by: Chloe Hill, M.A., CCC-SLP
It can be overwhelming to find ways to work on academics, keep kids engaged, and practice speech and language skills when you are doing home learning. Crafts and coloring activities are great ways to incorporate speech and language skills into fun activities for all ages!
Use coloring pages together to work on following simple directions. Give your child 1- to 3-step directions depending on their age (i.e., color the dolphin and circle the fish). Practice sequential language (first/then) and gradually make tasks more fun and challenging by incorporating gross motor movement (i.e., “first color the dolphin, then circle the fish, then jump up and down”). The same strategies and prompts can be used with painting, cut and paste crafts, and drawing!
The Water-Pop-Paint™ by Everyday Educate
has many vocabulary words and provides a fun way to learn new vocabulary while coloring with water.
Incorporate coloring books and pages that have a variety of objects and themes (i.e., ocean animals, farm animals, outside objects, food, etc.). Have kids search for different vocabulary words, label them, and describe what they look like, what they are used for, and where to find them.
SENTENCE FORMATION AND DESCRIBING:
Have kids draw, paint, or craft with a variety of materials and colors. When they are finished, have them tell a story about what they made using describing words. Ask questions and allow them to be creative with their stories! Practice simple sentences (“I see a ___”) and commenting (“The ___ is ___”) and create sentence frames when necessary. Talk about colors, shapes, sizes, and textures.
The Water-Pop-Paint™ comes with sentences and prompts to target vocabulary, following directions, and describing.
If your child is receiving speech therapy for articulation (speech sounds), using crafts and coloring pages can be a great way to practice sounds. Have them describe their pictures using their sounds. Practice repeating back their words with accurate sounds. If they are working on single words, have them color part of the page or glue one object for each word they say.
Put craft materials out of reach and in a transparent container. Require kids to ask for each piece they need and request to open the container. It may take a little longer, but you will get so much language!
Ask different types of questions while working on your craft or coloring page. What are you drawing? How many turtles do you see? What should I draw? Focus on social questions that may come up organically about the craft rather than “testing” them. For example, I might say, “I love your drawing! What will you draw next? I can’t wait to see!” rather than, “Is that blue? Is that green?”
Art projects, coloring, and crafts are great ways to have family time, keep kids engaged in an activity, and encourage speech and language development at home. There are so many skills that can be targeted while incorporating simple and effective strategies. I hope these ideas help you incorporate speech and language skills into your family craft time!