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.
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!
March is National Reading Month, so to celebrate raising awareness of this crucial life skill we’ll discuss the links between speech and language development and early literacy skills. A number of skills that would fall under the speech and language umbrella are enormously important to the development of early literacy. What can parents can do to promote early literacy in their children, from 12 months (or even earlier!) through pre-adolescence? We’ll discuss that too. You may already actively do some or all of these things with your child(ren), but let’s explore some evidence-based lessons as you continue to stimulate your child’s reading development. Learning to read and to ♥ love reading ♥ is a childhood-long project for both children and parents and the work you do as a parent and this post aims to be another support for this noble endeavor.
After the candy—never forget the candy—our favorite part of Halloween is the sounds. From ghostly “boos” to sickening “slurps,” Halloween is a time when kids and grown-ups get to dress-up, be silly, and make some extra-goofy noises. For kids in speech therapy, Halloween “sound science” activities are a great way practice new sounds and skills. And, they are also a cool way for the whole family to have even more fun experimenting with the chilling, spooky, and goofy effects sounds can produce.
Those first leaves are starting to turn (depending on where you in the country you live of course!) and you’re starting to notice the trees on the side of the highway hinting toward an imminent fury of color. Your kids are nearly frothing at the mouth with excitement for their favorite candy-laden holiday. They have indicated which superhero or character from Disney’s Frozen they want to be — and changed their mind at least once. You have already scouted the best deals for costumes and that mega pack of candies. How we can harness this uniquely motivating holiday to further enhance our home-based treatment outcomes and get your child through his or her speech goals as efficiently as possible? Here are three Halloween language activities and games to get you started:
Build Reading Skills. Studies have shown that the most enthusiastic and voracious readers received early introduction to reading at home. Encourage your child to make reading a part of every day life by adding a few simple steps to your daily routine. If you are modeling reading at home, it’s likely your child will follow your footsteps and learn to love to read. Of course, they don’t need to read the Wall Street Journal, but by offering a wide variety of reading material around the house, your child will be encouraged to pick up a book and start making reading a habit.
School’s Out! Summer is here … ready or not! For many families with school-aged children, summer’s easy schedule is a welcome break from those early school mornings: alarm clocks, lunch-making, carpools, homework. But, for families who still crave a bit of a schedule and structure, summer can be somewhat anxiety-producing. Fear not. During the next few months, we’ll be keeping our blog chock-full of ideas for activities you can do with your children to keep them entertained (and continue that positive speech and language therapy momentum your child has made this year).
Here are some suggestions for online games for speech therapy!
Did you know that some of our old favorite board games are also great speech therapy tools? Yes, that’s right! You can help improve articulation and speech skills while enjoying quality time with your child. As we finish up Spring Break, (or some of us are just beginning), we are sharing with you some of our favorite classic children’s games that can also be used to teach new speech skills. The games that we have listed provide good opportunities for meaningful language, speech and social learning.
Hint hint…also a great addition to the Easter Basket!
Online games and resources are excellent tools to help children build language and vocabulary skills and prepare them for reading and speaking success for the future. Using the computer to access online resources, children of all speaking abilities can develop vocabulary skills, learn to distinguish certain sounds, begin to recognize letter shapes and their sounds, learn to follow directions and learn basic building blocks in sentence formation. Yes, the games and activities are so fun and you may not think they’re actually learning – but with our recommendations, rest assured these sites are teaching children skills for building language skills and future effective communication.