Incorporating Early Intervention into Your Summer Break
Summer can be a fun time for a family with young children. It can provide some respite from your daily routine. Summer may include family vacations or having older siblings home from school. You may be wondering how you can still use early intervention strategies over the summer given these changes. We have a few suggestions!
Incorporating Early Intervention While Traveling
- Share new vocabulary with your child when traveling. This may be a great time to introduce your child to new words and to connect those words to real experiences. For example, if you are traveling by plane, you can introduce words such as airplane, airport, sky, and clouds into your child’s vocabulary. By connecting words to actual experiences, your child is more likely to understand and use their new vocabulary.
- Explore new environments while working on motor skills. When traveling to a new place, you may seek out different settings. This may include a new park with different equipment than the park near your home. It may include brand new settings such as the ocean. You may still work on motor skills with your child with different equipment (e.g., new swings at the park) and diverse settings (e.g., riding the waves in the ocean).
Involving Older Siblings in Early Intervention
- Teach your older child how to work with your young child. Your older child may be interested to learn how to help their younger sibling. You may engage the older child in creating picture symbols to help the younger sibling communicate. You may also ask the older child to create an obstacle course to help the younger child’s motor skills. Your older child may enjoy playing such an active role with their younger sibling.
- Conduct early intervention activities with sibling groups. Older siblings may enjoy modeling for their younger sibling how to do an activity. This may include gliding on a swing, walking heal to toe on a sidewalk crack, singing songs, and playing a turn-taking game. By engaging the sibling group, everyone may enjoy activity while still using early intervention strategies with the young child.
Altogether, you may want to capitalize on summer weather and activities. For example, with your child’s early intervention nutritionist, you may consider new recipes that offer cold treats to your child during the hot summer months.
You may also work with your therapists to identify activities that can be done outside in the heat with your child. Identify summer activities that your child enjoys (e.g., going to the pool, writing with chalk) and work with your EI team to embed EI strategies in the preferred activities.
Summer can be a great time to change up your routine and setting as well as to introduce more people to early intervention strategies.