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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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.

What are blocked and random practice?

Blocked and random practice are terms used in apraxia therapy.  Here is a quick explanation of these practice types. Blocked practice is repeating the same word again and again.  This is best to establish a new motor pattern. Random practice is saying different words.  This supports retention and transfer of a motor plan.

Help your child talk: Don’t anticipate your child’s needs

What?  Don’t anticipate my child’s needs? You are a great parent and do a fantastic job of meeting your child’s needs.  That begs the question, “do you anticipate your child’s needs too often?”  If you do, you may limit the chances your child has to tell you, in words or gestures, what he needs. If your child always gets what he needs, he won’t have any reason to express his desires.  He can just sit there and get a drink.  Why would he point to his cup  or say “water”? To help your young child use his words more, don’t anticipate his needs.  Forget to give him a spoon, don’t open the bubbles, or give him an empty cup.  Wait and see how much your child wants to say.  He’ll tell you what he wants.

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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