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!

Nurturing and the brain

People know that nurturing leads to well adjusted adults.  Studies have looked at the psychological impact of nurturing.  Now, we know that it aids leaning, too. A  study from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis shows that mother’s nurturing leads to changes in the brain.  Specifically, It leads to growth in the hippocampus which is important to learning, memory, and stress response.

Nap time

Summer is here.  That means fun, fun, fun.  Just don’t forget to schedule nap time for your toddler.  A study by the University of Colorado Boulder shows the importance of a daytime nap. Children, who missed a day time nap showed less positive emotional responses, were less likely to demonstrate they didn’t understand, and were less likely to ask for help.  A sleepy toddler will therefore be less socially engaged, less likely to cope with frustration leading to tantrums, and were less positive. Take a siesta.  You and your child will be ready for more fun!

Help your child talk: Expand for your child

Trying to help your child expand from one word utterances, then add a word.  Sounds simple because it is.  Adding a word will provide your child with a model for how to combine words.   Your little one doesn’t have to repeat after you.  Listening is his only task.  But in time, you will hear longer phrases. Here are a few examples: Child says  “up”                    You say “pick up” Child says  “all gone”          You say “crackers all gone” Child says  “shoe”                You say “shoe off”

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.

Help your child talk: Talk about what your child is doing

Last month, I wrote about talking about what you are doing.  This week, let’s look at talking about what your child is doing. When you narrate what your child is doing, seeing, or feeling, he’ll learn the words to express himself better.  Just remember to repeat, repeat, repeat.  Use shorter sentences and phrases, too.  Then your child will be more likely to use your words as his own.

Help your child talk: Talk about what you are doing

You are busy.   You don’t have time to work on language.  Well, at least you think that you don’t.    But all that you need to do is talk! To help your child, talk out loud about what you are doing.  While washing the dishes, talk about the dirty cups, soap, washing, etc.  While doing the laundry, talk about putting the items in and out of the washer, folding, the warm or wet clothes, and smells of the detergent and fabric softener.  Hate making the bed, talk about your feelings and why you complete the chore anyway. Your child will learn valuable language by listening.  Hopefully soon, they can pitch in with the chores, too!

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.

Help your child talk: Mix up a routine

Your child loves routines because it helps them know what to expect.  Use this love of routines to enhance your child’s communication. Set up a routine for play or a daily task.  During the routine, talk about what you and your child are doing.  Practice this routine, then mix it up. When you change the routine, your child will let you know his thoughts through words or gestures. Let’s look at the routine of hand washing. 1.  If you use a phrase over and over, don’t say the last word, then wait to see what your child does. 2.  Forget the soap. 3.  Give the child the towel before you wash hands. 4.  When your hands are dirty, act like you don’t know what to do. Then wait!  Your child will say or do something.  Of course, they will think you are silly!  It is so much fun to hear

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