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5 Fun Speech and Language Games for in the Car

Updated: May 17, 2023

Nothing is more fun than driving long distances or doing errands with kids in the car - haha! Just joking! I know one challenge I had when my children were little, was how to keep them occupied when driving in the car, not just on vacation, but around town as well. I didn't want them "plugged in" so I took some traditional children's games and tweaked them a little to fit what my children were learning at the time. This works great for speech kiddos working on articulation and language skills and I've used these games in therapy as well. Here are some of my favorite:

1. I spy with my little eye - this can be tailored to what your child is working on. For example, "I spy with my little eye something that starts/ends with the sound /r/" (be sure to say the sound, not the letter's name!). You can substitute sounds with colors, shapes, sizes...etc., "I spy with my little eye something yellow." You can use adjectives and give clues, "I spy with my little eye something big and wet." Then change it up and let them spy something and you guess what it is.

2. Animal, vegetable, mineral - this can be too difficult for a lot of kids, so I like to narrow it down to just Animal. One person thinks of an animal and the other ones try to guess what it is by asking yes/no questions. If asking questions is challenging for your child, help them think of some, "you can ask me if it has fur." See if you can get them to formulate the questions on their own, but if they struggle, you can give them a model by saying the question and having them repeat it.

3. Rhyming - this is great with young kids, children struggling with a phonological disorder or children learning how to read. Take turns choosing a word and see how many words you can rhyme with it. Cat, hat, bat, sat mat, flat, pat...etc. It can get pretty silly!

4. Matching sounds - similar to rhyming, try to think of how many words start with an /s/ or end with a /t/. Take turns deciding the sound to start or end with and don't forget to alway use the sound, not the letter's name!

4. 20 questions - an oldie but goodie, 20 questions can be really difficult for some children. Like with Animal, vegetable, mineral, it might be a good idea to narrow down the topic (i.e., things we do at Grandma's, food, or you can find it in the garden). You might need to help your child formulate questions, that's OK! Modeling and repetition are a great way to teach new skills.

5. Silly sounds and faces - some children with articulation difficulties struggle with tongue, lip and cheek strength and coordination, so exercising them is important. Work on sticking your tongue in and out, side to side, and up and down, make a frowning face, then smile really widely or make funny noises by clicking your tongue, or popping your lips. What other kind of funny tongue or lip movements can your child come up with?

Have fun!!

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