year for the Communicate team; we’ve been working in lots of existing and new schools, working alongside lots of families, running new groups, attending lots of events, as well as welcoming a few Communicate babies who have joined the team!
As the end of the academic year has been approaching, lots of families have been asking what they can do over the summer holidays to continue supporting their child’s speech and language skills. Lots of the children we’ve been working with have had plenty of formal therapy sessions throughout the year, and therefore instead of giving out traditional ‘activity packs’ to families, this year, I’ve been setting ‘Summer Holiday Challenges’! This means that they can enjoy their summer holidays, hopefully with some sunshine! The children have been very excited by the challenges, with some saying they can’t wait to come back in September and share how it’s gone! Here are a few of the challenges which have been set:
- Snap snap! This was given to one child who has been working on their phonological skills throughout the year, including identifying words which begin with specific sounds. The challenge was to take lots of photos of things they do or see throughout the holidays, and then put them into an album, grouping them by their initial sounds. The school were really supportive, providing the family with a blank scrapbook to use for their photos! We look forward to seeing what they’ve been up to over the summer!
- Treasure Hunt! This challenge was given to a family who have twin boys. Both boys have some comprehension difficulties and have been working on following instructions of various lengths, containing a range of concepts. The family were given some instruction sheets (some were visual instructions for the children to use themselves, and others were to be read by the parents, or each other). Instructions like ‘find the big rabbit behind the swing‘ and ‘collect the red teddy bear from under the bucket‘ were provided, focusing on language which the boys have been practicing in school. This will hopefully support them in maintaining what they have recently learnt and generalising these skills into everyday activities!
- Outside Story Time! One little boy I have been working with in Nursery, will be moving up to Reception in September. His attention and listening skills are limited and his family have been worrying about how he will cope with things like ‘carpet time’ when he starts school in September. As well as strategies being recommended to school for supporting this, we set the family a challenge over the summer! We have given one of the school cushions (which the children sit on during carpet time) to take home with him over the summer, and have suggested practicing ‘carpet time’ outside (because he loves being outside!), so that he starts linking this activity to experiences he enjoys. We have talked about making carpet time fun in the garden, or places like the park, by asking him to take a favourite book and making the story as interactive as they can! Books such as ‘We’re going on a bear hunt’ are brilliant for this!
If you’re practicing speech and language targets over the summer holidays with your children, try to make them as fun and informal as you can! We all learn best when we’re enjoying something!
We hope you have a great summer holidays and look forward to seeing you in September!
The Team @ Communicate! 🙂