Working Speech and Language in your Morning Routine

If you’re like most busy parents, it’s hard to find time to work on speech and language skills with your child.  Here are some fun activities that will help you work speech and language in your morning routine.  Each part of the morning has activities for younger and older children so keep looking if the first one doesn’t sound like it would be good for your child.  Also, feel free to do your morning routine in whatever order works for you, these are just the typical elements of a morning routine.

Speech and Language In Your Morning Routine

Waking Up

One of the best things you can do for your child is start his day off on a positive note.  When you go to wake him up, make it a gentle, loving time instead of a rushed frustrated time because he won’t get out of bed.  Make sure you let him know how much you love him and tell him it’s going to be a great day!  Starting off on the right foot will help anyone’s day!

Going to the Bathroom, Brushing Teeth

Sequencing/Following Directions:

You can work on sequencing and following directions while completing toileting and teeth brushing routines.  For younger children, give them one or two verbal directions at a time, like “pull down your pants” or “put on toothpaste, then put in mouth”.  Or, you can create picture directions of all of the steps that your child needs to complete that task.  Post the directions at the location that the task is to be completed.  For example, next to the toilet, you could have a picture strip that has steps like “pull down pants”, “sit down”, “go potty”, “pull up pants”, etc.  At the sink, you could have a similar picture strip for the steps to washing hands or brushing teeth.  For older children, write these directions down without pictures.  This will help improve your child’s reading skills as well as learn how to follow written directions with a task that she’s probably already pretty familiar with.  That’s a lot easier than trying to start with something completely new!

Getting Dressed

Requesting Clothes:

For children that are working on requesting, have your child request the various items of clothing he wants.  You could have him ask for particular colors or styles of clothing as well.  Just make sure he uses his words!

Talk about the Weather:

Talk about what the forecast is for today.  You can even have your child help you look it up.  After you find out, talk about what clothes would be appropriate for that type of weather?  What type of clothes do we wear when it’s hot?  How about cold?  What kinds of shoes to we wear when it’s raining?

Talk about the Day’s Events:

If you are doing something special today, talk about what types of clothes would be appropriate for that event.  For example, if you’re going swimming, what should you wear?  Or if you’re going to play in the snow, what would be appropriate?

Eating Breakfast:

Requesting:

If your child is working on requesting, have her ask for different parts of her breakfast.  You can still have only the choices that you want, but have her ask for her spoon, milk, etc.  Just make sure she uses her words!

Violate His Expectations:

One great way to get kids talking is by messing something up in your morning routine so he has to correct you.  For example, give him his cereal bowl with milk but “forget” to give him a spoon, or give him a fork instead.  You could also put cereal on a plate instead of a bowl.  Think of ways to throw your child off.  When he looks confused, play dumb for a while until he’s able to use his words and tell you what he needs instead.  This one’s a lot of fun for the parent, too.  J

Label Vocabulary, Describe, and Tell Function:

Talk about what the foods your child is eating are called.  You can talk about how the foods taste, smell, feel, etc.  You can also talk about the function of the foods and drinks.  “What do we do with cereal?  Eat it.  What do we do with juice?  Drink it.”.  You could also do the same thing for the dishes and other things at the table that we use during breakfast.

Making Plans:

While your child is eating breakfast, ask her about her day.  What things does she know will happen?  What things does she hope will happen?  You can fill her in on after-school activities that she may have forgotten about.

Getting Ready for the Day:

Sequencing the Day, What do I Need?

Talk about all of the things that will happen in your child’s day.  Talk about what will happen first, next, and last.  Then, talk about all of the things your child will need for each of those activities.  If your child is going to school, talk about what school supplies or books he needs.  For older children, go through each class and talk about what he will need.  This will help him when he gets to each class because he will have already thought about what he needs and will be able to get out those things.  If it’s not a school day, talk about what you will need for various activities you are doing that day.  If you’re going to the pool, what will he need there?  What about for other outings?

Saying Goodbye

Be sure to start your child’s day off right by giving her a loving goodbye and telling her that you know she’s going to have a great day.  Point out something good you’ve heard about from past days that you want to encourage.  For example, tell her “I’m so proud that you were a good listener at school yesterday.  I know you’re going to do a great job today as well!”  Give your child any pre-corrects that you think he may need.  A pre-correct is when you discuss a desired behavior before it happens to avoid bad behaviors.  For example, if your child always has trouble on the school bus, talk about what good school bus behavior looks like: “Remember, you’re going to sit in your seat on the bus and only talk to the friends right around you so it doesn’t get too loud in the bus”.  Try to frame things positively.  Saying things like “Now don’t you yell on that bus today!” won’t help anything because the last thing they heard was “yell on that bus today!”

Enjoy these morning routine activities!  Don’t forget to sign up for my email newsletter for more great speech and language activities delivered directly to your inbox.  Have a fantastic day and a good morning!!