Somewhere along the way it became November and Thanksgiving is almost here. These Thanksgiving crafts not only help your little ones get into the holiday spirit, but they are easy ways to help prepare for the holiday, too, even producing appetizers, table setting options, and decorations. Continue reading
Earth Day is almost here! Teaching your child to be eco-friendly can help them become aware of their environment and how they can make a difference in the world. Below are some fun suggestions for Earth Day activities for children for you to consider at home or at school. There are many children’s books that help children understand what it means to be eco-friendly and what Earth Day is all about. The Lorax by Dr. Seuss is a great children’s book that address environmental issues in a creative way. Other books to consider are The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein and The Earth Book by Todd Parr. PBS Kids has several other “green” reading ideas to share with your kids.
If you do end up reading The Lorax with your kids, follow it up with an art activity about planting a new tree! You can make your own tree, either through cutting out then gluing the pieces together, or drawing all the parts of the tree, from root to trunk to leaves & fruit or flowers. It’s a fun activity both you and your little one can do together and let your imagination run.
Another fun craft idea from Powerful Mothering is making a feather and pom pom tree. This activity is good for fine motor skill development in youngsters. Using piper cleaners and pom poms, your child can make their own truffula trees! The steps are simple and easy to follow.
And if your child is interested in getting down and dirty and planting a real tree, check out MillionTrees NYC. Here you can sign up to plant trees all over NYC or request a tree to be panted in your neighborhood. This is great way to get the whole family involved and discuss how trees are important to our environment, both locally and globally.
Additional Earth Day theme activities your child may enjoy include:
Super Simple Nature Prints: For this next activity, taking a nature walk or short hike with your child will be very helpful. While walking through the park, have your child gather and collect flowers, acorns, twigs, leaves, tree bark etc. Once you have gather all those things, you and your child can make nature prints using clay or play-doh.
Another eco-friendly activity that your child will love is building with recyclables. The possibilities are endless in what your little one can make by using egg cartons, plastic bottles, etc. Let your child build robots out of paper towel rolls or spaceships out of milk cartons. Want to be more creative try doing this activity- Fine Motor Play from Recyclables.
Local Earth Day activities for children in NYC:
Earth Day in Prospect Park (April 17) – There will be lots of fun interactive activities for the whole family to enjoy.
Earth Day New York 2016 at Union Square (April 17) – An annual event held at Union Square where you can enjoy live performances and interactive displays.
Arbor Fest (April 24) – Visit Queens Botanical Garden and enjoy various activities which include live music, face-painting and much more!
It’s Spring! Time to catch those leprechauns, look for gold and go on egg hunts. No doubt you’ll find many events going on around you for St. Patrick’s Day (March 17th) and Easter (March 27th). But just in case you’re looking for some spring activity ideas, here are some fun St. Patrick’s Day and Easter themed activities you and your little one can do together.
New York City is home to a wide variety of museums—from science museums to art museums to history museums, NYC has it all. Throughout the five boroughs you can find museums where your family can explore and learn something new. Museums are fun to visit and it’s a great way to enjoy quality time together with your family. For children, visiting museums have educational benefits that go beyond the lessons they learn in school. Visiting museums with your child can help develop his language skills and build awareness of the world around him. Many kid-friendly museums in New York City offer workshops/activities and educational events where you and your child can explore and learn something new together.
Guest Post! We’re always looking for clever new ways to keep education—especially speech education—fresh and fun at home. So when we stumbled across Time 4 Speech’s brand new subscription-based “speech activities in a box” service, we called right away to get the scoop. Amber Fisher describes how she got started.
Looking for ways to help your child with special needs accomplish their speech and language goals? Why not try music therapy? “Music Therapy is the clinical and evidenced-based use of music interventions to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship by a credentialed professional who has completed an approved music therapy program,” according to the American Music Therapy Association. Music therapy can effect changes in a child’s behavior and facilitate development in communication, social/emotional, sensory-motor, and/or cognitive skills. We got out to have some fun with special needs music therapy in NYC!
Sensory play is important for all children—not just individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Sensory play helps build language skills as well as fine motor and gross motor skills. Children with ASD often experience an inability to respond “appropriately” to sensory input, which is why they tend to have challenging behaviors or obsessions (i.e. arm flapping, avoiding eye contact, etc). Furthermore, children with ASD can have problems with social skills and speech and language skills. Most treatment options for children with ASD or with sensory dysfunction include sensory integration.
Exposure to the alphabet early on is important for young children. Knowing the alphabet and the sounds they make—letter-sound correspondence—is a step closer to learning to read and write. The letters in the alphabet are the building blocks for literacy. Children who have difficulties recognizing letters from the alphabet and/or the sounds that corresponds with the letter are likely to struggle with reading and spelling. This is one reason why children with speech and language delays tend to be at risk for reading and writing challenges. Learning all 26 letters at once can be a daunting task, especially for a young toddler; however, you don’t need to learn the ABCs all at once. Start by having them recognize the letters in their names first. There are various activities that you and your toddler can do together in order to begin helping them recognize the letters of the alphabet and the sounds they make.
Finding an afterschool program for children with special needs can be difficult sometimes, especially for children who may possess a wide range of complex disabilities. However, this should not stop you from seeking an after school program for your child. There are many after school programs that can help your child achieve their therapy goals outside a therapy setting. Talk to your child’s therapists to find out exactly what your child’s limitations are or what you can work on with your child outside of therapy. Below are just a few of the Brooklyn special needs programs that you and your child can check out — we certainly want to!
Photo from Extreme Kids & Crew
Being the proud father of two kids and the husband of someone who is very talented musically (sadly I cannot call musicality one of my talents), I have had the pleasure of plenty of children’s songs. Singing is not only fun and can connect your next generation to a vital cultural thread, but singing has been at least anecdotally linked to the development of early language skills in children. But since we happen to live in a monolingual American English household, just about all of the songs we’ve sung to and with our children, have been in English. In the vein of being a hardcore language geek who deeply appreciates language diversity, I thought it’d be fun and enriching to provide you with a compendium of classic children’s songs in a variety of the world’s languages. As you sample the linked song clips, try to identify themes in the tunes, as they compare to the songs you came to love as a child and may also sing to your children. These could be melodic themes, onomatopoeia, alliteration, or content themes. Or, you could simply just enjoy them!