5 tips to help keep speech-language progress developing in between sessions:
1. Keep it social!
Staying social and interacting with other people is the best way to practice social pragmatic skills. Social pragmatic skills are things like a simple greeting: “Hello! How are you?” This can help a child learn conversational skills and practice simple back-and-forth conversations.
2. Calling all book-lovers!
Adding reading into a child’s daily routine is a must! This can mean reading a short book before bed or at any point during the day. Reading improves both expressive and receptive language skills. It is an easy and engaging way to create intrigue and allow for dialogue. While you are reading to your child, point to things, ask questions and talk about pictures throughout the book. This helps build your child's vocabulary as well. If your child knows how to read themselves, you can set a goal and pick out books together while choosing how much time your child can dedicate to reading daily.
3. Narrate and ask questions!
Try to narrate and ask questions to your child throughout even the most basic tasks! Talk about what you are doing while you go through your routine. Talk about your day and ask your child questions about their day. Try to make this as open-ended as possible to avoid yes or no questions. This strengthens and builds your child's vocabulary and conversation skills and overall help with language development. This is the easiest way to engage your child and have them practice speech as much as possible.
4. Practice makes progress!
Speech sound errors that a child is working on in therapy may need a little more than 30 minutes a week at their sessions. Practice practice practice! Consistency and accuracy are key here! You can ask your SLP for a weekly practice list to do between sessions! Set aside 5 minutes a day to practice. A good way to integrate practice into a day is once at breakfast once at dinner!
5. Let’s Play!
Play is such a great way to build speech-language skills. Cause and effect toys are great for children. Manipulative toys are toys like a puzzle and legos. A child with fine motor challenges would benefit from using a puzzle with knob-handle pieces. Representational toys like cars or animals are a great way to build vocabulary and practice speech while having fun! Playtime can even mean screen time. A child can practice speech-language skills via various educational apps such as Articulation Station or Splingo!