Preschool Language Activity: Goodbye Summer Collage

Preschool Language Activity: Goodbye Summer Collage

With Labor Day approaching, the summer is almost over. Sigh.

In honor of the change in seasons, I have designed an activity to bid adieu to summer.

If you have a preschooler who needs to work on his or her speech or language, this activity is perfect for targeting such skills.

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Target Age: Preschoolers (3 to 4 years old)

Goals or Purpose of Activity:

Anything you want.

I have completed this activity with my preschoolers who have articulation disorders, phonological delays, as well as language and social pragmatic impairments. It’s easily adaptable.

Some targeted areas may include:


If you’re the treating speech language pathologist, obtain the following 4 W’s from the parents:

  • What?
  • Where?
  • Who?
  • When?


Introduce the project.

  • When I’m about to do something new and exciting (i.e. attend a workshop), I like knowing what we’ll cover. Like us, children are curious and and benefit from knowing what to expect.
  • You could say: “Today, we’re making a collage.” Show them a completed collage or a picture of one. Since I already made a summer collage of my daughter, I have the finished product to show my clients. (And, yes folks, that’s her trying to eat sand when I wasn’t looking!). If you don’t have time to make your own,  feel free to print the picture of my collage to show your students.

Define the word collage.

“It’s a big picture made by sticking other pictures, photographs, stickers, or cloth onto a flat surface.”

Talk about the pictures.

  • If you have enough information from the parent (see the 4 W’s), sequence the pictures in chronological order. You can start with an event from the beginning of the summer (Memorial Day or 4th of July) and end with the most recent trip or activity (e.g. Labor Day trip to the Zoo). Talk about the pictures. Invite conversation from the child. Usually, I make a comment or two and see what the child says, and then I will ask a contingent open-ended question based on what the child has said. For vocabulary development tips, click here.

Make the Collage!

  • Start making the collage. Since the word collage will most likely be new vocabulary, repeat it often and encourage him or her to repeat it and use the word too. Give the child a choice of which paper to use: “Do you want the pink paper or the yellow paper?” I always give choices because they make the child feel important while also targeting language.
  • Paste or tape the pictures.
  • Here’s the collage I made:

Goodbye Summer Collage

If obtaining the pictures are too cumbersome that’s okay! Ask your child or student to draw a quick sketch depicting what they did during their summer vacation or have the student dictate what they did while you write it. Either way, they will have an opportunity to discuss and explain some past events and experiences.

Focus on your speech and language goals.


  • Think of a few words, phrases, or sentences that contain the target and have the child use those words when making his collage.

Vocabulary Development:

  • Repeat new words often and ask the child to repeat the target word, use it in a sentence, or ask him what he thinks it means.

Following Directions:

  • Give specific tasks to perform.
  • Such as:
  • Show me the picture of the ________.
  • Turn the picture over then give it to me.
  • Put the picture of daddy next to the picture of the sandcastle.

Narrative Development/Storytelling:

  • Scaffold. Scaffold. Scaffold.  We have the responsibility to elicit and maintain the conversation. For young children who are starting to tell stories or narratives, the adult needs to ask relevant questions and maintain the turn taking. Children may begin with a single word (e.g. beach). As storytelling abilities become more sophisticated, children depend less on the adult to scaffold. They give longer responses and will even introduce new information. Interestingly, when children start to expand their story telling they will typically give general information. Sometimes their stories may even include events that did not happen. For instance, if you asked, “What did you do at the beach?” the child may respond that he went swimming or saw a dolphin when in fact he did not. He chose to include this in his story because he knows this is something that can happen. Emerging story tellers are not intentionally trying to lie. For more storytelling tips, please see the parent guide in my book, Learning to Read is a Ball.

Joint Attention Skills:

  • Say the child’s name and point to one aspect in the picture while. For instance, “Stacey, look at the cake.” Observe if the child is looking at the cake. Once you have her attention on the cake, talk about what happened in the picture. Remember, to adjust your narration based on his or her abilities.

Attention to Print:

  • This is a fabulous activity to add in relevant stickers with letters or words that can describe what is in the pictures. If the child went to the beach, visit Michaels or Amazon and find stickers that include the appropriate vocabulary  There are so many wonderful stickers made for scrapbooking that are colorful and easily grab the attention of our children. Point to the words, letters, and tell them what it spells or what sounds they make.

My clients have really enjoyed making their Goodbye to Summer Collages. I framed mine and gave it to my parents as a gift. If you make one, feel free to share it on my facebook page!!

If you think this post will help others, please spread the word by sharing on social media. Thank you for your support.

Have an incredible school year!

Kimberly Scanlon, M.A. CCC-SLP is a speech language pathologist, an author and a mother. As the owner of Scanlon Speech Therapy, LLC, a unique boutique practice in Bergen County, Kimberly embraces individuality and treats the whole person. Her goal is to spread compassion, hope, and some speech, language and literacy tips one moment, one person at a time.  Her first book, My Toddler Talks: Strategies and Activities to Promote Your Child’s Language Development and her second book, Learning to Read is a Ball are available for purchase at online at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

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