Changing Colors: The Blog of Spectrum Pediatrics

September 21, 2015

Trick of the Trade from Jamie Hinchey, MS CCC-SLP


The start of the new school year means busy families! Many parents have asked me how they can incorporate more speech and language activities into their everyday routines. In therapy, I love to incorporate “snacktime” whenever possible. Children are often motivated by mealtimes and this is a great opportunity for social interactions. Whether it is with a group of children or during individual therapy, there are a few tricks I use to incorporate language into snack time.


  • Requesting Foods: If it is possible, give your child options of what they would like to eat to work on using their words to ask for a specific item. Depending on the age of your child, you could work on using “more” to request, or using a complete 3-word phrase such as “I want cookie”
  • Recalling Past Events: Mealtimes are often relaxing for children and may leave room for spontaneous language. This is a great time to talk to your child about what they did during the day or who they played with. This will work on recalling information as well as answering basic wh- questions.
  • Social Skills: Often times I will have snack time with a group of children to work on social skills in a relaxing, natural setting. You could start the conversation about what each child is eating and having the children ask each other about their food.

There is always a way to incorporate speech and language into your day! The next time you sit down for a meal, try using some of these tips with your child.

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