Warmer weather is here at last so why not enjoy some outdoor fun this weekend and hopefully into the school holidays and help your child to learn at the same time.
Kids and speech pathologists love bubbles and now the weather is warming up it is a great outside activity. You can buy bubble mixture cheaply from supermarkets or make your own.
One recipe to try is:
- 1/2 cup dish washing detergent
- 1 cup water
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- Mix together and store in a container
For young children you can use bubbles to develop:
Eye contact: (hold the bubble wand ready, call their name, wait until they look at you then blow)
Requesting: (wait for a sound, gesture or word that shows they want more)
Simple words: model, repeat and encourage imitation of simple words such as more, up, pop, bubble which all use lip sounds /m/,
/p/, /b/ which are easy to see and copy. Find some more ideas and information about developing early language skills in the download section of our website.
For older children:
Try different things from the kitchen to make different types of bubbles. Use a baking tray and try a wire coat hanger bent to make a giant bubble wand for giant bubbles. You will need to swing it through the air rather than blowing.
Practice counting, time and size concepts. Count your bubbles and see who can make the most from a single "dip". See who can make the biggest bubble. Use a timer to record how long bubbles to take to pop and see who can blow a record bubble to develop concepts of time. There are more ideas for developing concepts on our website.
Try bubble prints to develop concepts of shape and colour. Put some bubble mixture in a cup with some food colouring. Blow with a straw until bubbles come over the top of the cup then lay a piece of paper over the bubbles to make a print.
Sand and Water play is another great cheap and fun activity for kids in the warmer weather. As well as a great learning opportunity, it is also a soothing and calming activity.
If you don’t have a sandpit you can simply use a large plastic tub or an old baby bath. Clean playing sand is available cheaply from garden and landscape shops. If you have an outdoor sandpit make sure you keep it covered when not in use to keep cats away and the sand clean.
Bucket and spade sets are inexpensive and can be used to practice verbs such as: dig, fill, spill, empty, tip, pour and well as concepts such as: full, empty, tall, deep, light, heavy, high, low and comparatives such as: big, bigger, biggest, high, higher. highest. There are more ideas for developing concepts on our website.
Old kitchen items also work well and encourage pretend play which is great for language development. You can make sand cakes and have a sand tea party, or even open a sand cafe’. Add a few cars and trucks or some plastic farm animals for more pretending games. Build a castle and use figurines to act out a story. For more play ideas click here.
You can also use a large tub or baby bath outside for water play or just play in the bath. Remember with water to watch children carefully at all times and empty out the water at the end. You can add some food colouring or detergent for bubbles. Use old containers to fill and pour for more concept practice and perhaps have a doll to bath for more pretending.
Dip a paintbrush in a cup of water and paint on a path or wall. Practice making letters, writing names or even spelling. Watch the paintings fade in the sun.
If you are concerned about your child's communication or learning check the Talking Matters website to find out how speech pathology may help. For information about what to expect at your child's age click here.
To keep in touch with new information and ideas
Have fun learning and playing this weekend, and check out more fun play and activities from previous posts listed below to keep kids busy over the holidays!
Talking Matters Team