by: Mallory Bruce, MS, CF-SLP
Camping is a great way for families to getaway and relax, but it is also filled with ways to include your children and build language skills. When vacations come around, preparations and planning can get busy. It is important to include your child in all aspects of the trip.
Packing for the trip: Families can discuss what categories are needed for the trip such as food, equipment, toys, and clothes and which items should go in each one. Have the children discuss their ideas for snack foods, breakfast foods, lunch, etc.
Set up camp: Having your children help set up camp is a great way for them to practice following simple and complex directions. During this activity, families can incorporate sequential directions (first, then) and spatial directions (in, beside, etc.).
Sequencing activities: Another activity that is great for building language skills is bringing attention to sequences. Activities such as making s’mores, fixing hot dogs, and building campfires are great ways to highlight what is done first, second, and so on.
Get moving together: One last activity that can build language skills while camping is to get moving together. Take a walk. Go fishing. Ride your bikes. Go walking on a nature trail – these are great opportunities for parents to use descriptive words to describe the scenery.
Introduce new words: Camping is a great way to introduce some new vocabulary words. Talk about what the words mean and show them the different camping objects. A few targeted vocabulary words include:
Camping is a great getaway to relax and enjoy the outdoors, but it is also a wonderful way to expose children to new vocabulary and language skills. Have fun!