Taking Speech Therapy Outdoors

themes in speech Feb 15, 2023

Have you ever taken a speech therapy session outside? The outdoors provides SOOOO many functional, meaningful and motivating ways to practice speech and language skills! We understand that this opportunity isn't always possible BUT when it is, here are some fun ideas on how you can use the outdoors for speech therapy:

Tip #1: Head to the Playground 

**Swings are such a fun way to encourage requesting and core vocabulary such as "go", "stop", "more", "push", "up", "down", "on" and "off".

** Playground equipment provides so many natural opportunities for verb vocabulary and spatial concepts: "walking on the bridge", "climbing up the stairs/wall", "sliding down the slide", "spinning on the tire swing", "swinging on the swings",  "hiding under the bridge" OR working on following directions: "touch something red", "first go down the slide and then run to the swings", etc. 

Tip #2: Outdoor Scavenger Hunt

Use the outdoors to find different themed vocabulary items, practice describing, target following directions, attributes and more! Have the child find something that is red, hard, soft, etc. When the child finds something on the list have them sort them by category or describe the item with 3 descriptors (e.g., what we use it for, what category it belongs to, how it feels, where we find it, etc.). 

Tip #3: Make a hopscotch or use coloured hoops

Grab some chalk and create a hopscotch with your client. Have your client practice following directions or giving directions while creating the hopscotch. Practice verbs such as "hop", "skip", "throw", "draw", and "jump".

Throw some coloured hoops on the ground and have your client follow directions on what hoop to run/jump/crawl/roll/hop to. Pair the hoops with bean bags or a ball and add in extra speech and language targets.

Tip #4: Pretend Play Picnic

Pack a little picnic basket with some pretend foods and have a teddy bear picnic outdoors. Practice possessive 's, food vocabulary, sequencing, following directions, verbs, core words, etc. while having a picnic with your clients!

Tip #5: Water Play 

Set up a water sensory bin (e.g., ocean themed, pool themed) or water play with watering cans, cups, bowls (e.g., make a car wash or clean plastic animals, use spoons, spatulas, scoops to transfer water from one container to the other). Think of alllll the language and speech sound opportunities these engaging activities  provide!

Are you looking for more lesson plan ideas, tips on how to use play in your sessions as well as FRESH ideas on how to use toys and people games in a variety of ways??? We have 2 entire modules (out of the 13 modules provided) dedicated to "7 Top Toy Categories - How to Use Toys to Target Any Goal" and "Playing Without Toys" that cover just that! Don't miss out on our next course launch here

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