Language Scavenger Hunt

Who doesn’t love a good scavenger hunt?  The best part about this particular scavenger hunt is that that you can do it from the comfort of your own home.  Did you know that you can target multiple language skills during a scavenger hunt?  I can think of five language skills off the top of my head—and yes, I am here to share them with you!

  • Object Function: a typically developing child should understand the use of objects between ages 3;0-3;5 and expressively tell how an object is used between ages 4;6- 4;11. Some ways to target object function while scavenger hunting could be:
    • Show me the object that (insert function).
    • What does (insert object) do?
    • What do you do with (insert object)?
  • Following Directions: a typically developing child should follow commands/directions without cues between ages 2;6-2;11. Some directions to follow while scavenger hunting could be:
    • Go to the kitchen.
    • Go to the bathroom and look under the sink.
    • Go to your room and sit on the bed.
  • Prepositions: a typically developing child should understand spatial concepts (in, on, out of, off) between ages 3;0-3;5 and expressively use prepositions (in, on under) between ages 4;6-4;11. Some examples of how to target prepositions while scavenger hunting could be:
    • Where is the spoon? (on the table, under the bed, etc.)
    • Place the ball under the couch.
  • Describing: for this skill, I like to start off describing an object by stating its category. A typical developing child should be able to expressively name categories between the ages 5;0-5;5.  Some examples of how to target categories while scavenger hunting could be:
    • A bed is a type of (insert category).
    • A hat is a type of (insert category).
    • Can you name two more types of clothing?
  • Vocabulary: your child’s vocabulary is continuously expanding. By introducing more and more objects each week, your child’s receptive and expressive vocabulary skills will begin to grow.   It’s as easy as that!

All developmental milestones were taken from the Preschool Language Scales, Fifth Edition basic developmental milestones chart.  See additional resources section below for more information. 

Here is a list of objects to get you started on your scavenger hunt: a napkin, scissors, crayons, a spoon, a key, a telephone, milk, a cup, soap, a bed, a hat, a chair, a ring, an apple, and a lamp.    When it isn’t raining, head outdoors and find some things around your neighborhood!Try mixing it up and add some new objects each week. Be creative, and HAVE FUN! 

Breann Voytko M.A., CCC-SLP

**If you have any concerns with your child’s speech, language, hearing and/or feeding development, please contact Curlee Communication Consultants at (865) 693-5622. We have a team of experienced speech-language pathologists that would love to meet with you and discuss options for your child. **

Additional References:

https://speechramblings.weebly.com/uploads/2/1/1/3/21134946/plsmilestones.pdf

Milestones taken from PsychCorp. (2011). Preschool Language Scales, Fifth Edition. Person, Inc.

Six Communication Tips for Speaking to a Loved One with Dementia

Dementia is a neurological disease that impairs the brain in areas of cognition, such as memory loss and judgment. As the disease progresses, your loved one’s social skills, such as carrying a conversation, will be impacted. Here are some helpful tips to successfully communicate with your loved one affected by this disease.

Communication Tips:

  1. Use normal tone instead of talking to them as if they were a child, slow down your rate of speech, and as appropriate, increase volume.

 

  1. Minimize environmental distractions when conversing, such as the TV or radio volume, or choose to engage in conversation in a quieter environment without other ongoing distractions.

 

  1. Increase your pauses and allow your loved one extra time to think and respond. They need extra processing time to understand and create a response. Try not to complete their thoughts or finish their sentences, but rather let them collect their thoughts and speak on their own. 

 

  1. Use specific vocabulary, rather than non-specific words such as “it” or “he/she/they”. Rather, identify the object using its specific name or person’s name. Additionally, avoid using sarcasm as this type of figurative language is difficult for your loved one to understand.

 

  1. During a conversation with more than one speaker, take turns speaking while providing extra processing time.

 

  1. Use external aids as appropriate. Use of calendars, photos, and memory books may help orient your loved one to the topic on hand, helping them communicate.

Natalie Keller, M.A., CF- SLP

**If you have any questions concerning your loved one and their communication, please contact Curlee Communication Consultants at (865) 693-5622. We have a team of experienced speech-language pathologists that would love discuss options for your family. **