How To Encourage Your Late Talker: Fall Activities

Use fun fall activities for the whole family to help encourage your late talker

There are so many wonderful activities that families can enjoy together in the fall. We’ve picked a few of our favourites and incorporated ways you can encourage language development while having fun! 

Raking/collecting leaves

It may not seem like to most fun activity in the world to adults (it may seem more like a chore), for kids raking leaves is a ton of fun! Try talking about how the leaves feel (e.g., crunchy, mushy, pointy) and look (big, small, wide, narrow, bright, dull) and the actions that you are doing (raking, bending, sorting, stretching).

You can ask your child ‘wh’ questions keeping in mind that ‘what’, and ‘who’ questions are the easiest, followed by ‘where’, ‘when’, ‘why’ and ‘how’.  For example, “What is daddy doing?” or “Where is the rake?”

After you are done raking and collecting the leaves, talk about the sequence of the day (e.g.,“FIRST, we got the rakes and the bags, THEN, we raked the leaves into piles, THEN we put the leaves into the bags, and LAST we put the bags out on the curb to be picked up.”)

Picking apples

This is a great opportunity to introduce your little one to new and exciting vocabulary words such as wagon ride, pumpkins, and all the animals on the farm. Remember to talk about where the apples are using positional words likeup high, down low, behind or in front. You can also talk about the different tastes and textures of apples (sweet, sour, crunchy, soft).

Go for a walk

Fall is a great time to get outdoors and go for a walk.  While walking, talk about all the things you see, things you smell and hear.

Make it even more fun by turning the walk into a scavenger hunt. Look for the things on our list and add any other items that might be in your area. Remember, it is about finding items that meet specific criteria as opposed to a specific item

  • Orange
  • Hard
  • Pointy
  • Soft

Sing a song

Singing is a great way to get kids vocalizing and practicing the words they know. We love this fall-themed song, sung to the tune of “London Bridges Falling Down”, by Diane Chancy.

All the leaves are falling down

All the leaves are falling down, falling down, falling down (imitate leaves falling down)

All the leaves are falling down, it is fall.

Take the rake and rake them up, rake them up, rake them up (imitate raking leaves)

Take the rake and rake them up, it is fall.

Make a pile and jump right in, jump right in, jump right in, (Children jump forward)

Make a pile and jump right in, it is fall

These activities are great for late talkers, language delayed children and for children who’s language is developing age appropriately.  Speech therapy strategies can be incorporated into these everyday activities and modified to suit your child’s needs and language level. 

Erin Avramidis is a Registered Speech Therapist, Founder and Clinical Director of Speech Kids Canada, an In-Home Speech therapy company supporting children in Southern Ontario and the GTA. Check her out on Facebook and Twitter!

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