3 Simple Ways to Practice Speech and Language in the Car

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Finding time to practice speech and language skills can be difficult. The daily commute in the car can provide a chance for parents to be intentional.

Let’s look at some very simple ways that you can maximize your time spent driving with your kids and practice some speech and language goals in the car!

Benefits of Practicing Speech and Language Skills in the Car

Practicing speech and language skills in the car is actually one of my favorite ways to practice with my son. The car provides a distraction-free environment and doing something on the commute helps to eliminate “boredom” for many kids.

Having conversation in the car also provides a natural back and forth rhythm of communicating and offers a natural context for vocabulary expansion, as kids are exposed to road signs and passing scenery.

Overall, utilizing the car ride as a platform for speech and language practice not only maximizes valuable time but also creates a fun and engaging learning experience for children.

practicing pronouns for speech and language in the car

3 Simple Ways to Practice Speech and Language in the Car

Below let’s check out 3 simple ways to practice speech and language skills in the car as a parent of a child with a speech or language delay. These are great tips for informing parents of ways to subtly sneak in those speech and language skills when they aren’t sure where they will fit into their busy day.

All of the ideas below plus MANY MORE are included in the Travel Speech and Language Bundle.

The handouts from this bundle are perfect to post on your bulletin board or send home with families on your caseload. This encourages valuable and practical ways to practice speech skills with their child throughout the hustle and bustle of everyday life and shows parents ways to support their child in a practical way.

You can try a FREE SAMPLE from this bundle by logging in to the FREE RESOURCES LIBRARY

(password: communicate)

travel speech and language activities

1. The Grocery Game (to practice question formation)

Choose a player to go first and they need to think of an item at the grocery store that they could purchase. (But keep it to themselves in their mind).

Everyone else in the car asks questions to guess what it might be.

For example:

Is it in the freezer aisle?

Is it a type of vegetable?

Do you drink it?

Can you….

Will it…..

The grammar target skill for this game is: question formation.

While working on the word order for questions, you can also easily target lots of other language skills. When playing, try to notice which of these language skills the child does easily and which ones might need more practice:

➡️ functions (Does it melt?)

➡️ actions (Do you bite it?)

➡️ categories (Is it s fruit?)

➡️ associates (Is it something that goes on bread?)

2. Red Light Race (To practice articulation)

To play Red Light Race, take turns naming as many items (that include your target sound) in a category as you can each time you are stopped at a red light. One person should name the items and the other person should count the number of items they name.

It’s important for the adult to model this with the same target speech sound. Hearing the target speech sound over and over is called auditory bombardment. This will help them pay attention to the target sound and start listening for it.

Here are a few broad categories to get you started:

  • foods
  • animals
  • vehicles
  • toys
  • indoor items
  • things you see at school
  • people
  • jobs
  • types of buildings

3. Triple Threat (to practice sentence formation & story retell)

This is another language game that is fun to play in the car. The adult chooses any three nouns to say to the child. For example, they might say dog, milk and bike. The child then has to create a story that uses all three items! It obviously turns out very silly!

Skills to target with this language activity for the car:

  • Story Characters: the story they create should have at least one character
  • Transition Words: See if they can use words like first, then, next.
  • Setting: The when and where of the story
  • Problem: The issue that the characters need to overcome.
  • Resolution: How do they resolve the problem? How do the characters feel?
speech and language activities for the car

Speech and Language Activities for the Car

All of the above ideas plus many more are included in the Travel Bundle for Speech and Language.

There are 30 parent handouts with explanations of practical practice for each game to give to parents plus plenty of examples of how to use or play each!

Here are what other SLPs are saying about the Travel Bundle for Speech and Language:

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