How to Incorporate Listening & Spoken Language (LSL) into Summer Activities
At CCHAT, the success of our program stems from the tremendous support we receive from parents and family members:
- During the school day, we guide our students through carefully structured curricula designed for their unique needs.
- On nights and weekends, the learning continues as students apply these lessons at home under the guidance of their family members.
This process unfolds naturally throughout the school year—but it becomes much harder to manage during the summer when structured Listening & Spoken Language (LSL) learning stops. And this is why – as a parent – it’s important you consciously explore ways to incorporate LSL into as many summer activities as possible.
Below are some low-cost but effective ways to engage your child and encourage him or her to communicate confidently – even when school isn’t in session.
1. Summer Reading Lists
Regardless of hearing ability, reading is an essential communication skill. And summer is the perfect time to catch up – especially on those hot, muggy days when you don’t feel like going outside.
If you’re not sure where to begin, we’ve recently published a list of age-appropriate books that are tailor-made for children who are deaf or hard of hearing. For the best results, we recommend discussing every book to go over themes, challenges, and any unfamiliar vocabulary.
2. Local Library Activities
Your local library is a great place to pick up some of the above books (for free). But many libraries throughout Sacramento also regularly host activities throughout the summer as well. These are ideal opportunities for continued growth as your child learns to practice reading out loud and socializing with his or her hearing peers. Some of our top picks include:
3. Scavenger Hunts
Everyone likes a good scavenger hunt! In a bustling city like Sacramento, there is no shortage of interesting and exciting things to explore. But we’ve found that the most enjoyable scavenger hunts follow the template below:
- Collaborate together and make a list of items to hunt.
- Focus on nature landscapes rather than urban ones.
- Take pictures of what you find so you can discuss them later on.
- Make the hunt competitive by creating 2 or more opposing teams.
4. Lemonade Stands
Lemonade stands are a summer cliché for a reason. They help children master essential business skills like supply, demand, inventory management, and pricing. They also help kids brush up on crucial math skills that often fade when school’s out for the summer.
In addition to mastering essential entrepreneurial skills, running a lemonade stand can help even the shyest kids build confidence as they interface with busy, thirsty customers.
5. Local Farmers Markets
The Sacramento area is blessed with tons of stationary and floating farmers markets. Each one of these is an opportunity to:
- Learn about sustainable food production.
- Become familiar with exotic fruits and vegetables.
- Discover new areas and local businesses.
And, the benefits continue if you incorporate whatever ingredients you buy into healthy and delicious meals together.
If you have the space, we can’t recommend gardening enough. This is true even if no one in your family has a “green” thumb.
Gardening offers numerous chances to identify plants and how to properly care for them. Again, even if you have no idea what you’re doing, gardening is still a win-win!
- Failed crops offer learning experiences that you can discuss together (and fix in the future).
- Good crops lead to healthy meals that you can cook together later on.
7. Local Zoos
Sacramento is full of zoos, petting farms, and aquariums – designed for children of all ages. By visiting any one of these, you and your child can enjoy opportunities to:
- Identify animals by sight.
- Mimic the sounds they make.
- Guess what foods they eat.
- Learn about their habitats.
8. CCHAT Summer Camp
Every year, we host a 20-day extended year program designed to help children who are deaf or hard of hearing continue learning in a less structured environment. And because these summer camps are open to all kids, your own child will have opportunities to explore the world and socialize with his or her hearing peers.
This year’s theme is the “Zoo” – which meshes nicely with Activity #7 on this list.
Enrollment is still open for a limited time. So if you’d like to register your child, contact us today.