Check out this speech-language pathologist’s favorite ideas for promoting speech development during bath time!
I work full-time (plus some additional gigs during the school year) as a speech-language pathologist. Every summer I PROMISE myself that I’m going to have time for a little R&R, some home remodeling projects, and a new exercise plan…
But somehow it just never happens. I’m not sure how I always end up so busy in the summer!
Can you relate? If summer is flying by and you just don’t seem to have time to fit it all in, I have a few simple ideas that help you tackle at least one of your summer goals…supporting your kids’ speech and language skills!
The best part? Everything on this list is FREE, requires NO PREPPING ahead of time, and can be done during an activity that most kids do almost every single day…bath time!
Promoting Speech Development During Bath Time!
One of the best opportunities for language development is bath time because it’s a time when you have your child’s undivided attention and because it’s something you do every day so it’s a great way to be consistent when addressing these skills.
Here are some language skills and activities you can work on:
1 || Sequencing and narrative development
This is perfect if you do bath time at night. Talk about what you did that day.
Be sure to use words such as “first,” “next,” and “last.” Talk about your activities in the correct order. This is great for memory recall, sequencing skills, and early narrative (story-telling) development. Example: “First we woke up and ate breakfast, then we got dressed, next we went to the zoo.”
2 || Answering WH questions
Pick an activity you did that day (I’ll keep up the zoo theme since I love animals). You can ask/answer all sorts of WH questions about the activity! The important thing is not to put too much pressure on the child to answer a WH question correctly.
You can answer your own WH questions to model how to answer. For example: “What was your favorite animal we saw? My favorite was the elephant.” Or: “When did we go to the zoo? Oh that’s right, we went in the morning.” “Why do you like the zebra the best? I like them the best because I think they look like horses.”
3 || Concepts
If you have bath toys they’ll come in handy for teaching positional concepts. Put the toys “over” the child, “under” the water, “on” the child’s head. No toys? No problem. When you’re rinsing your child’s hair, talk about how the water is going “over” him and “down” his head.
This is also a great time to talk about body parts. Some children have a difficult time learning more advanced body parts. This is an easy time to talk about elbows, wrists, even eyelashes! “I’m washing your elbow!”
You can also talk about descriptive concepts such as: wet, dry, warm, cold, and slippery. This is a great time to expose your child to these advanced concepts. You can use verbs such as: scrub, wash, rinse, drain, pour, even big words such as lather!
The language possibilities are endless during bath time. If you’re a therapist, many of these same concepts can be used at a water or sensory table.
Drop me a line in the comments if you try any of these ideas out – I would love to hear how it went!