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Snow Day? S’no Problem! 

Changes in a child’s environment are an exciting time and can be a great way to model new language and incorporate current speech and language goals in a child-led, play-based way.  

Outside Activities:

If you can brave the cold weather, try some of these fun winter activities with ideas for how you can work on language skills below! 

  • Building a snowman, having a snowball fight, shoveling the walk or scraping your car, sledding, going for a winter walk 

Following Directions:

  • roll a ball 
  • put the carrot on the head 
  • first, put on your jacket and then your mittens 
  • find a long stick and bring it over here 


  • Nouns: snow, snowflake, snowball snowman, eyes, nose, mouth, carrot, rocks, branch, stick, hat, scarf, mittens, boots, sled, hill 
  • Verbs: throw, roll, make, build, catch, fall, slip, shovel, scoop 


  • Size: small, medium, big 
  • Spatial: bottom, middle, top 
  • Superlatives: big/bigger/biggest, fast/faster/fastest 
  • Descriptive: hot, cold, fast, slow, wet, dry, fluffy, slick, icy, slippery 

Higher-Level Languages:

  • Making predictions (e.g., When do you think it will stop snowing? Where do you think the animals are?) 
  • Using a “snow day” as a narrative writing prompt for a story or journal entry 
  • Talking about how snow or weather changes make us feel and why.  
  • Reading about inclement weather in our area 

Early-Language Strategies: 

  • +1 (e.g., your child says, “snow!” you say “snow falling!” or “cold snow!”) – add one word to their single-word utterance to expand their phrase length. 
  • Narrate your day (e.g., First coat on, then boots. I’m wearing a warm hat, let’s find you a warm hat for your head. It’s cold outside, we are getting dressed in warm clothes, etc.) – talking about what you are doing in order to mode language in a clear, concise way and model various vocabulary. 
  • Encouraging and modeling core/high-frequency words (e.g., “help” building a snowman or getting dressed; “go” to be pushed on a sled or thrown in a snow pile; “all done” when ready to go inside) 
  • Using environmental sounds and words (e.g., wee, brrrr, wow) 
  • Singing songs and rhymes (e.g., “Icy toes, chilly nose, winter time is here, my teeth chatter, doesn’t matter, winter time is here!” – to the tune of “Jingle Bells”) 

Jillian Ankutowicz, Speech Language Pathologist, Fountain City, TN.