I am always telling my clients’ parents that practice for speech and language skills doesn’t have to be a chore. It doesn’t even have to take long or be complicated. Speech practice can, and should, be completed in the course of your daily routine and regular activities. Since we’re jumping into October (I cannot believe it’s already October!!), let’s talk about some ways you can incorporate speech and language practice into the Halloween theme.
Describing – There are so many changes that come with the fall season. Talk about the leaves changing colors outside. Discuss the dropping temperatures. Compare and contrast the summer to the autumn weather. Have your child describe his or her costume to someone who has not seen it.
Prepositions or Location words – If you’re decorating your home for the holiday, have your child help you decide where to place the jack o’lantern, witch’s hat and hay bales. Should the big pumpkin go in front of the small one or behind it? Will the spider webs stretch above the door or just across the window?
Social Language Practice
There are social expectations for trick-or-treating. Be sure your child understands that in order to receive treats, he or she must say “Happy Halloween” or “Trick-or-Treat” to the neighbors and follow that with a hearty “Thank you!”
It may be a good idea to talk about what happens when the offered goodie is not a preferred item. A “Thank you” is still expected, but the not-so-goodie can be exchanged later for something more tasty or desirable.
Discuss with your child ahead of time what to do if he or she becomes frightened. It’s OK to be scared, but it’s not OK to run or hit. Role play situations where your child may have to make a choice on how to respond.
There are TONS of adorable Halloween and harvest themed story books. Check out this post to add a few to your shopping list or library check out list. One of my favorite activities is to do a “book walk” to discover words that contain a targeted speech sound. If you have a little learner, help them listen for their sounds as you read aloud. If you child is older, have them complete this October Book Walk for Articulation Worksheet and then use the lists to practice speech sounds and themed vocabulary.