If you’re like most parents of children with speech and language delays, you would probably love to work on your child’s communication skills more but don’t have the time.  Here are some fun ways to work speech and language skills into the bedtime routine you do every day.

Bath Time

  • Labeling objects: Take time while giving your child a bath to label what is in the bathtub with him.  You can label the water, shampoo, soap, sponge, wash cloth, toys, etc.  Hold up each thing and show it to your child while you say the word by itself.  Then, you can use the word in a sentence as well.
  • Labeling actions: Talk about what you and your child are doing while you’re giving your child a bath.  You can say “washing”, “pouring”, “splashing”, “squeezing”, “swimming”.  Be sure to use these words by themselves as well as in sentences.
  • Using adjectives: Talk about how things feel in the bathtub.  If your child is old enough, you can ask her how things feel.  Is the bath water hot or cold today?  How does the soap feel?  How does the toy feel?
  • Get bath books: Book-reading is a great way to work on your child’s speech and language skills.  Fortunately, there are many fun bath books that your child can read in the bathtub.  Your child can be looking at pictures while you’re scrubbing and soaping him.
  • Recalling the day’s events: While giving your child a bath, talk to her about what happened in her day.  Be sure to ask specific questions like “what did you eat for lunch?”, “who did you play with at recess?” and “what did you make during craft time?”.  You may also want to stick with questions you know the answers to (things you did with your child) so you can help her if she gets stuck.

Brushing Teeth

  • Location words: While your child is brushing his teeth, use location words to tell him where to brush next.  You can tell him to brush his teeth on the top, bottom, back, front, middle, etc.
  • Count or sing the ABCs while your child is brushing: To make sure your child spends enough time brushing her teeth, count or sing the ABCs while she is doing so.  This will help her remember to keep going but will also give her exposure to hearing the order of numbers and alphabet.

Putting on Pajamas

  • Labeling objects and actions: Talk about what you’re doing while you’re doing it.  You can label the objects that your child is putting on (shirt, pants, pajamas, slippers, etc.) as well as what your child is doing (put on, put arm in, pull up).
  • Requesting: Let your child choose which pajamas to wear each night.  Make sure your child uses his words to request the correct ones though.

Bedtime Story

  • Book-reading is always a great way to work on speech and language skills.
Click on this link for more ideas on how to use book-reading to improve your child’s speech and language skills.

Tucking Your Child In

  • Predicting: Ask your child to guess one thing he thinks he will dream about tonight.  Have him describe as many details as he can.  Check with him in the morning to see if he was right.
  • Goodnight Kisses: Help your child label body parts by asking her where she would like her goodnight kisses.  Would she like a goodnight kiss on her head?  On her nose?  On her fingers?

Now all that’s left is exchanging hugs and kisses and it’s off to bed!  You and your child will both enjoy the good quality time and your child’s communication skills will only grow stronger!

For more ways to include speech and language skills into your daily routine, check out my resource page: Including Speech and Language in Daily Routines

More Resources for Speech-Language Pathologists:

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