Summer Practice for Language


Use correct grammar and syntax when speaking or responding to your child. Don’t make the complete focus on correcting your child. For example, if your child says, “Her hitted me!” you should reply, “Did she hit you?” modeling the correct form. Always respond as an adult, without baby talk.

Play sentence games. Find pictures of everyday items in magazines and have your child generate a sentence verbally describing the object to the other players for them to guess the item. (“You can eat it, it has icing and candles that tell how old you are.”)

Look at simple scenes from magazines or books and give your child open-ended prompts. Have your child complete the prompts. (Picture of dog playing catch with his owner – “What is/was the dog/owner doing?” “The dog is/was/will…, His owner is/was/will…, The ball is/was/will…” – this gives your child the opportunity to use the correct form/forms of the verb. 

Cut out cartoon frames from the newspaper and add a cartoon speech bubble. Have your child write of tell you verbally what the character is saying. Ask questions about the cartoon that prompt your child to use different forms of the verb. “What do you think he is saying? What do you think he will say? Where are they going? Where have they been? Where are they?”

Write words on note cards to play sentence scramble. Pick words that make a complete sentence/question and scramble them (including punctuation). Have your child organize the words into a sentences/question that makes sense.

Read with your child. Pick a favorite book, read a page at a time. Ask questions about the story characters, plot, action and have your child discuss/describe any pictures. Try to predict what will happen next and why. “Who is the main character? What do you like about this story? How do you think it will end? What was your favorite part?”

Most importantly, talk with your child. Oral communication is best learned in a natural interactive environment. For both speech and language development, the more opportunities to practice in a natural setting, the faster the progress.