In honor of this electronics-free week, and the recent social media cleanse I’ve challenged readers to, here is a speech pathologist’s take on how to make car rides a bit more pleasant without good ole electronics.
We are busy! Things get hectic! Here are a few games that you can play with your preschooler-kindergartener child while driving, waiting for an appointment, at home on a rainy day. Play games, have fun, practice language skills. (Adapted partially from Super Duper Handy Handouts® #402 “Practicing Language Skills in the Car by Erica Zollman, M.Ed., CCC-SLP”)
8 Non-Electronic Games for Your Child’s Car Ride
Select a category (farm animals, white foods, furniture, funny things, etc.). Take turns naming an item in a category.
#2 Rhyme Time
Practice creating rhymes for things children see from the car window or in the environment around them. For example, if a child chooses the word “tree,” other players must name some rhyming words (e.g., knee, see, me).
The player who gives the most rhymes is the winner!
#3 Match the sound
Decide on a sound (not a letter, as some sounds are made by two letters: ch, sh, th). Take turns naming words beginning or (to make it more challenging for older kids) ending with that sound.
#4 Guess that word
Say simple words sound-by-sound. Have your child guess the word
(d-o-g= dog, m-a-p= map, s-a-n-d= sand).
#5 Mind Reader
One player choses a familiar object and gives three clues about it (it’s a dessert, it’s cold, it comes in a cone). Other players try to guess what it is. Variation can be other players ask yes/no questions in order to guess the item (do you eat it with the spoon? Is it soft?)
#6 Cities and Syllables
As you pass through different towns, cities, or states, children can practice counting the number of syllables in that city or state’s name.
For example, when passing through Idaho, the child counts or claps out three syllables. When passing through Tallahassee, the child counts/claps out four syllables.
# 7 Observer
Ask your child to look around and name all round things in the room, then all red, square, soft, smooth, etc. For the younger kids use simple characteristics (color, simple shapes).
For older kids use more advanced features (smooth, rough, wooden, plastic, soft, etc)
Say a word, ask your child to say a word with the opposite meaning (big-little, white-black, good-bad).
Identify the Signs, a campaign by American Speech-Language-Hearing association (ASHA), aims to highlight and provide education to the public about the importance of early detection of communication disorders. Communication disorders are treatable. Find out more http://identifythesigns.org
Marina Vertleyb is a licensed speech language pathologist and a member of American Speech-Language-Hearing Association with a private practice in Northern New Jersey. She has been providing services for children and teenagers in early intervention, school, and private practice for almost 20 years. Read more about her at www.slp4u.com