Beach Visit - Supporting Your Child's Development

Summer time means lots of things – fun in the sun, ice cream, and… the beach!

There are so many ways we can enjoy our time together at the beach, while also helping support our kids with their speech and language development!

Here are some ideas of how you can use language in your next beach trip.

We can use lots of different types of words in our language when talking with our children. We want to be using a variety of these words to support our children with developing their language.

  • Verbs – Talk about the action words during your beach activity e.g. building a sandcastle. You could use words like scooping, digging, patting, taking, mixing, tipping, and collecting. For example, you might say ‘look, I’m digging some sand. Oh, you are patting the sand!’
  • Describing words – There are lots of things we can describe at the beach! We could talk about the temperature (the sand is hot, but the water is cold), how big or small something is (e.g. this seashell is small), or how we might feel (e.g. wow, you have a big smile on your face – you look happy’)
  • Sequence words – Incorporate sequence words such as first, then, last, before, after into your beach day. You might say e.g. ‘before we go into the water, let’s wear our hat!’

Activity Ideas

Following instructions: play a fun game where you help each other build your ‘dream sandcastles’ –you both get to take turns to tell each other how to build it! Practice showing good listening while you wait to hear how the other person wants you to build their sandcastle. For example, you might say ‘put 2 seashells at the top of my sandcastle’. Practice strategies such as asking for a repetition of the instruction if you forget what it was e.g. ‘can you say it again please?’

Concepts of big/small: Build big/small sandcastles, find big/small seashells. Draw different pictures in the sand, some big and some small. Highlight the difference between these and emphasise this in your language e.g. ‘you drew a big flower in the sand! Look – I can draw a small flower.’

Retelling stories: Make a ‘beach story book’ by taking pictures throughout your day, and printing them out and stapling them together/sticking them on paper and making a book. This is a great, fun way to help your kids practice retelling stories – they will feel so special getting to read a ‘book’ that was made just for them, and that they are in! Use the pictures as prompts to help them remember what they did and practice telling others what they did throughout the day. Make sure to remind them to talk about different things like the characters (who was there), what the activity was, how they felt.

We hope you have fun in your next adventure at the beach, and try out some of these activity ideas to support your child’s language!

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