Sidewalk chalk can be a lot of fun for kids, and kids at heart.
From hopscotch games to creating elaborate works of art, there is a ton of fun to be had with such a simple children’s toy.
It can even be used to assist with kids’ speech therapy, and help make practicing these skills fun.
If you’re looking for professional help to address your child’s speech issues, District Speech is offering speech teletherapy as well as in person treatments to help keep your progress on track.
Practicing speech exercises at home is incredibly important for your child’s development, whether their speech is developing as expected or if they need some extra help.
So, no matter the reason you might want to practice speech with your kid, read on for some fun exercises – and all you need is sidewalk chalk.
1. Create A Board Game
Creating a board game can help kids practice following basic directions.
Sometimes, though, board games can be boring or hard to understand if your child is young or has trouble sitting still.
That’s why sidewalk chalk is such a great tool.
Using sidewalk chalk can make a board game interactive, your child becomes the piece that moves around the board.
They get to practice following directions in a fun and productive manner while they’re at it.
Here’s how to make your own life sized speech board game for your child:
Using red, green, and blue chalk, make a path using hearts, triangles, circles, stars, squares, and rectangles in any pattern you want.
Be sure to have at least one of each shape in each color.
Next, print and cut-out these free direction cards which include instructions such as “Jump two times and move to the green square” and “Hop on one foot before you move to the red triangle”.
Having start and finish lines, as well as setting clear instructions before you start can help make things go more smoothly and ensure you and your child don’t get frustrated.
Once you’re set up with the instruction cards and clear rules, you’re all set to play.
You and your child can have fun while you build their confidence in following directions.
2. Draw Pictures Of People
Some children have a lot of trouble with pronouns and possessives.
They may not use the right pronouns or struggle with sentence structure around possessives.
Whatever the reason, sidewalk chalk can help.
Drawing stick people, and objects which “belong” to those stick people can help with practicing pronouns and possessives.
Start by drawing a few different stick figures.
In order to practice possessives, draw items around each figure and have your child identify which items “belong” to each figure, such as “this is her cat,” “this is the boy’s dog,” or “this is their hat”.
This is a great way to make practicing speech fun for your child.
Feel free to change it up by letting them draw objects or having them dictate to you what to draw.
There are lots of ways to use drawn pictures of people to practice language.
3. Play A Word Association Game
Word association involves knowing what words fall into similar categories.
For example, if someone says “snake,” you know to associate that with other reptiles, like lizards.
That’s what word association is.
With this activity, you and your child will take turns drawing pictures of items which go together.
For instance, using fruit as a category example, you might start by drawing a banana, and then your child draws a bunch of grapes.
This can help your child build their vocabulary.
Some parents shy away from this activity as they worry that they aren’t the best artists.
But I promise you your child won’t care at all – do your best and don’t worry if your drawings look more like Picasso than Monet.
4. Put Speech Exercises Inside A Hopscotch Board
Hopscotch is another great way to get your child moving while also practicing important skills.
For this activity, start by drawing a hopscotch board on the pavement.
If the weather is poor you can do this inside, making the hopscotch board with masking tape).
Inside each space use pictures or words (depending on the reading level of your child) based on the sounds they need to practice.
For example, if your child has trouble correctly pronouncing an “r” sound, you might put pictures to represent words that start with the letter “r,” such as a rake, rest, or write.
Play hopscotch normally, however as your child jumps to each square, they will have to say the word, and use each one in a sentence.
5. Draw A Bullseye With Speech Sounds In It
Another task that encourages physical movement as well as speech practice is using a bullseye target.
Here’s how you’ll set it up:
Start by drawing a target or “bullseye” with a number of small circles on the pavement.
Give each circle a number or “score” with the smallest, inner circle having the highest number, and each larger ring having a smaller number.
Have your child stand back from the circle and toss a pebble or something similar at the circle.
Whichever number they land on is how many times they need to practice their sound.
Adjust the circle and numbers you use according to what is appropriate for your child.
If your child has multiple speech sounds they need to practice, you could consider modifying this activity.
To do this, you would put a different sound in each ring.
If your child needs to work on their “s” sound and “r” sound, for example, you could alternate “s” and “r” between rings.
To make it more competitive and encourage your child to practice more, you could also set a certain cut off score, like 10.
You’d take turns throwing the pebble and practicing the sounds with your child, but whoever’s score adds up to 10 first wins.
Book Your Appointment With District Speech Today
Are you worried your child is struggling to develop age appropriate speech patterns?
Do you worry that they aren’t speaking at the same level as their peers of the same age?
Have they been diagnosed with a developmental disability or learning disability which is holding back their speech development?
District Speech wants to help.
We will work with you and your child to determine what is causing delays in speech development and work with you to correct it.
1300 I St NW, #400E,
Washington, DC 20005
District Speech and Language Therapy specializes in speech therapy, physical therapy, and occupational therapy solutions, for both children and adults, in the Washington D.C and the Arlington Virginia areas.