We all scream for ice cream!

It’s hot out there so scoop up these cool toys for some fun. These sets are great to teach sharing and politeness.  There is a lot of vocabulary to learn:  flavors, scoops, strawberry, cone, and cup.  You can talk about your child’s play focusing on school readiness concepts like location words, number terms, and sizes.  And, if you want to speed up the ordering at the ice cream parlor, then pretend to have an ice cream parlor in your living room. Here are the ice cream sets that I enjoy using in therapy.  The kids love them, too! Small World Living Toys delivers the fun, again.  This plastic set includes 5 scoops of ice cream, 2 cones, 2 cups, and an ice cream scoop. Smart Snacks Rainbow Color Cones is sturdy and includes 8 brightly colored scoops, 2 cones, and easily wipes clean. Melissa & Doug Ice Cream Scoop Set

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Happy birthday from Karen Katz

It’s Baby’s birthday, but where is his cake?  Karen Katz brings us another great book:  Where is Baby’s Birthday Cake? This book makes learning like a party…FUN!  Kids love lifting the  flaps to find Baby’s birthday cake.  They want to hear the simple repetitive lines again and again. Use this book to address: requesting to “open” each flap asking “where” questions learning to sing happy birthday increasing vocabulary what to expect at a party

Hello, Bugs! by Smriti Prasadam

Hello, reader! Did you love Hello, Animals!?  Do you want more?  Then check out Hello Bugs! This board book follows the same format as Hello, Animals! It has great black and white illustrations of adorable bugs.   The words are simple, repetitive lines:  ”Hello, bug”.  Each page also lists sounds related to the bugs. Kids love naming the animals, saying hello,  and imitating the sounds.  This will be another favorite!  

Read it again!

I always urge parents to repeat.  Especially to re-read favorite stories.  Here is an article to back me up: “Parents urged to repeat stories“.

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!

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”

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