Have Fun With Playdough This Easter Holidays!
I use playdough all the time with young kids to support communication development. It's a great activity to get communication happening and there's lots kids can learn through playdough!
Having a set of good cookie or playdough cutters is great for modelling lots of different vocabulary targets (e.g. house, butterfly, plane) and working on early categorisation skills (e.g. Lets put all the vehicles over here and all the animals over here). Playdough play is also great for encouraging use of action words (e.g. cutting, pushing, rolling) and early concept words (e.g. big/little, long/short - "I've rolled a big ball. Your ball is li____?", "My snake is long, your snake is sh____."). You can use playdough for making many different shapes and objects to talk about such as making a persons body or face out of playdough (e.g. model the names of different body parts as you talk about what you are making, such as "To make a person we need a body, head, legs, and arms. What else do we need?"). Try making different animals such as a snake for modelling different animal noises and early sound play (e.g. "Snake says SSSsssss").
Playdough is a great sensory activity and can also be used to encourage development of early social skills such as turn taking, joint attention, sharing, making a choice, requesting, asking for help. It's a great activity to keep young kids occupied on a play date too. They love to get in and help make it and see the colours go through the dough. I like to make my own playdough for peace of mind that if they decide to taste it (lets face it, most kids give it a taste test at some stage) there aren't any hidden nasties.
Joan's Playdough Recipe:
more bubbles please
more big bubbles
blow bubbles up
bubbles up high
come here bubbles
Speech Smart Therapy
Last week I spoke about the benefits of reading to your baby/child from day dot. Here are a list of some of my favourite books for children aged 0-3 years.
'Once I heard a little wombat' is a particularly good one to add to your reading list if you haven't already. The rhyming text in the book keeps small children entertained and helps them to recognise patterns in speech. Toddlers will love to act or dance the actions performed by the animals. This book also was awarded top place at the Speech Pathologist Book of the Year Awards, ages 0-3 years.
'Dear Zoo' is fantastic for engaging little ones with it's interactive flaps and repetitive text that allows children to begin to engage and 'read' the story themselves. Have fun making each animal noise together as your child opens each flap to teach early sound production. Great for teaching animal vocabulary too!
'The Very Hungry Caterpillar' has become a classic that all children love. Great for teaching early story sequencing skills, food vocabulary, counting skills and concepts.
If you missed my recent blog on the benefits of reading to children daily you can see it below: http://www.speechsmart.com.au/blog/number-1-on-my-play-chat-learn-activity-list-read-together-daily
Top 10 To Do List To Help Teach Your 6-12 Month Old Baby To Learn to Talk (Strategies Are Also Useful for Older Babies Up to 18 months Who Aren't Using Many Words Yet)
Speech and Language Development in 6-12 month olds
This is such an exciting age where your baby learns and develops so much. Here are some of the exciting things your baby will learn to do:
* Turns and looks in the direction of sounds
* Listens when spoken to
*Responds to simple spoken requests e.g. "come here", "up", "ta"
* Copies gestures (e.g. clapping hands)
* Uses simple gestures such as shaking head for "no" or waving "bye-bye"
* Laughs in response to something
*Enjoys playing simple social games such as peek-a-boo and pat-a-cake
*Understands first words such as familiar peoples names (e.g. "Nana") or common items such as “cup,” or “milk”
*Babbles using long and short groups of sounds he/she repeats (“dada, mama, bibibi”) and will start to vary sounds (e.g.babadaga) once skilled at repeating them.
*Babbles to get and keep attention
* Imitates different speech sounds he/she hears (e.g. ah oh, brrrm)
* Has one or two words (“hi,” “dog,” “Dada,” or “Mama”) by first birthday
Babbling and attempting to copy sounds and first words is a critical stage of speech and language development and sets the foundation for future speech and language development. If your baby doesn't seem to play with making sounds or hasn't gone through the babbling stage by 12 months of age, a speech pathology assessment is recommended.
Top 10 To Do List To Help Babies Learn to Talk:
wee - when pushing on a swing.
pop - when popping bubbles
moo, baa, neigh, woof - animal noises when playing with toy animals
Brrrmm brrmm - when pushing a toy car to each other
ha ha ha - when patting panting dog
Grrr - when pretending to be a lion
Mmmm - when eating something nice
raspberry blowing - when pretending to be a horse or playing with toy horse
wee - when lifting up high
eeow - when flying toy plane or pretending to be a plane
oh oh - when drop something
toot toot - when playing with toy truck or watching real truck go past
Written By Sarah Creagh, Speech Pathologist.
Child Development Milestones - 6 months - Queensland Government
'Early Communication Skills' Handout, Speech Pathology Department, Priness Margaret Hospital
Helping Your Baby To Talk, Speech Pathology Australia
Author - Sarah Creagh
I'm a speech pathologist with a passion for working in partnership with parents to support children to reach their maximum potential.