Wednesday, October 12, 2016

How to Make an Easy DIY Microphone

By Lauren Barnett, MA, CCC-SLP

Do you know how easy it can be to create a pretend microphone for your child to use? Once your microphone is created, the possibilities are endless. We've been having so much fun!

We just survived Hurricane Matthew! Here in central Florida we made it through the storm okay, but we spent a lot of time watching the news and the weather reports. For days!

We got to watch the in-studio news reporters comment to the on-location reporters and then watch those reporters deal with the craziness of the storm (we watched one lady almost get blown away; she needed to brace herself up against a wall! She earned her paycheck that day!)

This has inspired my children do some reporting of their own. They started off using a chess piece and report all over the house about what was happening. This morphed into some great imaginative play: reporting live from Pluto (our favorite dwarf planet).

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Top 5 Ways to Build Language Skills while Playing Mini Golf!

by: Lauren Barnett, MA, CCC-SLP

Does building language skills sound like a chore to you?

You know that it is important to work with your child on language development... but sitting down doing flashcards or worksheets would make both of you miserable.

There's a better way!! You can use fun, everyday opportunities and activities, like Mini Golf, to develop your child's language skills.

Mini Golf Day was just a little bit ago, but don't worry, they open the courses all year (at least here in sunny Central Florida!!)  I took my family out to do a little language building and club swinging and we had a great time.

Some of the skills we reviewed once, other's we needed to talk about on every hole (obviously we'll need to keep working on it!)

It all started with a little alligator feeding! We discussed the sizes of the alligators and worked on decision making. Which alligator would you feed?!

From there, we selected our golf balls. This was a great opportunity to talk about colors. I was soooo drawn into the large bowl of colorful balls. They were beautiful! I had to select the red one!! I love red!

Then, we went over the rules. We discussed what the rules are and why they are important! Rule following is a very important language skill, from simple one step directions ("put that ball down!" and "stay out of the water!!") to more complex directions ("put the ball down then step up to it so that it sits between your feet"). There are lots of opportunities to work on all kinds of directions when you are playing mini golf!

One of my favorite things we did while playing mini golf was the scavenger hunt challenge they have for a prize at the end. On the score pad there is a little list of things to look for while you play. Not only does that work on long term memory (you have to remember to look), but it's a great way to have a vocabulary lesson! We talked about shields, mummies, jewels and canoes!

Every hole has the opportunity to talk about location concepts (also known as prepositions or prepositional phrases). We putted our balls between rocks, around tree, under waterfalls and over hills. And we got to practice saying the phrases, too! "NOOOO!!! Go AROUND - AROUND - AROUND the rock!!" Too bad the balls did not listen very well. Sigh!

But the skill that we worked on the most was a social skill - self control. Each time Big Sister approached the ball, she'd walk up, swing wildly and then get frustrated that it didn't go where she had hoped. So we got her to slow down, stand still for a few seconds to line up the ball, swing the club back with control and follow through.  It was hit-or-miss on whether or not it actually went where she wanted it but it was closer to where she wanted!

So, from decision making, colors, rule following, location concepts and self control, plus just good ol' fashion fun, there's so much language you can do while you play mini golf!

Are you ready to go mini golfing with your kids? Let me know how it goes and what language skills you work on!!

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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