Mad Libs

  Having trouble getting your kids to sit down and do school work this summer?  Of course, kids don’t want to work in the summer.  Summer is about having fun.  Bring back the FUN with Mad Libs! I’m sure that you remember these from your youth.  Fill in the blanks with nouns, adjectives, and adverbs, then let the silliness ensue!  Reading these silly stories still makes me chuckle.  Kids can’t get enough and will spend hours learning.  Oh, I mean having fun!

Melissa and Doug Tow Truck Magnetic Puzzle Game

What? Cheering for a tow truck? Yes! I know. Sounds crazy, right? I live in Chicago, and typically, tow trucks are not much fun. It usually means that you missed a No Parking sign. Not this time!

Little boys love this puzzle game. They can’t get enough of the car crashes and want to help!

Hello, Animals! by Smriti Prasadam

Hello, reader! Hello, Animals! This board book has great black and white illustrations with shinny splashes.  The words are simple, repetitive lines:  “Hello, animal!”.  Each page also lists sounds related to the animal. This book is great for young children since they can say “hi” to all of the animals.  Kids also love naming the animals and imitating their sounds.  This will be a favorite!  

Happy Birthday from Melissa and Doug

Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday from Melissa and Doug. Happy birthday to you!! Every day is a party with this delicious toy.  In fact, this is my most popular toy.  My clients request it again and again.  Each time we use it, we find new and creative ways to celebrate. I use this toy to work on making requests, describing, following directions, and asking and answering questions.  Children love to decorate, cut, and serve the cake.  What great verbs…don’t forget to work on those! Since all children love birthday parties, you will be using the toy for years to come.

Where are Baby’s Easter Eggs? By Karen Katz

In this book, baby needs to find the Easter eggs. Your child needs to help!

Karen Katz brings us another great book for the Easter season: “Where are Baby’s Easter Eggs?” The repetitive lines of the story are great for teaching sentence structure, questions, yes and no responses, and spring vocabulary.

Moo, Baa, La La La By: Sandra Boynton

Moo, Baa, La La La By: Sandra Boynton is fantastic.  In fact, I LOVE this book!  Kids love it, too. It is one of the books that I always take to my first therapy sessions.  Yes, it is simple.  That is what makes it great!  It promotes interaction.  It allows the child to “read” with you by saying the animal sounds.  It is a great way to work on turn taking. I like to use it with early communicators.  The animal sounds are easier than words.  Children want to read it over and over.  They experience success and get a lot of practice. Pick up a copy.  I bet it will become a favorite.

Happy Valentine’s Day book review

Karen Katz comes through again with another great, holiday themed, lift a flap book:  Where Is Baby’s Valentine? As always, these lift a flap books are great for working on questions, answers, locations, and new vocabulary. Why not give your child the gift of time this Valentine’s Day? Read this great Karen Katz book with your little one. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Learning Resources-Smart Snacks Hide ‘N Peek Chocolates

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, I found a box of truffles that your child will love.  Don’t worry!  They won’t be climbing the walls from all of the sugar.  They will actually be sitting contentedly, playing for hours. Learning Resources-Smart Snacks Hide ‘N Peek Chocolates come with 12 pieces of candy that fit into a cute heart box.  The candies come in 6 shapes and 6 colors.  The lids come in dark and light chocolate.  Your child needs to match the shapes of the chocolates to the box then find the correct shape for the top of the candy.   You can use this toy to role play, to match, and to play a memory game. In therapy sessions, I’ve used this toy to teach manners, to work on asking skills, and to help children expand their sentence length through adjectives.  It’s great for learning shapes, colors, sizes, light versus

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Mr. Potato Head

This is a blast from the past for most parents.  Yes, you can still buy Mr. Potato Head.  He also has a wife and kids.  Mr. Potato Head’s brother, really likes Star Wars.  Mr. Potato Head dresses up for Halloween and is a super hero.  In his old age, he has become quite the Renaissance man! Mr. Potato Head is cheap and fun.  Kids love it.  I have two: a boy and a girl.  When I take them out, kids can’t get enough. This toy allows you to interact with your little one.  You can work on listening and speaking.  Your child can: name the body parts direct you to put various parts onto the potato follow directions to find parts that are placed around the room wait for a turn take a turn use describing words (blue hat or yellow hat) make choices (boy or girl, lips or teeth) answer

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The Very Sleepy Sloth

I found a great book to work on S blends:  The Very Sleepy Sloth. This cute book about an adorable, but snoozy sloth, is loaded with S blends.  Practice words like: sloth sleepy slow snooze speed strength swing spring If your little one is struggling to pronounce the S plus the other sound in the blend, try a visual cue.  Put your hand on your shoulder and slowly move it down your arm towards your hand while saying SSSSSSSSSS.  When you reach your hand, clap your hands for the next sound:  L, N, P, W, etc.   Practice the S blend words first, then try reading the book with the S blends.

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