Summer holiday fun with language

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With warmer weather and longer days, many of us are thinking about summer holidays and trips to the beach or the pool. These family activities are perfect for spending time, talking and playing with your little one.

Swimming and playing in water

If you're heading for a swim, as you’re getting ready you can talk to your child about what you might need, even if they are very little you can still talk about what you are doing and why. Try saying: “we need to put sunscreen on, so we don’t get burnt” or "we’ll have to pack our hat and towel”.

Remember to hold or point to the item as you name it so that words are clearly matched to the things they're describing.

Summer activities provide great opportunities for talking and playing with your little one.

When you’re getting into the pool name the different parts of the body as they get wet: “we are getting our toes wet, now our legs are going under…now our tummies”. You might even like to adapt some nursery rhymes: “this is the way we swim in the pool, swim in the pool, swim in the pool” all of these activities help build your child's vocabulary and introduce new words and concepts.

You can double down on the opportunities for learning body parts as you dry off your child bit by bit, naming them as you go. If you stick to the same drying routine then you can ask your little one what part comes next, and get some talking practice in as well!

Ideas for car trips and long drives 

If your holiday involves a long drive, you might like to put together a "busy bag" to keep your child occupied. Collect books, blocks, cars or other favourite toys that might keep your child busy and keep them together in a handy bag that can be easily pulled out and presented to them as an exciting boredom buster.

"I spy" is always a favourite game for car travel and can be adapted depending on the age of the child. “I spy with my little eye, something that is green and has leaves and rough bark, I wonder what it can be?”.

Books about summer

A Trip to the Beach by Gwyn Perkins

Magic Beach by Alison Lester

At the Beach by Roland Harvey

Summer Time by Hilary Bell

Summer Rain by Ros Moriarty


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