Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Balls, Balloons and Bubbles - Balloon Games



Balloons are a great way to practice speech and language skills. As a matter of fact, I usually keep a balloon in my wallet to pull out at any time we have some waiting time and I need to keep my kids entertained! They take up very little room and bring a lot of bang for the buck (or pop for your pennies, since they are so reasonably priced!).



Body Parts
We work on language skills like body parts by trying to hit the balloon with different parts. For one round, use your hands, then try elbows, head, shoulder, knee, toes, or any other part you can think of (some would be more challenging like "hip"; and some I wouldn't try, like eyelashes...but do what you think would be fun!)

"Up!"
You can work on simple directional terms like "up" or "down" by saying where the balloon is going each time you hit it.

"Uh-oh!"
A beginning sound that you could model is "uh-oh" (like something is wrong) each time the balloon touches the floor. You could also work on the phrase "fall down!" or "oh no!"

Categories
This would be a game for older kiddos. Pick a category like colors, animals, foods, etc... and each time you hit the balloon you name an item in that category. Once you cannot think of a word, you switch categories.

Counting
Play a game like Keep It Up where you hit the ball into the air over and over trying to keep it from touching the floor. But each time you hit it up count to see how many times in a row you can do it. If your child is young, try to get them to count with you. Toddlers can learn to count to 10. Three year olds can count a little higher. Work on counting to 20 with your four and five year old.  Children work on counting to 100 in kindergarten. That being said, I usually work on adding two or three numbers to what a child already does. So if your child doesn't count at all, start with 1-2-3! If he can count to 10, add 11-12-13! It doesn't matter what age your child is, just build on the skill that is already there :)

Turn Taking
This is more of a social skill than an expressive language skill (like those above) but it is an important skill. Kiddos would rather it be their turn every turn during a fun game like Keep It Up. So this is a good one to work on "your turn" "my turn" practice. If your child tries to go twice in a row, you grab and hold on to the  balloon and talk about it. Talking about taking turns in the moment is a good way to teach and model this skill.

Speech Sound Practice
This is one of my favorites. It's fun and encourages lots of repetitions of the same word without it seeming like lots of repetitions. Start with your list of words or pictures and pick something to say. Toss the balloon into the air and each time you bop it back up you say your word (or phrase or sentence).  Play continues with that word until it touches the floor or another "off limits" area like a table or couch. Parents can cause the round to end more quickly (in order to work on a new word) by hitting the balloon in the direction of the "off limits" area and the child can protect the balloon from going there. This adds another element of fun to the game.


Balloons are so much fun! They are cheap and easy to carry with you all the time. Please, though, be careful with balloons. They do pop and can pose a choking hazard. Always monitor your children around balloons!

So, stop by the store and pick up a pack of balloons! Have fun with these games!



Disclosure: Some of the links in the post above may be “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Please know that I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Balls, Balloons and Bubbles - Football Fun



It's fall which means fall decorations, pumpkin treats and football! Lots of place give away footballs as marketing tools or you can find them at most big retailers. They come in all colors and sizes. And they can be used for a ton of speech and language therapy activities!


Football Fun with Prepositions!
One of my favorite Football Fun games is to toss the ball towards a chair then work on using simple prepositions: under the chair,  on the chair, near the wall, in front of the chair, behind the chair and if you have two chairs: between the chairs!

If you want to work on your child's understanding of prepositions, challenge him to get the ball to land in a specific spot. This can be very difficult but leads to lots of opportunities to use prepositions. "Oh man! We were trying to get the ball on the chair. Look, it landed under the chair. Let's try again!" Bean bags sometimes work better for this as they will stay where they land, but that's for another post!


Football Fun with Speech Sounds
Another Football Fun Game to work on speech sounds is to say your word when you catch the ball. Throw it to the other player. Then when the other player catches the ball they say the word and throw it back to you. When you catch it this time you say the word in a phrase and throw it back. If you both have said your words correctly you can shout "touchdown!" Do a little dance, too!

So, it would sound like this:
     You: "mouse" throw ball
     Child: "mouse" throw back
     You: "little mouse" throw ball
     Child: "litte mouse" throw ball
    Both: "touchdown!!!"


You could even go as far as using the word in a sentence! Or you could just do words. It all depends on what level your child needs to work!

Have fun, some Football Fun!

Want more fun speech and language activities? Let me know how I can help you and your child! Contact me!



Disclosure: Some of the links in the post above may be “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Please know that I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Monday, October 6, 2014

Balls, Balloons and Bubbles - Bubble Blower

speech therapy, language therapy, body parts, bubbles, following directions, language skills



Bubbles are fun for kids and adults! One of my favorite features, as a speech therapist, is that they run out of bubble juice and the child needs to ask for more. This leads to high motivation to practice whatever speech or language skill we are addressing!


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Balls, Balloons and Bubbles - Ball & Cup Game




This simple ball game can be used to work on a variety of speech and language skills, many of them at the same time!

This was one of the best $3 purchases I've ever made. Each cup was $1 and the ball was $1, too! Plus the ball lights up. So cool! You can purchase any theme cup you want or use some cups you already have at home.

I used a few different levels of play for the kiddos that I work with. In all of the versions of the game each player has one cup and the adult starts with the ball. This game would work for a small group or family to play together, as long as each player has their own cup!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Back to School Therapy Openings Available



Wow, I love back to school! Not only do I love buying school supplies, but the whole great-photo- opportunity-in-cute-outfits thing just pushes me into a whole new level of excitement!

See that little one on the left, he's my son and boy is he growing up fast! We made the decision to have him go to preschool 2 days a week. He loves it. He thumps his chest signing "backpack" every morning and sometimes throughout the day. He's really getting into this big boy thing!

But with him in school, I have some openings on Monday morning from 9:30-12:00. If you are in the central Florida area and are looking for a speech therapist, give me a call!


Not sure if you need a speech therapist? Or wondering if your child's skills are on track? I'd love to talk with you about any questions or concerns you may have.

You can contact me here!





Disclosure: Some of the links in the post above may be “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Please know that I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Balls, Balloons and Bubbles - Beach Ball Bowling



I occasionally have families tell me that their child "won't do homework" with them. It usually is such a surprise to me as those same kiddos typically do the activities in speech with minimal redirection and with much excitement.

I want to share some of my favorite activities using simple everyday items. Let's start with the humble beach ball!

Last week, one of my kiddos spotted some bowling pins in my office. I had planned on using the beach ball for a ball-toss game, but since I love developing new activities and my theory on therapy is child-directed activities, I though "perfect! Let's do it!" Thus we created Beach Ball Bowling!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Identify the Signs FREE Booklet



I am so excited about this booklet that I've created as a FREE resource for you! As you may know I have partnered with the American Speech-Language Hearing Association's campaign to educate the public about the early warning signs of communication disorders. See more of what I've blogged about here!

Early identification and intervention are huge factors in helping shorten treatment duration and reduce overall costs for individuals and society.

Speech pathologists reported that 64% of parents of young children do not know what the warning signs are! Yikes! In addition, they reported that many families can take up to 2 years to move from recognizing a speech delay to working on treating it.

Make sure that you know what to look for!

Are you ready to get your FREE booklet? Get it here!


Disclosure: Some of the links in the post above may be “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Please know that I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
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