General Activity Ideas and Tips
- Read with your children! This is a great way to work on speech and language skills. Make sure you are engaging your child when you are reading together. For example, ask your child questions about the story, have them say words in the story that contain their target speech sounds, teach unknown vocabulary words, or have them retell the story to you.
- Play games together! You can use games that you already have at home to target speech and language skills. For example, Headbanz, Guess Who?, and Apples to Apples are all great games for working on language skills. If you don't have these, you can easily make up games that require no materials:
- Would You Rather? Make up silly or serious questions and practice answering them by turning the question around, using complete sentences, and giving reasons why you chose your answer.
- I Went To The… Pick a place and try to name all the things you might see there. For example, “I went to the beach and saw a shovel, pail, towl, wave, whale, etc…”
- Letter Scavenger Hunt: Starting with A and working your way to Z, try to find all the letters of the alphabet on signs, packages, and everyday household items
- Charades: Act out different animals, actions, jobs, etc. without making a peep!
- I Spy: Pick a secret item and give 3 clues to help your partner guess your item
- Cook or bake something together! Practice following the directions of a recipe. Use sequential language such as, “First we add the tomatoes, then we stir it all together, and last we add seasoning.” Use spatial concept words such as in, on, on top, next to, as much as possible. Talk about the textures, tastes, smells, and colors of the foods. Use descriptive words.
- Use sidewalk chalk! Draw pictures using sidewalk chalk and have your child describe the pictures using color, shape, and size words. Another idea is to draw a hopscotch game and write speech words in each square. These could be words your child is working on pronouncing (ie. they contain their speech sounds) or vocabulary words that they then have to use in a sentence.
- Watch a movie ...and use some of the same strategies as you would when you read a book! Ask your child questions about what is happening, why characters feel certain ways, what might happen next, etc. Talk about the different characters’ personality traits. Compare and contrast the characters. Think of other ways the characters could have solved problems. Come up with silly solutions and talk about why they might not have worked.
- Go on a scavenger hunt outside or inside! Give your child descriptions of things to find in your home. These could be vague, such as, “Find something large and blue” or specific, such as, “Find something that you use to dry your hands.” If your child is working on speech sounds, have them find items that contain their sounds and then have them label the item.
Links and Files
Online Library Links
List of Apps for Phones or Tablets
- Word Vault: (free with optional paid upgrades; available on both Android and Apple products) This app contains lists of words that can be used for articulation, and also lists for addressing language goals, short stories, and questions.
- Toon Tastic: (free with optional paid upgrades; for iPad) This app allows you to make your own animated videos. You can draw your own setting and characters, or use ones provided in the app.
- Super Duper Story Maker: (free with optional paid upgrades; for iPad) This app allows you to make your own story book. Both this app and Toon Tastic provide great practice for language skills such as grammar, turn taking, social skills, sequencing, and vocabulary.
- Mad Libs: (free; available on Apple products) This app is a great way to work on grammar and parts of speech. The old fashioned pencil and paper version works too, or you can check out the website posted in the Receptive & Expressive Language section.
- Classify It: (free; available on Apple products) This app targets categories, similarities & differences, while allowing your child to learn about different types of animals. This app includes various difficulty levels.
- Talking Tom: (free; available on both Android and Apple products) This app is good for targeting specific speech sounds. Have your child say their target sounds in words, phrases, or sentences and listen to Tom repeat them. Decide if the production of the sound was correct or incorrect.
- SmallTalk Phonemes by Lingraphica: (free) The SmallTalk Phonemes app provides a series of speech-exercise videos, each illustrating the tongue and lip movements necessary to produce each of the phonemes in the English language.
- First Phrases: ($9.99, available on Apple products) Although not a free app, this is a great app to work on early expressive vocabulary.
- Picture the Sentence: ($5.99, available on Apple products) Picture the Sentence is an exciting app designed to practice language and auditory processing tasks at the basic sentence level.
- TenseBuilder: ($9.99, available on Apple products) TenseBuilder is designed to help students learn how to identify and use correct tense forms by playing movie quality animated videos to demonstrate past, present and future tense.
- Using I and Me Fun Deck: (free, available on Apple products) Select the cards you want your child to see, and have them fill in the blank to practice the personal pronouns “I” and “me.”
- I Hear Ewe: (free, available on Apple products) Entertain and educate your early communicator with this simple game full of 24 different authentic animal sounds and 12 different vehicle sounds. When your child taps on an animal or vehicle icon, the game will verbally announce what type of animal or vehicle it is and play a recording of its real sound.
- I See Ewe - A Preschooler Word Game: ($0.99, available on Apple products) I See Ewe is an educational game for that helps young children learn to recognize over 50 different shapes, objects, colors and animals, and exposes them to their first sight words.
- Visual Matching from I Can Do Apps: ($4.99, available on Apple products) Visual Matching from I Can Do Apps is an educational tool designed to work on picture recognition, visual memory, reading and matching skills. This app is designed in collaboration with a Speech Language Pathologist.
- Object Identification from I Can Do Apps: ($4.99, available on Apple products) Object Identification from I Can Do Apps is an educational tool designed to work on identifying objects when given a description including nouns, adjectives, verbs or attributes. This app is designed in collaboration with a Speech Language Pathologist.
- Touch and Learn - ABC Alphabet and 123 Numbers: (free, available on Apple products) Touch and Learn is a powerful new gaming platform that allows you to introduce new concepts in a fun and exciting new way. You can use this Touch and Learn app to: Teach letters from A to Z, Teach numbers from 1 to 20, Teach concepts - letters vs. numbers, big vs. small letters, & Teach phonics - touch the "buh" letter.
- Rhyming from I Can Do Apps: ($4.99, available on Apple products) Rhyming from I Can Do Apps is a teaching tool designed to work on phonological awareness skills important for the development of reading, comprehension and spelling.
- WH Questions at Home Fun Deck: ($2.99, available on Apple products) Select the cards you want your child to see, and have them ask and answer questions about all aspects of home life. The prompts include WH questions like, “Who are your neighbors?” and “Where do you keep your clothes?”
- Yes Or No? Fun Deck: ($2.99, available on Apple products) Select the cards you want your child to see, and have them answer yes/no questions to practice basic questioning, answering, and reasoning skills. The prompts include questions like, “Can a cow bark?” and “Can a flower grow?"
- QuestionIt ED: ($1.99, available on Apple products) QuestionIt is an educational app for children with autism or other significant language disorders that provides systematic instruction over multiple opportunities to teach children what kind of word answers which type of Wh question. Activities include sorting words by type of question they answer, answering questions about sentences, and answering questions about paragraphs.
- Fun with Directions HD: ($9.99, available on Apple Products) Fun with Directions is a ground-breaking app for the iPAD, designed to provide a fun and engaging way to practice listening, following directions, colors, spatial concepts, auditory memory and auditory processing.
- More Fun with Directions HD: ($9.99, available on Apple Products) This app continues with the same playful, colorful and engaging format as the one listed above, with a focus on 12 concepts: turn on/turn off; up/down, front/behind, on/under, put in/take out, above/below.
- Fun Deck Following Directions: ($2.99, available on Apple Products) Select the cards you want your child to see, and have them follow one-step directions like, “Growl like a bear,” to help boost their memory, motor, and auditory processing skills. You can even have them follow multi-step directions by presenting them with more than one card.
- Furry Friend: (free with optional in-app purchases, available on Apple products) Lenord is a friendly, furry monster that responds to your touch or voice like a real pet. He repeats everything you say (providing great auditory feedback!) and loves to play games.
- Touch and Learn - Emotions: ($1.99, available on Apple Products) This app focused on helping kids read body language and understand emotions by looking at gorgeous pictures and figuring out which person is expressing a given emotion.
- Autism Emotion: (free, available on Apple products) Autism Emotion uses music and a photo slideshow to help teach about different emotions.