Friday, December 16, 2016

Using Your DIY Microphone!

by Lauren Barnett, MA, CCC-SLP

Did you know that you can help your child practice speech and language skills using a pretend microphone?

You can and it's easy!

If you need an easy, DIY microphone, check out this post here!

Now that you have your very cool, DIY microphone, it's time to use it. First, I recommend a little home concert! Pick a favorite song and belt it out!! There's a lot of bonding that happens when you sing with your child!

Once you've gotten that out of your system, here are a few speech and language skills that you can develop:

  • Practicing Speech Sounds
  • Explaining the Steps in a Process/ Sequencing
  • Asking Questions
  • Answering Questions
  • Repeating Sentences

You can do it! Here's how:

Practicing Speech Sound
     Now, speech sound practice isn't always the most fun thing to do, but is super important to practice those difficult sounds (especially if your child is receiving speech therapy services) so that the difficult task becomes easier! The more you practice (and I mean practicing correctly, practicing incorrectly isn't going to improve speech sounds), the faster your child will master the sounds.

     Use the microphone to say the sound, word, phrase or sentence (depending on the level your child is currently working on). Take turns passing the microphone back and forth saying the target sound!

Explaining the Steps in a Process / Sequencing
     Being able to tell the steps in a process is a great activity for children to practice with a microphone! They can sit in the kitchen and direct you to make a snack or in the bathroom and tell you how to brush your teeth.

     Or you can do an interview of your child to see how they would do tasks. Holding the microphone up to your mouth, you could ask "what are all of the things you do wyhen you get dressed in the morning?" Then hold the microphone out to them to answer into! There are lots of things that you can ask about: brushing teeth, playing with a favorite toy, making breakfast or a favorite dinner, shopping at a grocery store or toy store, etc... You are looking for 3 steps in the process with some details about things that they need to have.

Asking questions
     This is a great one to have them directing the questions! After reading a book, you can have them ask you questions about the story. How closely were you paying attention to the story?!?! Help your child make the question using the correct words in the correct order. We struggled with "why" questions for a while here, but now I cue my son "ask me a whole question, why what?"

     You can also have them ask other people questions. "Go ask Dad what he wants to drink with dinner." or "Go ask Grandma if she wants to go outside with us." Again, help them turn the statement into a question - Grandma, do you want to go outside with us?

Answering questions
     Your child may get tired of answering "so, what happened at school today?" Right? Mine do! But this simple microphone turns it from an interrogation into an interview! My children have so much fun playing "interviewing" and it's a great way for them to work on answering a variety of questions.

     You can ask questions after all sorts of activities: after a movie, after reading a book, when they come inside from playing at the playground, when they come home from a friends house, after a trip to the store, etc... There is always so much to talk about!

Repeating Sentences
     Being able to repeat sentences using all of the words in the original sentence is a very important reading comprehension skill. It has to do with the brain making pictures of what you are saying instead of just memorizing the words. When children are good a making these "movies" in their brain, they will comprehend the story or text that they are reading or listening to. Your goal should be slightly more words in the sentence than how old your child is. For example, a 3 year old should be able to repeat a sentence of 4-7 words. A 4 year old should be able to repeat a 5-9 word sentence. Now, this does not continue to increase indefinitely! I do not need to be able to repeat a 37-40 word sentence (that would be a run-on sentence anyway!!).

Here's a little bit of how we used our DIY Microphone:

Have fun with your microphone!

Like what you've just read? Subscribe to get more great ideas sent to your inbox! I promise I won't send too often! Also, please share this with a friend who would enjoy this activity with their child! I'd appreciate it!

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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