Summer is here, and your child is likely celebrating summer break. As the days get longer and the weather warms up, many children get excited to think about a time when they don’t have to get up early for school, prepare for tests and do homework.
As a parent, you may begin to plan activities and events for your family to do over the long summer months. However, parents of a child with hearing loss might also begin to consider how to keep their child’s listening and language skills sharp throughout the summer.
Prior to the start of summer vacation, it is always a good idea to check in with your child’s teacher(s) to see if they have any areas of study that you should work on over the summer break. Additionally, consider the need for extra speech therapy for the summer months or an extended school year for your child if that is an option within your educational district.
Summer activities to strengthen your child’s speech and language skills do not have to be structured, purchased or elaborate though. They can range from an outdoor gardening activity to cleaning up the garage. In fact, anytime you and your child spend time together talking and exploring equates to good old fashion language building.
If you are looking for some specific activities that focus on strengthening your child’s listening and language skills over the summer consider the following:
- Create a family summer calendar that highlights all the important events the family will do together for the next several months. When your calendar is complete, hang it some place in the house where you can talk about it each day. This is a great way to build vocabulary and strengthen language skills.
- Enroll your child in a day camp. Day camps offer a variety of topics and areas of interest for your child. They are typically structured learning environments where your child can meet new friends, expand their interests and learn a new skill.
- Plant a garden together and watch it grow! Think about all the language and listening building that is involved with planning, planting and maintaining a garden. For your child, this is a great way to work on sequencing skills, auditory memory and vocabulary plus, as a bonus, teaching them about responsibility and hard work.
- Become a part of a team! Enroll your child in a few sports programs through your local parks and recreation department. There are always lots of options available for all ages. Children learn about healthy competition, build social skills through interactions with other children and develop good listening skills by following instructions and playing by the rules of the game. Also, it’s a great way for active children to burn off a little energy each day!
- Build upon your child’s academics by registering them in a reading or math class either online or through a local program in your city.
Finally, you and your child can document or record the summer activities by creating an experience scrapbook, or if your child is older, they may want to write in a journal. This will serve as a record of all the fun and learning that occurred over the summer. You and your child can reminisce each year as you both plan out the next summer vacation activities.
For more resources to help a child with hearing loss, visit IWantYouToHear.com.