We love summer! And we also love the beach. July is a great month to escape the city streets and go to the nearest ones! Some of our favorites include Jacob Riis Park Beach in Queens, which is a part of the Gateway National Recreation Area and a close ride away! It includes the Pitch and Putt Golf course as well as courts for paddle tennis, baseball, basketball, and volleyball. The Art Deco bathhouse is pretty cool too!
Then there is also the famous 6.5 miles of sand on Jones Beach located on Long Island. Here you can play miniature golf, shuffleboard, and basketball. Surfing and fishing is also very popular! There are various food and drink stands to choose from. We personally love taking a stroll on the boardwalk, bicycling, and going to the playgrounds. They also have an amazing program at Theodore Roosevelt Nature Center where you can learn about maritime. A nice touch is being able to attend concerts at the Nikon at Jones Beach Theater!
Also, Manhattan Beach, located in the southern part of Brooklyn. Here, there are lots of outdoor activities to choose from – playgrounds, basketball, handball, tennis, volleyball, and baseball. You can even barbeque if you wish!
And if your family enjoys taking ferries, Sandy Hook is a beautiful option – only 40 minutes away from the city! Other than swimming and sunbathing, it is perfect for bird watching, fishing, or surfing! You can even bike on the picturesque bike paths or take a walking tour of Fort Hancock. There are woodlands and wetland nature preserve areas to explore too. They also added great food trucks this year. Plus, kids ride totally FREE Monday through Friday.
And, of course, as speech language pathologists we have to sprinkle in some speech and language activities you can do with your children at the beach! Check out some ideas below…
Have a Picnic
You can have your children make a list of what the family needs beforehand and have her go shopping with you before the trip. Depending on what age he is, he can label food and ask other family members what they want. Do you want lemonade? Practice pronouns. Give HER the sandwich. You can also speak about following instructions. Put the juice-box in the garbage.
If you find an open area, this is an excellent activity! It gives your child a chance to label actions such as running, flying, etc. You can also talk about the colors of the kites as well as opposites such as high versus low. And if he is having difficulty flying the kite, it gives your child a chance to ask for help.
Grab a pail and start searching for different ones! It’s a great way to initiate conversation. Look at what I found! Once you have a bunch, you can compare them in terms of shape, size, and color. You can even create a smiley face or other designs on the sand!
Play with Sand
This is, of course, our all-time favorite – great sensory activity! You can talk about how the sand feels. Hide items under the sand and have kids explore. Talk about what you find. I found ___. If you have pails, shovels, rakes, etc., build sand castles, roads, or whatever your imagination comes up with. Feel free to even bring items such as dolls and cars to encourage pretend play, such as racing in the castle.
Beach Scavenger Hunt
Bring a book about the beach. You can also tear pictures out of a magazine or print images from the Internet. Play a game of “I Spy” where she has to look for things like horseshoe crabs, fish, sea gulls, umbrellas, towels, beach balls, hot dogs, etc. This allows her to comment. I see ____ or I spy ____.
You can really do this with any game or sport. Practice tossing a ball back and forth on the sand or in the water. Target vocabulary like Ready Set Go!, my turn, your turn, and throw it to me!
Don’t be afraid to bring your toys into the water. It’s a great way to target prepositions. The car is UNDER the water. The ball is floating ON TOP of the water. You can also talk about adjectives: wet, dry, cold, and hot.
Happy swimming and sunbathing! Don’t forget your sunscreen!
Alpin Rezvani, M.A., CCC-SLP, graduated from New York University with a Master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology. She holds a Certificate of Clinical Competence from the American Speech, Language, and Hearing Association (ASHA). She has New York licensure in Speech-Language Pathology and earned her degree as a Teacher of the Speech and HearingHandicapped. She was an adjunct instructor at New York University and was a speech-language pathologist for the New York City Department of Education. She now practices privately and is co-owner of Gift of Gab Resources. She co-authored three chapters (Community-Based Speech-Language Pathology; Joint Action Routines; Feeding & Language Strategies for Mealtime) in the latest version of “Cutting-Edge Therapies for Autism” and is PROMPT trained. She provides speech and language workshops for families and professionals throughout New York City.
Debbie Shiwbalak, M.A., CCC-SLP, is an undergraduate of St. John’s University where she received her Baccalaureate of Arts in Speech Pathology in 1999, and is a graduate of Long Island University-CW Post Campus, where she received a Master of Arts in Speech Pathology in 2001. She holds a Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC) from the American Speech Language Hearing Association (ASHA) and is licensed by the state of New York to practice speech-language pathology. Debbie is PROMPT trained and has had 13 years experience as a speech pathologist in the New York City area and has been in private practice for 7 years. She is also the co-founder of Gift of Gab Resources. Debbie has co-authored the chapter on ‘Feeding & Language Strategies for Mealtime’ in the latest version of “Cutting-Edge Therapies for Autism”. She provides speech and language workshops for families and professionals throughout New York City.
The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the blog contributor’s. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider. Writers may have conflicts of interest, and their opinions are their own.