Tag: language development

5 Tips for Language Development

Author's mother with the babies

Recently, I returned to my work with the little ones.  There is really no better feeling than figuring out the puzzle pieces of a little one and watching magic happen!  The great thing about early childhood is that once you solve the puzzle, the magic happens so quickly!  If you want to watch your little one’s speech flourish, follow these tips.

Eye contact is key Always place your child in a way that they can see your face and your mouth.  We have a tendency to place children with their backs propped on us, unless we are feeding.  Babies receive lots of social cues and signals from our eyes and focus on our mouth to try to figure out how we do that thing called speaking.  For a child 0-5 months, I like to sit with my knees bent and child leaning and propped between my knees and my thighs.  For children who are beginning to sit independently, I support the back with the heels of my feet while the child is safely supported by the circle of my legs. Read more

Tongue Tie Mysteries Revealed

Being a new mom is tough! You are getting to know your baby while everyone around you weighs in on what to feed your child, how to care for your child, and how to get your child to sleep.  Now add to this experience the fact that you know something is wrong, but everyone around you insists that you just need to relax.

Meet Kristi, a friend from graduate school and fellow pediatric speech-language pathologist.  Kristi had, like me, received some basic training on tongue and lip ties, but nothing could compare to going through the experience first hand.

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Brain Builders for the Holidays!

The holiday season is here!  It is a busy time for everyone, filled with holiday gatherings, visits from family and friends, and shopping–but it is also the perfect time for you to maximize your child’s language skills.  Here are 3 quick and easy tips for you to incorporate into the next few weeks to make sure your child continues to meet his/her speech/language goals.

1. Guess My Gift

This is a great game for children aged 6-10 and it helps with word retrieval, language processing, auditory memory, and even inferencing skills.  You and your child can take turns giving each other hints about their favorite present desires.  When I play, I tell the child that they will get 3 clues, and I try to give my clues in an organized and predictable way each time (category/function/descriptor). For example:

“I want something that is a pet. It likes to purr. It has whiskers.”

It is then the child’s turn to give you clues.  For an added bonus, you can have the child write the items in the form of a list so that they can practice writing skills as well.

2. Catalog Browse

Somehow, I am on the mailing list for every major catalog ever.  I hate to waste paper, so I like to repurpose my clothing and furniture catalogs.  With younger children (age 3-5), I like to find an assortment of pictures and have the child place into categories (i.e. furniture, clothing, toys). With my 5-6 year olds, we use the catalogs to play a game of “I Spy”.  My 6-8 year olds can use the catalogs to practice their descriptive language use by talking about the characteristics of the clothing/furniture on each page and by comparing different items in the catalog.

3. Cooking Projects

Children love to be helpers in the kitchen. Thanks to Pinterest, there are a million different ideas for every holiday, such as these dreidels or these reindeer.  You can even use cookie cutters to talk about shapes with your little 2-3 year olds!  Cooking is a great way for children to practice their sequencing skills (what comes first, next, and last)…and obviously there is a delicious treat at the end!

4. Holiday Cards

With the rise of the internet, the art of letter-writing is a dying trend.  Kids LOVE writing letters, and my students can’t get enough of addressing envelopes!  This is a great way for your school aged child to practice their spelling and writing organization.  I like to give the child a format to follow, rather than just having them write “Happy Holidays, Love Jocelyn”.  Try this one:

Dear Aunt ____________,

Question to the reader

Statement about yourself

Holiday greeting

Love __________________

5. Wrap Presents

This is another great way for children to use crafts and practice sequencing steps of an activity.  Wrapping gifts is a very teachable skill (and a very easy task for small fingers!)  Your child will love being able to help wrap gifts for their aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends. abuse contacts .  You can even have your child design their own wrapping paper!  Start by giving your child one step at a time (i.e. First, measure the paper around the box).  If you see that they can do this, go to 2 or 3 steps at a time (i.e. Next fold each corner in like a triangle and tape upward).

Addressing your child’s speech and language goals doesn’t have to take a pause during busy season.  Happy holidays to all and good luck adding some holiday cheer for your little dear.

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