It’s the weekend and your family is probably heading out to eat at some point. I’d encourage you
to leave all electronic devices in your pockets, purses or the car. Have an entire meal without your child using your phone for entertainment or you checking your phone. By doing this, it really encourages interaction during a meal. Here are some ways to incorporate language and play skills into your meal (1) Use the sugar and sweetener packets: Sort all my color (2) Play “What doesn’t belong” by placing 3 packets on the table and your child takes out the one that isn’t the same color (3) Pretend to order the food (4) Identify letters and sounds on the menu (Find your child’s letter) (5) Use the salt and pepper shakers as “people” and take on different roles (6) Play rhyming games (“I want to order something that rhymes with balad. I want to order a ….”) (7) Give your
child hints and they have to guess the item (has a bun, made of meat, has pickles and mustard on it – your child guesses hamburger) (8) Play “I Spy” as you look around the restaurant (9) Use the “straw” as a pen and pretend your child is the waiter (10) Have your child describe how the food is being made in the kitchen.
Share your ideas with us. What are some ways your child stays entertained at a restaurant?
Daily tips, activities, and suggestions on how to naturally embed speech, language, play, fine motor, gross motor, and cognitive skills into your child's day, often using the materials already found in your home environment.
Marena Mitchell is a speech-language pathologist