Sunday, December 21, 2014

25 Books of Christmas - Christmas Hunt


We enjoyed this book so much more this year! Little W had gone to bed as we were out quite late. So it was just Big Sister and me.

We spent a little bit time reading the story, but mostly we spent time looking for the hidden pictures! We used good language skills to describe the little pictures we were looking for. We looked for a light brown suitcase with 4 stickers on it and a purple present with yellow stars and red ribbon tied up in a bow.

If we found an object that was similar we would discuss the similarities and differences. Like oh that's a star and it's yellow but it's center is missing and we are looking for a yellow star that is solid with a rainbow tail.

We did not read the whole story, it would have taken quite a while. But we enjoyed it for a little while as we did our bedtime reading routine.


To read our mini-review of this book from last year, click here (book 22).


To get your own copy of this book, you can purchase it here:



If you like hidden pictures or where's Waldo type books, this would be a great book to add to your collection!

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.”

Saturday, December 20, 2014

25 Books of Christmas - Clifford's Christmas Present




Wow! We really enjoyed this book this year! Both kids got excited about lifting the flaps! Little W just lifted the flap and was excited about the fact that there was a picture under there! Big Sister had a good time looking for the answer to the question in the story.

It turned into a competition! Who could find the "right" picture under the flap. Obviously it was total luck but they enjoyed the game :)

This is a great book for answering questions: What would Clifford like? A bone! Where is the tape? Under Clifford's tail. What is Mrs. Howard doing? Making cookies!

So fun! We even asked other random questions, like what do you think we should give to Precious (that's the grandparent's dog)? or What do you think would be fun to do in the snow?

Instead of rushing through the story, we slowly went through each page. Everyone had a blast!


To read our review of this book, click here (book 14).

To purchase your own copy of this book, click below:




We have begun to love Lift-the-Flap books! Do you have any favorites?

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.”

25 Books of Christmas - On Christmas Morning




Little W was in a very silly mood during book time tonight. He was "reading" the book by putting it right up to his nose!

This is a sweet story about a family getting ready for Christmas morning by completing traditional activities like baking cookies, hanging lights and wrapping gifts. On Christmas Eve, the family stops to read the Christmas story.

The story is written in a poem style and has wonderfully engaging illustrations.

We talked a lot about colors: white snow, green tree, red wrapping.

In one part of the story, the family visits less fortunate neighbors. I like that they brought it from commercialized Christmas to a service oriented Christmas and reminded us that Jesus is the reason we celebrate.

If you would like to purchase your own copy of this book, click on the book below:






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.”

25 Books of Christmas - Corduroy's Christmas Surprise




We've been in a "talk about actions" kind of mood around here! Little W is beginning to combine words and a good way to increase the length of a child's statements is to add an action word to a noun (either action-noun or noun-action! for more information check out this post here).

So, as we went through Corduroy's Christmas Surprise we talked about all the things that Corduroy was doing. Even the first page gave us a good idea of what the book would be about "Corduroy's list of fun things to do at Christmastime went on and on and on." A book full of actions!

We did some paired reading with Big Sister, where I would start the sentence and she would finish it. Paired reading typically works best with rhyming books that are very familiar to the child. However, in this story there are some sentences that can easily be completed by using the picture. I would start the sentence "He had little gift for his guests, so he pulled out the -" and I pointed to the wrapping paper, the tape and the ribbons as Big Sister named them. On another page she finished the sentence: "and they were -" singing!

Not the perfect book for paired reading but it worked for us.

To read our review on this book, click here (book 15).

If you'd like to purchase this book for your own library, you can get it here:




Enjoy this heartfelt story about generosity and friendship!

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, December 17, 2014

25 Books of Christmas - 12 Dogs of Christmas




I got to go on a date night with my husband! Yea! We had a great time at his work Christmas party. And the kids got to hang out with Mimi :)

I gave her the book that they could open and read together. I knew that I wanted it to be a successful reading adventure, so I snuck a peak at which books were left and choose this one.

When someone is doing something for the first time, or in this case the first time in a long time, it's important to set them up for a positive experience. I let her know that naming the dogs and having fun reading was all that she needed to do!

She reported that they had a great time!

If I had been reading it with them I would have also included actions and possibly prepositional phrases. Each page has a dog or a few dogs doing something. This would be a great book to use to work on naming actions - some familiar and typical for dogs like sleeping or sniffing, and some are not typical dog actions like tight rope walking or wrapping gifts. Super fun!

If you work on prepositions you can name what is on, in, under, over, behind or in front of objects in the pictures! There are tons of simple pictures that you discuss.

Or this is a great book to leave with the babysitter so you can get out of the house... Whichever you do, read it or let the babysitter read it, I know your child will love it!


To read our mini review of this book, click here (book 20).

To get your own copy of this book, you can purchase 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.”

25 Books of Christmas - Mickey Mouse's Santa's Helpers




The weather was perfect for a fire. So we decided to bundle up and head outside for our story time tonight! Changing the location of where you read can add a special element to story time, but it can also be disruptive to your child's expected routine. When routines change you should expect things to go less smoothly.

Little W was totally distracted by all the cool things outside and the story is very wordy so we let him listen (if you can call it that!).

For Big Sister we did some predicting "what do you think they'll do now?" and problem solving "what would you do if..." as well as some open ended type questions "I wonder what job I would have if I got to be one of Santa's helpers?"

She wants to be the one who makes skateboards.

Our focus tonight was spending time together. We read, we snuggled and we quietly watched the fire. It was one of our best nights yet!


To read our review on this book, click here (book 13).

To purchase your own copy of this book, click 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.”

25 Books of Christmas - The Night Before Christmas


These two tiny books were a delight to read again this year! And although it seemed that there were quite  few words on each page, the poem rhythm kept Little W's attention and Big Sister loved hearing the story again. Who doesn't love the whole poem starting with "Twas the night before Christmas...!"

We did a combination of acting out the story (readers theater style) hanging stockings, laying our finger "aside of our nose" and calling out "Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!" as well as pointing to body parts.



It's amazing how many body parts are listed in this poem: head, eyes, hoof (we talked about our feet and how reindeer feet are called hooves), dimples, cheeks and nose. Theres mouth, chin and of course my favorite: Belly! which shook when he laughed like a bowlful of jelly! I then got to tickle my kids bellies until they laughed!



It was great! We had so much fun with this classic!


After that we put Little W to bed and Big Sister and I read The Night Before Christmas in Florida. Last year she was familiar with a few of the local cities and attractions, but this year we were able to stop and talk about so many more!

Each time a familiar location or attraction was mentioned we paused and talked about it. "Oh, that's where the shuttle launches from, remember we saw the rocket go up the other day?" or during the part where Santa visits Disney we talked about how we are getting tickets to Disney for Christmas this year and how excited we are to go on specific rides or see special things at Epcot and Magic Kingdom.

If you do not live in Florida, Sue Carabine has written quite a few "Night Before Christmas in..." different states. As I have not read the others, I cannot give my opinion, but the Florida one is great!


To see our review, click here (book 5 and 6).

To purchase one or both of theses books, click the links below:

     

Here is the link to a bunch of Sue Carabine's Night Before Christmas books incase you are interested!

I hope that your family reads theses stories and has as much fun with them as we did!



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, December 16, 2014

25 Books of Christmas - The Animal's Christmas



The Animals' Christmas by Catharine Gardam was a new book for us. And we loved it. Since it was a new story and we had no idea what it was going to be about, we were able to do some predicting.  I loved asking Big Sister what she thought was happening and hearing her answers. When the animals go missing her thought was that they got eaten by each other. Then she modified her answer to be that they all disappeared. So cute!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

25 Books of Christmas - The Very First Christmas



Well, we are really getting into the opening of the books. So much so, that when I realized which book it was I got a little nervous and said multiple times "be very careful!" That book is older than I am!

I think that we need some more interactive pop-up style books. Both kids enjoyed reading/listening while I moved the pages to show off the popped-up scenes. And they loved moving the moveable pieces (like the guard's arm).

25 Books of Christmas - Baby Jesus is Born




This is a poem style book that had way too many words for Little W.  One of the most important keys to successful reading with children is picking books that are developmentally appropriate.  For a 22 month old, every page should have anywhere from one word to one short sentence. This book is much more appropriate for Big Sister, age 5, with a handful of long, complex sentences.

Actually, the back of the book indicates that the interest level is ages 5-9, which makes a lot of sense. I like to look up developmental information about suggested age ranges, that is a good technique for knowing if a book is appropriate, but you can modify favorite books to make them simpler for children who are younger than the suggested age.

25 Books of Christmas - Stories of Santa



This was the second book in our double header tonight. Unfortunately, Little W needed an emergency outfit change in the middle of reading tonight so, we dressed him in his pjs and went ahead and put him to bed.

I loved reading this book again this year and since we have been listening to all Christmas music all the time on the radio, the two featured songs in this book are very familiar to Big Sister.

25 Books of Christmas - The Nutcracker




Why do we read with children? Why do we read as adults? For entertainment? Yes. For education? Yes. But one of the most important reasons we read is that it is not possible to go everywhere in the universe and to see everything, so we need books to take us there. Books expose us to new places, ideas, concepts, people.

Books also provide a firm foundation that we can build upon. It gives children the opportunity to be introduced to - well, to anything!

In this story, Big Sister was introduced to how children and families celebrated Christmas in the early 1800s. Many of the tradition were familiar like the concept of giving gifts, beautiful decorations and celebrating with family and friends. Some things were new like waltzing at the party or calling Santa "Father Christmas" or having actual candles on the tree instead of electric lights.

This is not a read-it-in-one-night kind of book. It's a chapter book, and with a new book each night, we've not gotten very far in the story, but she is really enjoying it!

One of the "building on" things that we were able to talk about was an American Girls book about a girl named Samantha. We read all of the books in the Samantha series because we loved them so much! In one of the books, they celebrate Christmas. So we talked about how some of the traditions that Maria (from the Nutcracker) and Samantha (from the American Girls) had were similar to each other's and to our own. We discussed how they were different. It was a great conversation.

This book it definitely too much for Little W, but (had he been awake) this book has beautiful pictures that we could name and I could briefly tell the story as we quickly flipped the pages. Again, it's just an introduction.

If you would like to have a copy of this beautiful book for your Christmas collection, you can purchase it here:



A great extension idea, to keep building on this base, would be to find video clips of the ballet on Youtube and watch it together. I am excited about doing this!

The American Girl's book can be purchased here:



Regardless of which books you read, enjoy talking about traditions with your child! Talk about the things that you did as a child that are the same and different than how you are doing them now!

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.”

25 Books of Christmas - The Christmas Story




We did a double header this night! We had a very busy weekend so we needed to do two books in one night. While this is fine for Big Sister, Little W cannot sit through two long books. Live and learn!

Our first book was The Christmas Story with Ruth J Morehead's Holly Babes. Little W loved the little babies on all of the pages!

Friday, December 5, 2014

My WESH2 CW 18 TV Interview

Wow! I had such an amazing opportunity to share with Central Florida viewers some current research  about children with communication disorders as well as a little about ASHA's annual convention.


Check it out!



I was nervous, but so excited about this opportunity! What an honor to talk about this with the audience of WESH2 CW18! Thank you for inviting me to your program.


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.”

25 Books of Christmas - Sparkle Fun! Christmas Shapes


It's working well - each night one of my kids picks the book and the other gets to open it. It was sweet, Little W picked a book tonight, and was so excited to give it to Big Sister! I think this is good preparation for Christmas gifts!

We enjoyed exploring this book tonight. Since it is almost a word-less book (there's only one word on each page - a shape), it practically invited us in to explore it.  We used our own words and imaginations. We touched and pointed and moved the book (to make it sparkle).

With Little W (age 22 months), we talked about the shapes, body parts (a circle shaped reindeer nose) and colors. For Big Sister (age 5 years) we pretended to open gifts and tell what was inside and we talked about what would be written in a Christmas card (on the rectangle page). We also talked about shapes with Big Sister and introduced the shape: Cone.


Today, one of my clients had a great book and was really excited to share it with me: Counting Christmas by Karen Katz. We used that book to talk about vocabulary (like  "hearth"), use our imaginations, talk about synonyms (like "drowsy-sleepy") and prepositions. In the picture below, we created a hearth that matched the one in his home and then like the story said, we put things above/over the hearth. Because we are working on other prepositions we also put things "on" the hearth. He loved this activity and we used a lot of specific language concepts!




To see our review of the Sparkle Fun! Christmas Shapes book, click here (book 7).

To purchase a copy of the second book for your home library, check out this link (I couldn't find the Sparkle Fun book for sale online, sorry!):



As simple as our book (Sparkle Fun! Christmas Shapes) is, we used a lot of language as we explored each page. I hope that you find a similar book to enjoy with your child!



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.”

Thursday, December 4, 2014

25 Books of Christmas - Bethlehem Night (and what to do when reading isn't working!)




I missed tonight's book Bethlehem Night by Julie Stiegemeyer.  :( This is a beautiful book with wonderful illustrations. I like the flow of the book and all of the rhyming phrases.

But I missed it. It did however, give my husband the opportunity to read with the kids, which I love.

When I asked what language skills he worked on while he read, he blinked and looked at me. Then he replied, "I was just glad to get through the book with Little W wiggling like crazy."

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

25 Books of Christmas - Christmas with Boz




This is one of my favorite Christmas books - Christmas with Boz by Mark Bernthal. I think it is so special because it was a Christmas gift from Big Sister's first teacher, Mrs. Davis. But I love the message of the book, too.

Tonight we talked a lot about traditions. The book talks about traditional Christmas activities like decorating the house, playing in the snow, eating cookies, drinking hot chocolate, wrapping gifts and singing carols. We talked about the things that we do as a family.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

25 Books of Christmas - Santa, Christmas Jingles



Tonight we opened Santa, Christmas Jingles illustrated by Janet Samuel.

This was a great book to open tonight! Although at one point I was not sure if Little W was actually going to open it or just shake it to make it jingle. After much encouragement and a little help he did open it and was so excited about the jingle bells he did not want to sit down to read the book.

I was thinking, how in the world am I going to work on language and speech skills if he won't sit down, but was pleasantly surprised when I opened the book and read: "... they were all dancing and prancing and chatting and laughing..." Perfect! Action words!!

Monday, December 1, 2014

25 Books of Christmas - Let's Peek in Santa's Sack




I decided that since it was such an exciting opportunity for the kids, I couldn't let one pick and open the book while the other stood by and watched. So for December 1, I let Big Sister decide if she wanted to open the book or pick the book. She decided to let Little W pick the book and she got to open it!

Typically our night time routines are done separately so I don't have to try to figure out what to ask a 1 year old and a 5 year old. But, this is the challenge for the season! I want to try to do something for both. So here goes...


Books in general will teach many concepts, including turn taking, waiting for a process to be competed (wait until mommy reads all of the words before you turn the page!), listening to the story, answering questions, asking questions, sequencing, I could go on and on.


We read Let's Peek in Santa's Sack (illustrated by Dora Leder) (mini review Book 17)

For Little W, age 22 months, we worked on allowing him to turn the pages when it was the right time, point to pictures that we named and name objects on the page. I'd like to say that he sat nicely and read with us, but not so much. It takes a lot of work sometimes. But it's important to keep at it!

For Big Sister, we worked on predicting skills which this book naturally lends itself to with each peek a boo window. We also worked on vocabulary (more difficult vocabulary than we did with Little W). But we spent most of the time getting her to not answer when I asked Little W a question (where is the ball? Obviously she knows where the ball is!) But this is an important skill for down the road when she knows an answer but it is not her turn to answer!


If you would like to own your own copy of this book, you can purchase it here:




Reading books with children is so important! I hope that during our next 25 days, fun and flops, that you are encouraged to read more intentionally with your child!



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.”

25 Books of Christmas - We're doing it again!



We really enjoyed the 25 Books of Christmas series we did last year (well, they didn't realize it was a series, Big Sister just thought it was cool to open up a "new" book each night) and I loved preping the books for this year with leftover wrapping paper. It made today a breeze! I wrapped a handful of books and just took the others out of the vacuum pouch I had stored them in :)


Now we are ready to go for the whole month (well, we still need a new bible...not sure what we are going to do for a new bible this year as we just got one, but I do know that I will not be adding it to the box of 25 Books - I am preemptively avoiding a meltdown like last year!).


Here's a recap of last years books (in last years order) with short descriptions of each book:

2013 25 Books of Christmas - Days 1-4 (here)
2013 25 Books of Christmas - Days 5-10 (here)
2013 25 Books of Christmas - Days 11-17 (here)
2013 25 Books of Christmas - Days 18-25 (here)
2013 25 Books of Christmas - Ready for Next Year (here)


My plan is to have my kids open and read (or listen to!) one book each night and then I'll write about what language or speech activities that we do while we read. I really hope to do a few craft activities as well... we'll see how that goes!

Ok, are you ready for this Christmas season? I'm feeling excited about this!

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, November 24, 2014

Radio Interview on WMEL AM1300

Here is my radio interview with Nancy and Paul on Crossroads radio show WMEL AM1300!


video


What an honor it was to speak with Nancy and Paul about some of the early warning signs of communication disorders. I hope that the families that were listening are able to find the resources valuable as they raise their children or think about the development of their grandchildren.



Here are the links that we talked about:



  • The American Speech-Langauge Hearing Association website: ASHA.org



There are a few moments that are difficult to hear, but with the audio paired with some photos, I think you'll catch most of what was said!




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, 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.”

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Summer Writing Series - T and J



This was the final week of our introduction to writing letters, our Summer Writing Series. I am sort of sad but it also means that school is starting at the end of this week! I can hardly believe it.  I think that Big Sister is going to have an amazing year in VPK (Voluntary PreKindergarten) and Little W is going to love his little pre-k class, too!


Here are some links you may need:
  • Summer Writing Plan (here)
  • handwriting page (here) - write "T   T   T   t   t   t" or "J   J   J   j   j   j" and be careful of all extra links/downloads. I do not like the way the J's turned out, they were missing the top line. So, she went ahead and wrote it the "way a J should be!"

Here we go!  This is what we did this week:

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Summer Writing Series - A and I



Yikes this is getting out a little late but thanks in advance for your understanding! We had  a good week working on writing the letters A and I. I am not sure why I was not worked on ealier as it seems to be a pretty easy letter, but both letters were great to practice as they are both in Big Sister's name (and she writes them incorrectly every time! Well, not any more. Now she can do a little a and little i!).


Here are some links you may need:
  • Summer Writing Plan (here)
  • handwriting page (here) - write "A    A   A   a   a   a" or "I   I   I   i   i   i" and be careful of all extra links/downloads. I was a little nervous that the Is would look funny but when I printed it out they looked just fine.


Here we go!  This is what we did this week:

Monday, July 21, 2014

Summer Writing Series - G and S



It was another challenging week with writing the G and the S, but she was more motivated as the letter S was the reason we are doing this series. But my favorite part of the week was our field trip to Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge. WOW! I hope that you read (or skip down to) that part!

In case you are new, here are some links you'll need:
  • Summer Writing Plan (here)
  • handwriting page (here) - write "G   G   G   g   g   g" or "S   S   S   s   s   s" and be careful of all extra links/downloads.

Here we go!  Here's what we did this week:

Monday, July 14, 2014

Summer Writing Series - C, O & Q




This was our first week where she really struggled to write the letters. C, O and Q were tough! Getting a smooth curve on the C and stopping where she was supposed to was challenge. Getting her O to look like an O and not like a warped scalloped flower was next to impossible! And that little tail on the lower case q - forget about it! My plan for the end of the program, right before school starts back up, is to review a favorite letter, practice a difficult letter and celebrate the best letter (formation). I have a good idea which letter (letters?) we will be reviewing as our difficult letters!

If you are new to our series (or just need the links again), here are some links you may need before you get started:
  • Summer Writing Plan (here)
  • handwriting page (here) - write  "C   C   C   c   c   c" or "O   O   O   o   o   o or "Q   Q   Q   q   q   q" and be careful of all extra links/downloads.
  • optional: wet-dry-try pdf (here)


Here's what we did this week:

Monday, July 7, 2014

Summer Writing Series - X, Y and Z




This was a fun week writing X, Y and Z. It seems like it should be the end, but we are a little more than half way through. Oh my - we are half way through the summer. Yikes! This week was extra special because we celebrated the 4th of July towards the end of the week and my husband and I had some time off so we had lots of family time.

Our field trip to see Zinnias was not what we expected. Apparently zinnias are not in season so there were none at the gardens we visited nor did a local home improvement store have them and since it was a holiday our favorite nursery was closed for the day. So we headed to a craft store and found one color of zinnias in the floral department. Thank goodness for fake flowers!



If you are new to our series (or just need the links again), here are some links you may need:
  • Summer Writing Plan (here)
  • handwriting page (here) - write  "X   X   X   x   x   x" or "Y   Y   Y   y   y   y" or "Z   Z   Z   z   z   z" and be careful of all extra links/downloads.


Here's what we did this week:

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Summer Writing Series - U, V and W



This week we worked on writing the letters U, V and W. I tried to keep it a "theme-y" as possible. Our plan was to visit a local vineyard for a short day trip so I wanted all of the activities to point to that field trip.

I know that a vineyard is not the first place you might think of as a good field trip for a 4 1/2 year old (and her 1 year old brother) but we've really been into planting and seedlings and seeds and gardening, and I was pretty sure that the vineyard would be beautiful this time of year.


If you are new to our series (or just need the links again), here are some links you may need:
  • Summer Writing Plan (here)
  • handwriting page (here) - write  "U   U   U   u   u   u" or "V   V   V   v   v   v" or "W  W  W  w  w  w" and be careful of all extra links/downloads.


Here's what we did!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Summer Writing Series - N, K & L



It was a great week writing the letters N, K and L! We had fun with our bonus writing activities too :) In all honesty, the bonus writing activities could be used for any letter and a few led to very creative writing time.

I think the thing that has surprised me the most during this brief writing introduction has been how excited Big Sister is about writing between lessons. She wants to write notes to her friends or lists of who knows what or a story about her favorite characters (which currently are Elsa and Peter Pan).


Before we get started, here are some links you may need:
  • Summer Writing Plan (here)
  • handwriting page (here) - write  "N   N   N   n   n   n" or "K   K   K   k   k   k" or "L   L   L   l   l   l" and be careful of all extra links/downloads.

Ok, here we go!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Summer Writing Series - M & H



We practiced forming the letters M and H this week and both of my children had a great time! I know that Big Sister learned a lot and enjoyed this handwriting experience and Little W, well, he enjoyed the M&Ms and the cars!

And it was an easy week. That was a surprise! We don't have many weeks that seem to flow completely smoothly, but this one did ... and it was so nice! I hope that you are having a nice week, too!


In case you are new, here are some links you'll need:

  • Summer Writing Plan (here)
  • handwriting page (here) - write "M   M   M   m   m   m" or "H   H   H   h   h   h" and be careful of all extra links/downloads.


Here we go!

We practiced H first (since I didn't have any M&Ms). Big Sister got to try out a new writing tool - paint. We do paint all the time, but we've never tried writing with a paint brush. It was a little different since you have to move you hand in a slightly different way than with a pencil. Either way, she was able to practice the strokes involved in writing our target letters.


Our bonus practice activity was driving cars on letter Hs written all over our floor. We used painters tape and made upper and lower case Hs. Then we took out all of the toys that were non-car related and let them have fun!


 The letter M was a little trickier. She struggled a little with controlling her pen to stop at the top of the line, change directions, stop at the bottom line, change directions, stop at the top, change directions again and finish at the bottom.

It always amazes me when something I think is simple, like writing an M or swallowing a sip of water, when I break it down into all of the components is really quite a difficult task with lots of little steps that must be followed for the end result to be correct. (Have you ever thought about all the things that your mouth, breathing and tongue must do in order to swallow? No? Next time you take a sip, pay close attention... you'll be amazed too!)


Our bonus activity for M was forming the letter M with M&Ms. SO FUN! We bought a small box of regular candies and let her go with using them how she would like (with the rule of "you can't eat any until you finish all of the Ms!). After that I checked them out, let her choose 2 Ms full of candies and dumped the rest in a baggie for another day.

On a side note, my original plan was to do this activity with mini-M&Ms but we could not find them at our local convenience store and it was pouring so we didn't go to more stores to find them. So, with the regular size candies, our worksheet letters were too small. It just looked like 3 lines of candies - not what I was hoping for! So, get the updated M-sheet in the packet (here).


Our adventure this week was to the Harley Motorcycle store. They got to "ride" a motorcycle and see a lot of paraphernalia. The store that we visited was at Downtown Disney and the staff was very friendly and totally ok with us trying out the motorcycles. I'm not sure how it would be at a regular dealership but it was fun and I highly recommend a visit to your local store :)






Our next set of letters will be N, K and L... come back soon to see what happened and what you can do at home, too!


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, June 10, 2014

Noooo! Walk around the puddle!



I know that you've probably said something like this "Noooo! Walk around the puddle!" just seconds before your toddler or preschool jumped right into the middle of a puddle. And who can resist? The splash! The fun! The look on mom's face!

Sometimes the call of the puddle is a stronger urge than the memory/listening skills of the child. But what if it's not?  What if your child really does struggle with the concept of "around"versus "through?" Then it is not disobedience, it's a language comprehension issue.

The words "around" and "through" are words that we infrequently say. The less often we say a word, the longer it takes for a child to learn it. Here is a great activity that I recently did with a client of mine to work on those concepts. In addition we glued pictures of cards that I shrunk on a copy machine that has pictures of "around" but just completing this simple activity will give your child a boost in the right direction when it comes to understanding "around" and "through!"

Materials:
   strips of paper (any color, any length ours were 8.5" because I cut a regular piece of paper into strips)
   stapler




Lay out all of the strips of paper and make one into a link. Then encourage your child to put another piece "through" and then wrap it "around." We also included talk about putting the ends "together."



Because it was a fun task and we were creating something, it did not seem like a repetitive drill activity. However, he was exposed to the words we were using in a real life situation more than 12 times. By about the 7th link, I would say "ok, put the paper ...." I'd pause and he would say "through!" I'd continue "wrap it ...." I'd pause again and he would complete it by saying "around." He actually picked up saying "and put it together" before I even had the chance to start it and then pause!

In the end we had a cute little necklace that had a meaningful language building activity behind it, but it also gave him the opportunity to talk to his friends at summer camp and his teacher about what he did. He used "around" and "through" a few more times in spontaneous interactions with them.

At home, your child could teach a sibling, parent or grandparent (even an aunt/uncle or friend!) about what they did.

This was a quick and fun. I hope that you enjoy making an Through & Around Necklace at home, too!




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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