Summer Speech Activities!

Summer Speech Activities!

Home made ice pops: Cool down with a yummy ice pop! Making home made ice pops is a great way to work on speech and language skills. This activity requires children to follow directions in sequential order, and is a wonderful way to work on concepts such as wet/dry, empty/full, some/all/none, and hot/cold. You can work on the verbs pour, mix, peel, and cut as well as vocabulary pertaining to the ingredients and tools being used (spoon, freezer, fruit/vegetables, shapes and sizes of the ingredients, the possibilities are endless!). These treats can also be used to sneak some extra nutrition into children who are picky eaters. Fruit, yogurt, honey, peanut butter and even vegetables can be blended into the ice pop mix! Check out these 10 Delicious Homemade Ice Pop recipes:


Water play: Water play is a fun way for children to use everyday toys in a new way. Water play activities can be set up in a variety of ways including:

  • Wash the baby activity- It’s bath time for your child’s favorite doll! Work on concepts such as wet/dry, and clean/dirty, identifying and labeling body parts, following directions, requesting, pretend play skills and more.
  • Play with cups, rocks, animal and food toys and so on- The items you choose to are up to you and are limitless. You can choose items in a particular theme to work on vocabulary concepts (i.e. animal toys), or items that will help your child work on concepts such as sink/float, empty/full, heavy/light, size concepts and so on! Have your child follow directions with the items (i.e. put the elephant in the red cup, pour some water in the blue cup).  Have your child answer questions about the items (i.e. “What else can you use a cup for?”, “Where does an elephant live?”, “Does an apple fly?”). Turn this into a turn taking activity by providing a fishing pole or net to “catch” the toys with. Talk about each item!


Car wash activity- Have the child wash toy cars (or maybe even the real car) and practice concepts such as wet/dry, clean/dirty and follow directions (i.e. wash the red car first, then the blue car).  You can also work on concepts such as top/bottom, front/back, sides and under.  Turn this activity into a turn taking activity with a peer by only providing 1 sponge. Talk about vocabulary words related to the activity: sponge, doors, handle, tire, trunk, soap, hose, etc.


Water balloon toss- A water balloon toss is an excellent way to work on joint attention skills, turn taking, gaining attention and making eye contact. Have each person gain the attention of another person in the circle before tossing the balloon by calling their name and making eye contact with them before throwing the balloon.  If the child forgets to tell someone they are going to throw the balloon they might not catch it, and if they don’t make eye contact with others when their name is called they might get wet. You can add additional speech and language practice to this activity by putting things on the balloons:

  • Letters– Have the child think of a word that starts with whatever letter is on the balloon. You can make it more challenging by having the child think of a word that ends with the letter, or has the letter in the middle of the word.
  • Words– You can practice sight words, rhyming, or targeted speech sounds during the water balloon toss by simply writing words on the balloons. For sight words have the child read the word aloud before throwing the balloon. For rhyming have the child come up with a word that rhymes with the word on the balloon before each toss. For articulation practice have the child say the words 5x before throwing the balloon.
  • Pictures– You can practice new vocabulary words by putting pictures on the balloons. You can either draw them on the balloons, or tape them on.


If you have questions or would like to schedule a speech and language evaluation, Contact Speech Language Pathologist, Christine Wilson.

School Is Out! Now What?

School Is Out! Now What?

Posted by Emily H.

Before the final school bell rings, parents should be on the lookout for summertime activities in the community and in other towns or cities close by that are fun and age-appropriate for your children. Searching online is your best bet for finding places to go, things to see and do, and the costs.

In order for children to avoid the “summer slide,” it is better to have some sort of routine rather than a day-to-day, free-for-all of watching TV, playing video games, and chatting online or texting. A routine helps make the day productive. Below are some suggestions for summertime activities to keep your child involved in learning at home and in the community!

Visit the local zoo– Take sketch pads and pencils, pack sandwiches, tour the zoo, then have children draw and write about their favorite animals. Have older children research favorite animals online and find out more about their species, habitat, food, life cycle, and life span. Some zoos have classes over the summer to teach children about what goes on at the zoo after hours, how the animals are cared for, and the special needs of each animal. Great for language, vocabulary, writing, and reading.

Visit local museums/art galleries – Local galleries usually feature the works of local artists. Some also have workshops where artists come and talk about their work, their inspirations, and techniques. Some galleries have artists conduct classes. If there are workshops or classes in your area, have your child make up a list of questions to ask. Research the artists to see their other works that may be in a different medium. Art develops fine motor skills.

Start cooking – Have children help with age-appropriate tasks in the kitchen. Bake a cake for a party, cook a meal for an elderly person, prepare treats for family game night, or help with dinner for the family. Under your supervision, have children read the recipes, gather ingredients, pots, pans, and utensils. Help children use their math skills to figure out how to double a recipe, half a recipe, etc. Math is easier to figure out with visual examples. Stirring, mixing, and moving pots and pans to the stove and in and out of the oven also work on fine and gross motor skills (for older children under supervision). Sit down with your children and have them help plan a menu of meals for the week. Let your children help make the grocery list for the meals and go shopping with you in the store – if you’re up for the challenge. Great for critical thinking and planning.

Take swimming lessons – Check with your local YMCA, sports clubs (of which you may already be a member), or with adults that are good swimmers and ask about giving your child lessons. Some neighborhoods have swim teams of all ages and abilities. This usually requires a big commitment on the parents’ part to
have the child present at all practices and swim meets. Great for strength, agility, gross motor skills, and
spatial awareness.

Visit your local state parks – Take a drive to your state parks. Pack a picnic, horseshoes, Frisbees, bats and balls, hiking gear, and take advantage of beautiful scenery. Here’s a great opportunity for children to take or draw pictures, later make a scrapbook, and write a caption for each of the photos. Have older children write about their visit to the park. Try to visit with the park ranger. Talk with him or her about his or her responsibilities in the park. Research the park itself online. Find out when it became a park and the special features protected there. Have children write about what they saw or did throughout the day. Great for language, vocabulary, art (fine motor), gross motor, physical fitness.

Have movie night in the backyard – Hang a white sheet on a large wall outside. Borrow a projector or go in with the neighbors and rent one (Yes, you can rent projectors!). Choose an age-appropriate movie and invite the neighbors. Everyone invited can bring sodas, popcorn, and other snacks to share during the movie. During the movie, parents can jot down questions on note cards about the movie to use in a game afterward. Divide the children into teams. Children take turn answering the question and receive a point for each correct answer. The team with the most points gets to choose the next movie for the gathering (or another prize). Use the 5 WH- questions: who, when, where, what, and why. Great for language development and sequencing.

Bowling – Find a local bowling alley that offers special slots of time for children to bowl. Some alleys use bumper pads to help children keep the ball in the lane. This can be a physically challenging game and is a great exercise for spatial awareness and gross motor skills.

Scavenger hunt – Create a scavenger list specifically for your children or invite friends with families to participate. When writing the clues, keep in mind that the game is for the children, and don’t make clues too difficult or abstract. Older children can come up with clues and a list of objects for their parents to find for even more fun! Great for writing, social skills, and cooperation.

Turn on the sprinkler! – This one is the most fun when parents join in, but you can stay dry and watch the fun. Water balloons, spray bottles, wading pool, and water guns all add to the fun. Lather on the sunscreen! A great physical activity.

Come Check Out Christine Wilson’s Reading Camp this Summer!

When parents express concern about their kindergartener or first grader’s reading or language skills, and the teacher observes and confirms that a student is having difficulties in the classroom, an evaluation process usually begins. Schedule an appointment today with speech-language pathologists, Christine Wilson. This Reading program is available to anyone! The Reading Camp will begin JUNE 2015.

Does Your Child Struggle with any of the Following?

  • Word Recognition– often resulting in inaccurate guessing
  • Spelling– often phonetically accurate, though incorrect
  • Reading Comprehension– difficult understanding or remembering what was read
  • Slow Reading Rate
  • Symptoms of Dyslexia

Our Summer program includes one-on-one reading, writing, and spelling tutoring for children struggling or having difficulties with any of the above-mentioned modalities.

Students usually show significant gains in sight vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension. As a result, your child will become a more confident, independent reader, and thus more successful in school when the Fall session begins. It will be here before we know it!

Students usually show significant gains in word-attack and decoding skills necessary for reading longer words. With the combination of a gain in sight words, coupled with word-attack skills, readers become faster readers and more easily understand what they read.


No Registration Fees, No Supply Fees, No Annual Contract!
*Medical Insurance will often pay for reading tutoring with a certified speech/language pathologist*
Click HERE to Enroll Your Child Today!

Have a great summer!

Fun Ways to Teach Your Child How to Write the Letters of the Alphabet!

Fun Ways to Teach Your Child How to Write the Letters of the Alphabet

Super Duper® Handy Handouts!®

One of the most exciting things preschoolers and kindergarteners learn is how to write the alphabet—and their own names! Correctly writing uppercase and lowercase letters requires visual skills, fine-motor skills such as hand grip, hand-eye coordination, good posture, focus…and practice! There are many fun ways to help a child learn to form the letters of the alphabet. Here are some “handy” tools and tips:

Chalk—Write a letter using chalk on the driveway or a chalkboard. Have the child trace your letter then try to write the letter by him/herself. To increase the difficulty, you can draw an outline of the letter by making small marks, such as dots, in the shape of the letter. Have the child connect the marks.

Sand table or the beach—Write a letter in wet or dry sand using your finger/hand or a stick. Have the child trace your letter and try writing the letter without assistance.

Dry beans, cereal, or pasta—Give the child a piece of paper with a “bubble letter” written or traced on it. Put glue inside the lines of the letter. Have the child fill in the letter by placing dry beans, cereal, or pasta on the glue. You can hang these up when they dry to create a letter wall or put them on the refrigerator.

Sandpaper—Use a die-cut machine to cut out (or trace and cut out) the alphabet on pieces of sandpaper. The child can trace the cutouts with his/her fingers to feel the shape of each letter.

Glitter, cinnamon, or sugar—Put a generous amount of glitter, cinnamon, or sugar on a baking sheet. Have the child write a letter with his/her finger. Let him/her “shake out” the letter after he/she writes it.

Air—Use large motions to “draw” a letter in the air with your finger/arm. Ask the child to mimic you. You can use hand-over-hand assistance (putting your hand over the child’s hand and moving together).

Dry-erase board—Have the child trace/write a letter on a dry-erase board. Use a different color for each letter.

Paint—Help the child paint a letter with finger paint or with a paintbrush. Use your foot as a fun alternative!

Cookies—Buy cookie cutters in the shapes of the letters of the alphabet. Make cookie dough, and then cut the dough with the cookie cutters. Help the child spell words such as “cat,” “Mom,” “Dad,” etc. with the baked cookies.

Highlighter—Use a highlighter to write the child’s name on a piece of paper. Have the child use a pencil to trace the letters. For a different approach, use black construction paper with light-colored chalk or with a marker or pen that writes on black paper.

Summer Speech Activities!

Poolside Speech Therapy

Marco Polo

Adapt this popular pool game to suit your child’s speech therapy needs. Rather than shouting “Marco” and “Polo,” you could have your child work on his prepositions, for example. Instruct your child to give directions instead of saying “Polo.” He could say “I am next to the ladder,” “I am beside the diving board,” or “I am right outside the shallow end.” Not only does this reinforce your child’s use of prepositions, it also gives him practice speaking in complete sentences.

Water Tag

Play water tag with your child. Each time he is tagged or each time he tags you, have him say one of his target words. If he has trouble remembering which words he is supposed to say, line up objects next to the pool to remind him, if possible. For example, if he is working on the “ch” sound you could point to the pool chair. If he is working on the “p” sound you could place a cup and a picnic basket next to the pool.

I Spy

Use the same strategy for a game of I Spy. Point to objects around the pool and say, “I spy with my little eye a….” Scatter objects around the pool that will encourage him to work on specific sounds. For example, for the “n” and “o” sounds you could place a couple of pool noodles in the water and for the “k” and “d” sounds you could add a rubber ducky.

Pretend Play

Pretend play is often an effective way of encouraging vocalization. Use pretend play in the pool by playing pirates with your child. Use pirate-related words to encourage articulation practice, like “Ahoy, matey!” “Prepare to be boarded,” “Walk the plank,” and “Arrrr!” Make up silly stories about the pirates with your child to encourage narration skills and sentence structure. If he has trouble getting started, give him a prompt. For example, say, “I’m Lily the Fearsome from the Caribbean and my ship is called the White Star. What is your ship called?”

Word Fishing

Go word fishing with your child in the pool. Laminate a few flashcards with words that you would like your child to work on. Glue a magnet on the back of each card. Attach a string to a dowel with a magnet on the end of the string. Have your child fish for the flashcards. As he catches each flashcard, have him say the word. This game might only work well in shallow, plastic kiddie pools. Otherwise, you could place the flashcards in a basket and have your child fish for them by the side of the pool.

Home Programming

Speech-language Pathologist, Christine Wilson, requires her patients to practice home programming, on top of attending speech therapy sessions weekly. We see the most progress in the patient’s who come to speech therapy at least twice a week and those who practice home programming. A home program does not need to be a major time commitment on the parents part, but it IS important. Try to practice with your child for 15 to 30 minutes a day. Even five or ten minutes every day will benefit your child. We work as a team at Christine Wilson’s Speech Clinic! Practicing language skills at home will bring your child closer to their speech goal/s!

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Speech Language Pathologist, Christine Wilson.

UnitedHealthcare Children’s Foundation


What are the grants?

UHCCF grants provide financial help/assistance for families with children that have medical needs not covered or not fully covered by their commercial health insurance plan. The Foundation aims to fill the gap between what medical services/items a child needs and what their commercial health benefit plan will pay for. UHCCF applicants do not need to be a UHC member in order to apply for this grant.

What is the criteria to apply for a grant?

Applications must meet certain criteria to be considered for a grant. Please review the application criteria carefully before applying. The criteria can be found by clicking here.

How does the grant work?

If a grant is approved by the Regional Board of Directors for a child, the grant will help pay for approved medical services/items after the family’s commercial health insurance plan submits payment, if any. Grant funds are not paid to the family or the child outright. Grant families must work with the Foundation on submitting invoices/bills for approved medical services/items after their commercial health insurance plan submits initial payment (if any) to the health care provider (see graphic below).

If you have questions or concerns, please contact Speech Language Pathologist, Christine Wilson.

We Help People Communicate: What is your Super Power?

Better Hearing & Speech Month

Posted by Emily K. Hulse

May is Better Hearing and Speech Month, a time to raise awareness about communication disorders and available treatment options that can improve the quality of life for those who experience problems speaking, understanding, or hearing.

Speech and Language Quick Facts:


  • 40 million Americans have communication disorders
  • By the first grade, roughly 5% of children have noticeable speech disorders
  • 3 million+ Americans stutter
  • 6–8 million Americans have some form of language impairment
  • Approximately 1 million Americans suffer from aphasia
  • Teachers are the most at risk group for voice disorders
  • Autism affects approximately 400,000 individuals in the United States

If you would like to schedule a Speech and Language evaluation, call 813-279-2737 or