Check out these great vehicle activities that will improve your child’s speech and language skills and are all about vehicles!  This is certainly a favorite subject for many of my students!

Vehicle Activities #1:

Labeling and Sorting

One great way to work on your child’s vocabulary is to label and sort objects.  You can do this with the vehicle toys that you have around your house.  First, get out a couple of buckets or tubs.  Label one tub as “vehicles” and one as “other”.  If possible, make the vehicles tub the place where the vehicle toys will always go when you are cleaning up.  This will allow your child to practice this activity every time he cleans!  If your child is not reading yet, take a picture of the vehicles and tape it to the tub where they go.  Now, get out a pile of toys, some vehicles and some others.  Tell your child that you’re going to sort them into the two tubs.  Show your child how to do it with a few of them, then let him try.  You can help your child understand what “vehicles” means by describing them as things that go.  Tell him that all of the things that go need to be put in the vehicles bucket.  You can also have your child label each object as it goes into the bucket.

Vehicle Activities #2:

Imitating Vehicle Sounds

This activity is for children who have difficulty speaking.  This is great for children with autism or childhood apraxia of speech!  While playing with vehicles, show your child how to make different sounds for each one.  Then, encourage your child to imitate the sounds you’re making with their own vehicle.  Don’t worry if your child doesn’t imitate you right away.  They may need to hear you making the sounds many times before they attempt to imitate any themselves.  But stick with it, make the same noises every time you play with vehicles and they may begin to imitate.  Here are some ideas of vehicle sounds you can make that are very similar to some basic speech sounds:

  • Car: “voooo” or “vooom”
  • Fire Truck: “eee ooo eee ooo” (with high and low pitches)
  • Train: “ooo ooo” or “choo choo”
  • Airplane: “woooo” or “wooosh”
  • Helicopter: “buh buh buh buh buh”
  • Big Truck: “mmmmmm” (low pitch)
  • Race Car: “eeeeee” (high pitch like screeching tires)
  • Bike: “dee dee” (high pitch like bicycle bell)
  • Bus: “honk honk”

Vehicle Activities #3:

Using Location Words

For this activity you will need some vehicles and a place to drive them.  This could be a racetrack/roads, a course made out of blocks, or even just furniture like chairs and couches.  Use whatever you have around for this one.  While you’re playing with the vehicles, talk about where you’re going to put your vehicle using location words.  You can say “I’m going to put my car on top” or “going under”.  Model a lot of these words and see if your child begins to use them as well.  You can also ask your child to put vehicles in different locations as well.  You can say “drive your car between the busses” or “let’s put the fire truck beside the fire station”.  Here is a list of location words you can use when playing with your child.  They are ordered from easiest to hardest so start at the top and work your way down if your child is doing well.  If your child is struggling, stick with the ones near the top of the list.

  • In
  • On
  • Up
  • Down
  • Under
  • Off
  • Out of
  • Together
  • Away from
  • Next to
  • Beside
  • Between
  • Behind
  • In front of
  • Around
  • Through

Vehicle Activities #4:

Social Skills: Taking Turns in Play

Many children with speech and language delays have difficulty understanding how to let others take the lead in play.  This is a great activity to help your child learn that they must take turns and sometimes need to let someone else decide what the group is going to do.  Before you get any toys out, sit your child down and tell them that you are going to take turns being the leader while you play with your toys.  Tell her that you will take turns being the leader and deciding what both of you will do with your vehicles.  Then, get out the vehicles and get one for each of you.  Tell your child that she will be the leader first and ask her “What should we do with our vehicles?”  After you do what she wants to do for a  minute, tell your child is your turn to lead.  Say “Let’s do this with our vehicles…” and pick one thing to do.  Tell your child that she must do what you want to do for a minute and that she will get to pick the activity next.

Now you have some fun vehicle activities that you can do with your child and his vehicles to improve his speech and language skills at home.  What is your child’s favorite vehicle?  Leave a comment below and let me know!  Also, don’t forget to visit my store that has tons of fun games, activities, and e-books that you can print off at home.