Schools out? – Time for a Playcation!

by Juliet Leonard
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Whether your children have been in school over the last few months, or learning at home, their routine is about to change again.  The summer holidays are here and it’s time for children to find a new occupation. There is an abundance of activities which can take place from your own home or garden to support and develop your child’s Speech and Language Development.

Imaginative play is a really important part of language development; when children play, they practise social situations and work out how they would respond and what they would say.  They learn to regulate their behaviour, to co-operate with others and to problem-solve tricky situations.  They develop their vocabulary and all this, whilst having lots of fun!

Here are some ideas for imagination activities for your Playcation.

1. The Playcation Hotel

“Welcome to the Playcation Hotel, let me take you to your room!”  Your child can simply stick numbers (or names) on all the internal doors in the house and set up a ‘reception area’, to check guests in.  Be sure to ask them lots of questions (“What time is breakfast?” “Can I have an extra pillow for my bed?” in order to give your child lots of opportunities to problem solve.  You could even make a complaint to help your child practise their negotiation skills.

2. Garden Camp Site

A summer sleepover in a tent is exciting wherever it happens.  Even more so when your child becomes the ‘camp site manager’!  It is their job to make sure the pitches are ready for campers and that everyone follows the camp site rules.

3.Estate Agents

This is a great game for encouraging categorisation and the use of amazing adjectives!

Your child can cut out pictures of houses from the local paper or from a magazine and make their own booklet of houses for sale.  They may like to group them according to how many bedrooms they have, or whether they have a big garden, or by location.  Then all that is needed is a desk and a toy phone – your child can wait for telephone call enquiries and sell sell sell!

4. The Playcation Theatre

For one night only, turn your lounge in to a stage and become the audience for your child’s winning performance!

Planning a play uses skills in sequencing, reasoning and expression.

Encourage your child to make up a story:  Who are the characters and how are they dressed?  Where is it set….what happens first…and next?  How does the story end?  What is the title of the story? Your child may want to dress up, find some props or even create some scenery.


Grandparents and friends might like to get involved with these games.  This doesn’t have to be face to face; they can phone in for a query, a reservation or a viewing!

Enjoy playing with your children this summer holiday whilst feeding their imaginations and supporting their language development.