The summer months are not a time to allow hard work from the previous months go to waste. Children need to be motivated to continue to practice their speech and language skills to work toward their goals. Of course, finding fun and exciting ways to do this is the key. While most children are not fans of real bugs, they often adore the cute cartoon like ones.
Catch the Word Bug
If you have space, make a bug word wall. For older children, this can be written words that they can read; for younger children, it can include a picture of the item on the insect. If you do not have space for a word wall, you can use the floor or a giant table to have a bug invasion with your words. The words can be personalized for each individual or group. The words can easily focus on a specific letter sound, placement of that sound, articulation, parts of speech, or vocabulary. To make it more fun, make a bug catching tool for capturing the bugs. You can use a regular one, a small net, or make something. If the bugs are laminated, you can use a fly swatter like device (empty cardboard tube and put sticky putty on the end for children to select their next bug. Continue going around until all of the bugs have been caught. If time allows, go around and use each word in a sentence.
Bug Hunt and Talk Time
Create a bug hunt for children to go looking for different insects around a room or larger area. You can use picture cards or get the variety plastic bugs often found with seasonal toys. Give everyone their own magnifying glasses so they can be detectives. Have the students practice asking questions and direct them toward the right hiding places. Once they find a bug, let them study it under their magnifying glass. Have each person share a few items that they observe. For older children, you could incorporate clues on a map that guides them in their questions. Each step would bring them closer to the object they are looking for. If there is little time, hide the plastic insects under multiple toys on a large table and do a bug hunt within that area.
For a follow up activity and practice at home, make a Bug Jar Craftivity that they share on Crazy Speech World. Cut out jar shapes with white construction paper. Then have generic bug shapes in different colors so kids to write words on. Allow them to write the words onto their “bug” and glue it into the jar. Once they are in the jar, they can decorate the bugs to make them have wings, antennae, and other items to make them look more bug like. When you send this home, consider putting word translations onto the back of the bug jars so multilingual families can embrace this extension activity.