Indoor Picnic Activity

Depending on where you live, the weather outside might be really crummy right now, and kids (and adults!) are getting sick of being cooped up for the winter.  Get out of the winter blues by planning an indoor picnic!

BEGINNING LISTENERS

  • Knock knock knock… open!  See what’s hidden in the picnic basket

  • Spread out the picnic blanket and practice up up up… down!  For even more fun, put the baby in the center of the blanket and have adults hold the ends and make it a swing.  Can the child vocalize for action or to request more swinging?

  • Introduce beginning food vocabulary with various items in your picnic basket

  • Work on identifying familiar names by requesting that the child hand food to Mommy, Daddy, etc.

  • If you’re already down on the floor, add some turn-taking activity to your picnic by playing with a ball

 

THE NEXT STEPS

  • Introduce even more food vocabulary (remember, children with hearing loss are at a real risk for diminished vocabulary because of their reduced ability to overhear, so keep stretching to help them learn more words)

  • Give 2-3 critical element directions (“Give an (1)apple to (2)Mom,” “The (1)big (2)cookie is for (3)me”)

  • Load up your picnic basket with food items that target the child’s articulation goals or a particular phonological pattern

  • Talk about temperature- and weather-related adjectives (cold, rainy, windy, cloudy, sunny, hot, etc.) and which days are good picnic days and which days are better for indoor play

  • Ask wh- questions about preparing for a picnic (where do we sit?  what do we eat?  who will come with us?)

 

MAKE IT EVEN HARDER

  • Involve the child in planning for the picnic.  Encourage critical thinking and go beyond basic wh- questions.  Ask “real thinking” questions like, “Why do you think people go on picnics?” “What would happen if you were on a picnic and you forgot X?”  “Who would you invite to a picnic and why?”  “What if you were on a picnic and it started to rain?”  “Where would be a good place to take a picnic and why?”

  • “Going on a Picnic” is a classic game that is perfect for targeting auditory memory (“I’m going on a picnic and I’m brining X, Y, Z…”)

  • Actually cook something for your picnic

  • Learn even more food vocabulary (No word is too weird.  If a hearing child would have exposure to it, our children with hearing loss deserve the same!  Go ahead, pack a picnic with arugula, quinoa, starfruit, ladyfingers…)

  • Create a checked picnic blanket by weaving strips of red and white paper — practice prepositions like beside, beneath, under, through.  Can the child use those words in conversation to describe how to weave the blanket to a parent or friend?

 

Remember that no Auditory Verbal session is complete without a book and a song!  Here are some great picnic-related ones to try:

  • Mr. Floop’s Lunch by Matt Novak is a terrific book about a picnic with tons of Learning to Listen Sound animals, food vocabulary, and lots and lots of potential for targeting a variety of language goals

  • HERE is a huge list of picnic songs, most set to familiar tunes

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