Are you looking for some fun pumpkin activities that you can do at home to improve your child’s speech and language skills? Here are some ideas of how you can use pumpkins for some fun speech and language building time!
Pumpkin Activities #1: Faces
For this activity, you will need a few pumpkins, one for everyone involved. If you go to the grocery store, you can typically find some little mini pumpkins for pretty cheap. You could also buy some larger pumpkins, or if you’re looking for some free options, just draw a pumpkin shape on a piece of paper. You will also need something to draw on the pumpkins with. For real pumpkins, you can buy paint markers at any store that has a craft department. For paper pumpkins, use any writing/drawing utensil.
Tell your child that you are going to draw faces on the pumpkins. Ask your child what goes on a face. If your child is having trouble, you can point to your own facial features and ask “What about this? What’s this called?”. Make sure you get all the facial features on your pumpkin: eyes, ears, mouth, nose, hair, eyebrows, etc. Talk about and name each feature as you draw it.
Pumpkin Activities #3: He and She
Next we will use the pumpkins made in the last activity to work on forming grammatically correct sentences. If you did not complete the last activity, cut out pictures of pumpkins and draw faces on them. For this activity you will need a boy pumpkin and a girl pumpkin.
Each person doing the activity will take a turn choosing a pumpkin and having that pumpkin complete an action (like jumping, rolling, sliding, sitting, flying, being in/on/under things, etc.). The other person will describe what the pumpkin is doing. You can adapt this activity to the level of your child. The following is a progression of the responses you might expect from a child with the top of the list being for younger children and the bottom being for older children. Find whatever level is possible for your child but provides her with just a little bit of a challenge:
- (Youngest Child) Label the action-“jump”
- Add the “-ing” at the end of the action-“jumping”
- Add the pronoun, he or she depending on the gender-“he jumping”
- Add the “is”- “he is jumping”
- (Oldest Child) Add descriptors-“he is jumping high!”
Pumpkin Activities #4: Reading
Take your child to a local library or book store and look for some books about pumpkins. There should be a lot out right now! Most book stores will let you browse the books without having to buy right now. Here are some ideas of activities you can do during book-reading to help improve your child’s speech and language skills. This list is organized with the easiest activities at the top and the harder ones at the bottom. Once again, find the level that is right for your child. You want something that is a challenge for your child but not so hard that he becomes frustrated.
- Read to your child while he looks at the pictures. If he won’t do anything else, just try to get him to sit for the duration of a short story.
- Have your child point to pictures of common objects in the pictures. You can say, “Where’s the pumpkin?” or “Touch the hat”.
- Have your child label objects or actions from the book. You can point to a picture and say “what’s this?” or “what is she doing?”
- Have your child “read” you the book by describing what’s going on in the pictures. Tell your child that she doesn’t have to know how to read words to be able to tell a story. It doesn’t matter if she gets the story right or not, just as long as she’s talking about what’s happening in the pictures.
- Point out words that rhyme to your child.
- Ask questions about what’s happening in the book. Ask a variety of “wh-” questions including who, what, where, when, and why. You can ask some during the story and some at the end for recall.
- Run your finger along under the words as you read each one. If your child is beginning to recognize and read some simple words, stop every once in a while on a basic word like “a”, “the”, or “and” and have your child read that word.
- If your child is reading whole sentences, take turns each reading a page from the book.
Have fun with these pumpkin activities this year while working on your child’s speech and language skills! If you happen to live close to a kid’s farm or pumpkin patch, ask if you can come out and look at the pumpkins. This will be a great way to make the pumpkin activities more meaningful! Don’t forget to share this post with your friends on twitter, facebook, or other social media platforms using the buttons below!