How to Practice Language in the Car

children skating

Driving in the car is often a routine part of our day, but it can be a fun and functional way to practice speech and language skills with your child.

For Early Language Learners

Use some of these words and phrases to help you get started with practicing language in the car.

Action words: drive, stop, go, turn, sit, put on seatbelt, take off seat belt, close the door, turn on windshield wipers, turn on signal, break, look in the mirror, recline your seat, listen to the radio, watch the cars, look at the signs

Descriptive words: fast, slow, dirty, clean, big, little, colors (ex: red, green, blue), shapes (ex: triangle, circle, square)

Common objects: car, truck, bus, motorcycle, scooter, bike, road, stop sign, traffic light, construction site, bridge, tunnel, train tracks, seats, steering wheel, lights, seatbelt, mirrors, radio, doors, trunk

For School-Aged Children

Try some of these games and activities to reinforce skills that your child is practicing in speech therapy.

Play I SPY games. Your children can point to notable signs, landmarks, restaurants, and animals as you drive. This is a great way to practice sentences, direction words and descriptive words.

Ask about their day. Use quiet moments in the car to ask your child about school, band practice, or his or her best friend. This is a fun way to connect with your child and practice storytelling and asking and answering questions.

Practice speech sounds. If your child is working on the /s/ sound, for instance, give them a few /s/ words to practice in the car while you are driving (seatbelt, signal, sign, sunroof, steering wheel). This allows you to incorporate practice throughout the day.

Give these tips and tricks a try and remember to be safe while driving and talking in the car.

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Lynn Crawford M.A. CCC-SLP is a practicing speech-language pathologist licensed in the state of New Jersey. She is a certified member of the American Speech Language Hearing Association (ASHA) who obtained her Bachelor of Science degree in Speech Language Pathology at Stockton University and her master’s degree in Speech Language Pathology at Kean University.

As a certified therapist, Lynn has extensive clinical experience treating medically fragile patients with cognitive-communication and swallowing difficulties in skilled nursing facilities and inpatient and outpatient settings. She evaluates and treats patients in English and Spanish and she is a certified VitalStim provider. Lynn is also an adjunct clinical supervisor at Monmouth University. She enjoys keeping up to date on the latest clinical research and prides herself on continuing to learn and grow as a therapist. Lynn’s proudest accomplishment is her strong record of community service and dedication to helping her patients grow and reach their greatest potential.