If you read books with your child you have probably noticed they like to read the same ones again and again (...and again and again). Repetition is beneficial to helping children learn; however, it can get boring for the adults in their life. There are many activities you can do that are related to your child's favorite books. Not only will these activities further develop your child's language skills, critical thinking abilities and concept knowledge, it can also help maintain your sanity and put a new spin on things. This post is specifically for the book Caps For Sale (don't worry, we'll have other books coming up in future posts!).
What you can do while you read the book with your child:
Take advantage of this book's repetitive nature with these ideas, which help build your child's recall and sequencing skills:
Questions you can ask as you read with your child:
Asking your child questions during or after a book is important to help build and strengthen comprehension skills, as well as, work on responding to different types of questions.
When your child works on answering questions about a story, it means they are building vocabulary and connections, as well as, critical thinking skills!
Fun activities to do after the book:
Doing activities related to a book you have read with your child is a great way to continue strengthening language skills. Incorporating activities related to a story help further build your child's ability to make connections and associations, increase their vocabulary skills, and can also help with ability to recall and sequence information they have learned or been exposed to. You do not need to do all of these activities in one day. Feel free to spread them out over many days or weeks and even repeat them.
As we discussed in this post, at The Speech Space we are huge fans of books. Not only are books a wonderful way to engage and spend time with your child, but they are also a great means for building language skills like vocabulary, critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Adding or incorporating fun activities related to books you read with your child can double the impact (and fun!).
Check back on the blog for more ideas and activities you can do with your child to help encourage their communication development. If you have questions or concerns about your child's s development, contact us at The Speech Space. We offer free screenings, which take approximately 30 minutes, and can help identify potential problems.
Story telling is such an important part of your child’s life. Think of all the times you’ve asked your child, “What did you do today?” and they’ve replied with “Nothing.” or "I don't know." or had no response at all. As your child gets older, the ability to tell stories gets increasingly important.
At The Speech Space, we often hear from parents who want to help develop their child's story telling skills, so here are some fun and easy ways you can help your child develop this skill.
1. Take pictures:
Although this may not be possible to do during school days, weekends are a great time to use our handy iPhones to work on story telling. Use your phone to take pictures throughout a day you spend with your child. At the end of the day, have them go through the pictures and describe the activities. Your activities can be exciting adventures or everyday activities like making breakfast together or brushing teeth. Added bonus- you’ll have lots of pictures for your memory books!
2. Have your child tell you how to do a familiar activity:
Most children’s days are based in routine- morning routines, hand washing routines, food routines, bedtime routines- which should be very easy for your child to retell, as they do them every day. Children love to “be the grown up,” so have your child tell you how wash your hands or make their snack. Try to use key words like “first/then/last” or "first/next/last" to help your child become familiar with them in sequence.
3. Act out a familiar story: Does your child love to read some of the same stories over and over again? If so, try to gather some dress up items or use their toy figures to act out the story. You can start by letting your child use the book to help them remember how the story goes, but try working up to them acting out the story without help from you or the book. Demonstrate how you would act out or tell the story and use an expressive voice and face, or over exaggerated movements. Kids love seeing adults get silly, so have fun and make it a great performance
4. Wordless books: While most books have words, there are some that have few to no words in them (Flashlight, Frog Where Are you?, Pancakes for Breakfast, Red Sled). These books are great for young children for several reasons, including story telling. Since the books have no words, it’s easy for your child to use the pictures to help them make up their own story while having a visual guide to keep them on topic. Make sure that your child is using the pictures to help them with their story, using specific vocabulary and staying on topic.These wordless books are also great to focus on details of what is happening in order to make inferences and predictions about the pictures or stories.
As your child grows and moves through school these skills become more and more vital. In their early years, family or teachers may ask what your child did over the weekend or holiday. As they continue through school, your child will be expected to retell stories that are read to them or recall activities from earlier in their day. When your child begins writing tasks, they will be expected to write a cohesive story with a beginning, middle, and end.
Incorporating story telling and sequencing skills into daily routines and activities you already do, makes it easier to work on these skills. We are all about making it as easy as possible to improve your child's communication skills!
If you have questions or concerns about your child's development, contact us at The Speech Space. We offer free screenings, which take approximately 30 minutes, and can help identify potential problems.
It's time again for our monthly segment: Favorite Toys Without Batteries! As we talked about here, here, and here, we love toys without batteries. Below is The Speech Space's June list of great toys that don't make noise, so that you can get your child talking more while you play!
In it's simplest form, Twister is great for working on following directions and simple concepts (colors, body parts, left/right). If you're wanting to target more vocabulary, you can easily add more concepts into this game. Simply print pictures that target a theme your child is working on in school or seasonal vocabulary and tape the pictures to the game spots. Then, use the spinner to call out where to put their feet and hands.
Green Toys Trucks:
We love Green Toys vehicles! They are made of recyclable material and are very sturdy. These vehicles are great for young kiddos that are about to be or already on the move. If you get the dump truck or recycling truck you and your child could play putting things in the trucks and then dumping them out (over and over again). You can even work on following directions and vocabulary by telling your child which items to put in the trucks. If they are older, your child could tell you what to help put in the trucks.
Don't Wake the Hulk:
Who doesn't love superheroes? Kids will love this take on the classic game "Don't Wake Daddy" but with a superhero twist. Players try to get their superhero through Hulk's room and out his window. On each turn you're either safe or you have to push his alarm clock, which may make him pop out of bed! The best part is that you don't know if he'll pop out of bed or not on each turn. This game is great for working on dealing with the unexpected, dealing with disappointment, making simple inferences, following directions, turn-taking and counting.
*This game may be less expensive on Ebay.
If you missed our other favorite toy blog posts you can read them here, here, here and here, Check back on The Speech Space blog for other fun ideas, toys and games you can do with your child to help increase their communication development.
And as always, if you have questions or concerns about your child's development, contact us at The Speech Space! We offer free screenings, which take approximately 30 minutes, and can help identify potential problems.