Category: Parent Tips

Parent Tips: Bath Time and Speech

Parents always ask me for tips to work on their child’s language skills at home.  One of my favorite parent tips is bath time!!  Bath time is a great time to work on your child’s language and articulation skills.  If you have a young child, parent supervision is already needed while they are in the tub.  So why not turn it into a language enriched time?  Here’s some tips!

Bath Time and Speech

Tips for Bath Time Speech

  1. Foam letters:  You can work on naming the letters, working on the sounds each letter makes, formulating simple words to work on articulation and literacy skills.  For slightly older children, give them a letter and see if they can come up with an animal starting with that letter.
  2. Reading:  For active kiddos, use bath time as reading time.  As they play in the water, read a short story or picture book.  For toddlers, purchase the waterproof books.

3.   Flash cards:  Use a flashcards while your child is in the bath to work on sight words, letters, math facts, articulation target words, etc!  Just be sure to keep them dry.

4.  Sequencing:  Talk with your child about what you do first (turn the water on) and sequence the steps of getting the bath ready.  Discuss what you need (towel, soap, shampoo, etc.)  Be sure to use words like first, next and last.

5.  Body Parts:  Your little one can work on body parts and following simple directions. An example of a simple direction would be “wash your feet” or “put soap on your tummy.”

Families are busy in today’s time.  Parents are more likely to use ideas that can be incorporated in everyday activities.  Bath time can be a fun and enjoyable while still being language enriched.  Have fun with it!

Needing more tips?  Here’s one!

Poppin’ Speech: Parent Tips for Practice at Home

**Please remember to provide adequate adult supervision at all times with ALL fireworks!  Please remember-do not throw the poppers at people or animals.**

Independence Day is upon us.  With that in mind, I have a fun way for parents to work on speech and language skills while popping it for 4th of July.  It’s real simple…you need “Pop Its” and sidewalk chalk.  A nice concreted place would be nice like the porch or sidewalk.  You can find these “Pop Its” at any firework stand but I found mine in the dollar bin at Target for just $1!

Articulation

So your kiddo has been working hard in speech therapy.  No speech on a holiday?  No problem!  Using sidewalk chalk, write target words on the concrete area.  You can practice as little as 5 or as many as 10.  It’s up to you!  Now give your child a “pop it” and have him choose a word to pop it on.  He must say the word 3-5x correctly before throwing it.  When you are finished, just wash the concrete off or leave it for the next day!  If you have a little one that you are not comfortable with throwing the “Pop Its,” then he can still choose the word and practice it.  But you throw the “Pop It” at the word.

Language

You can use the same set up as above but use language concepts.  Is your child working on opposites or synonyms?  Write words on the concrete.  Have your child give the opposite or the synonym before popping.  Maybe they are working on irregular past tense verbs…write present tense verbs (ex-eat, go, sit) on the concrete.  Your child must give the past tense form before throwing a popper.  You can do the same with regular past tense verbs, plural nouns and irregular plural nouns.

Have fun with it!!  Be please to remember to use SUPERVISION at all time with fireworks.  This activity is not recommended for young children.

 

Using “Flipagram” for Articulation

 I use apps for articulation therapy everyday.  “Little Bee’s Articulation Station” is my favorite!  However, sometimes I get tired of using the same pictures and words over and over.  I like to spice it up a little.  Keep the kids interested.  I had used an app called “Flipagram” before to make little videos of my kids.  Then it hit me!  This would be  great tool to use in therapy.  It would also be great for parents to use!!  Kids would be much more likely to practice words at home if it involved technology!  Parents can create custom videos for their child that is currently receiving speech therapy instead of downloading a costly app.

Articulation

Set Up

To get started go to your app store and download “Flipagram.”

Articulation Therapy

There is some legwork behind this project but if you get the kids involved, it will benefit them even more!  You will need to take pictures of the objects to use in the video.  For instance, my video has /r/ words in various positions.  So I took pictures of different things around my house that had an /r/ sound anywhere in the word.  Involving the child in this process works on bringing an awareness that their target sound appears in their environment every day!  So many kiddos don’t think about it.  Have the child take the pictures!  This will also help the child connect the target sound from the therapy room to his environment (GENERALIZATION is an important part of therapy!)  After you finish taking pictures, you can add the target word to them like I did.  I even made a cover photo for my slide show!

Ready?

Now here comes the fun part!  Open “Flipagram” and add your pictures.  It gives you the option to put them in a particular order.  Mine are not in any particular order.  Once your pictures are in, set your speed.  I put mine on the slowest so the child has time to practice the word.  “Flipagram” gives the option to add music.  I chose not to add the music because of possible distractions.  Be sure when you are finished to save it to your device!

Have fun with this project!  As you can see from my slides, I added a picture of my son “relaxing.”  (He was just so excited for Mom to take his picture.  Yes, that was sarcasm.)  Selfies are totally ok as long as you can still see the object!

Need more ideas for articulation?  Check out Flashlights and Articulation or Shaving Cream Articulation!

Six Fun Egg Hunt Ideas To Use This Easter!

Easter’s almost here and egg hunts are being prepared everywhere!  But are you tired of the same old boring egg hunt year after year?  Are your kids getting older and that simple egg hunt just isn’t fun anymore?  Have no fear!  I have come up some different ways to hunt those little plastic eggs and make it a little more fun!  Some ideas have a little prep work and some do not.

Glow in the Dark

This has been a popular one since the beginning of Pinterest.  It’s relatively easy as long as you find big enough eggs to hold a glow bracelet.  I made the mistake of buying tiny plastic eggs one year.  Break the bracelet so that it  glows.  Then place it in the egg and close it.  Hide the eggs and hunt them just as it is getting dark.  If you have older kids, they can wait until it is completely dark.

Color Sort

Here’s an easy one if you have a mix of older and younger kids.  Assign each child a color and they are only allowed to get that color!  Then everyone gets their fair share.

Movie Egg Hunt

My kids did this one year and loved it!  I bought plain colored eggs for each child.  I then wrote movie characters on the eggs with a Sharpie.  My teenage daughter loves Disney princesses so I wrote a princess name on each of her eggs.  My son was big on Pixar movies so I wrote different characters from those movies on his eggs.  Then there an “Oscar” (like the award show) egg for both kids.  This was a large golden egg with money inside.  They had to find all the character eggs before they could find an Oscar egg.  They had so much fun with this hunt!  At 15 and 10, we may do it again this year!

Flashlight Hunt

This is primarily for older kids like middle school or high school.  Hide eggs all over the yard before dark.  Bright colored eggs work best!  Then when it gets dark, give each kid a flashlight and turn them loose!

Egg Hunt Sensory Bin

This one is mostly for the toddlers and young preschoolers who may not understand the idea of an egg hunt.  It’s also great for inside egg hunts when the weather is yucky.  Use a large plastic bin and fill the bottom with Easter grass.  Add the plastic eggs, plastic shovels and even some fake flowers.  The little ones will have a blast digging for eggs!  This idea works best when it is just one or two kiddos playing in it.

Egg I Spy

Again, this idea is better with a smaller group of kids.  Use eggs with patterns if you can.  If not, it is still ok.  Hide eggs.  Then bring the kids out and play I Spy.  An adult gives the clue and the kids have to find the egg.  If you have patterned eggs, make sure to have 2 or 3 of each pattern to help make it fair.  Give a clue like “I spy an egg with pink spots.”   With solid colored eggs, hide them in different places.  Then give the kids clues like “I spy an egg where birds make their nests.”   The kids should hopefully go look in/around the tree!

Have fun with the egg hunts!  What’s a unique hunt you have been to?

Easter Basket Ideas that Encourage Language Skills

With Easter right around the corner, parents are busy preparing Easter baskets for their little ones. At Christmas time, I often get the question, “What can I get my child that help his language skills?” But I never get this question at Easter. As parents, we tend to spend quite a chunk of money on filling that basket. Only to then turn around and find most of the stuff broken or unused a week later. Why not fill the Easter basket with things your child will actually use AND reinforce good language skills?!

Easter Basket Ideas to Encourage Language Skills

Here’s some ideas to fill those Easter baskets!

  1.  Puzzles:  Puzzles are great for a variety of reasons!  Simple matching ones are perfect for toddlers.  You can use those same ones for the preschoolers to work on naming objects/animals or requesting (ie-“I want the cat.” or “I want more.”)  If you have an older child, work together on a harder puzzle.  A 100 piece puzzle will give you and your child a chance to bond and talk as well as give your child the opportunity to use more critical thinking skills.  Then glue it together and frame it!
  2. Mr./Mrs. Potato Head: What kid doesn’t love this toy? (Ok, I’ve had ONE kid that does not!)  You can use it to work on body parts, following directions, even functions! (ie- “What do we see with?”)
  3. Books:  This one is pretty easy!  Buy a book, read the story, ask questions, talk about the pictures, etc.  Great language enrichment skills there!
  4. Baby dolls/stuffed bunnies:  These are great for pretend play!  Teaching verbs in context like “Give the baby something to eat” is another great way to use the doll.  Whether it’s for a boy or girl, imaginative play is good for language skills!
  5. Playdough:  I know it’s messy but it’s so great for language.  Pair it with a handful of cookie cutters and you have instant language!  “I want the pink playdough,” “Can I have the cat cookie cutter?” are just some of the requests you might get.  Colors, requesting, question asking, sharing are skills being used during this activity.
  6. Memory Games:  You can find memory games now for super cheap!  I have found some at Dollar Tree or the dollar spot at Target.  These are great for vocabulary, sentence formation, turn taking,  and matching.
  7. Ball:  Any type of ball is great for an Easter basket.  You can use it to work on following directions (“throw the ball”), reciprocal play (rolling the ball back and forth with two people) and, turn taking.  The other added bonus is it gets kids moving and outside!  Movement is not only great for kids’ bodies but also their brains!
  8. Plastic Eggs:  You are already going to have tons of plastic eggs sitting around.  Use them!!  This idea is really great for little ones!  Take the plastic eggs apart and use them to work on matching, colors,and following directions.  Use those same eggs with your young school age kids to teach the concepts of half and whole.  Hide them and have your child tell you where each one is (“under the table,” “up in the tree”).
  9. Stacker Toys:  I love stacker toys for my little guys.  The butterfly stacker (pictured below) is a big hit during the spring.  Little ones can work on stacking, matching, requesting “more,” even eye hand coordination.

Easter Basket Ideas for Language Skills

Easter baskets don’t have to be expensive.  Many of these items were found at the dollar store.  But the basket does not have to be full of useless toys that are never used again once Easter has passed.  These suggestions are beneficial to all children, not just children with language impairments.

Wishing you and yours a happy Easter!