Turn this every day routine into a fun way to promote language development and play skills! You can practice taking turns blowing bubbles in the water and have fun splashing mounds of bubbles around. There is so much wonderful vocabulary you can incorporate such a routine activity. Adding bath toys (animals, shapes, colors) can make learning fun! A few examples: practicing animal sounds, pretending to give your animals a bath, finding different shapes/letters in bubbles. Whether you decide to add bath toys or not, the options are endless during bath time.
The super sorting pie is a great toy that targets a variety of language concepts. You can practice requesting different pieces of fruit, taking turns taking pieces of fruit out of the pie and putting them back in, and sharing. Additional concepts that can be targeted with this toy can include: same vs. different, color matching, and quantitative concepts (i.e. one vs. some vs. all).(Photo Credit: Amazon)
Paint, draw, sculpt with play-do, scoop bears from the manipulatives bucket, draw big on the wall chalkboard, make a creative art/craft project to take home, and more. Mondays & Tuesdays 9:15 AM – 11:15 AM. All ages. Free.
Connect to nature while exercising the body and imagination with your little one. Toddlers will practice fun animal yoga poses and also engage in activities like guided nature exploration, reading a storybook and more.
September 3rd & 10th from 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM. Ages 2-4 years. $20/Child.
Secrets of Bees is a highly interactive exhibit using live bees, costumes and props to allow families to role-play and peel back the mystery of bees.
Through October 1st. $9 – adults; $6 – ages 3 – 12 years; Free – ages 2 & under.
This interactive spy story provides the purr-fect opportunity to show your little ones the mystery and excitement of live theatre.
September 12th – January 3rd. Ages 0 – 5 years. $15/child; $8/children 1 & under.
Join Smart Love at a Free Learn & Play Date about Baby Milestones! The play date is casual and will take place in their baby room, a space specifically designed with your baby in mind. Ages 6 – 11 months. Free.
How can I encourage my toddler to interact more with his peers?
A “calm down” bottle can be used to help your child self-regulate when becoming emotionally overwhelmed or over-stimulated by his or her environment. Your child will enjoy shaking the bottle and watching the glitter settle to the bottom. Keep them on hand for long car rides, grocery store meltdowns, or as a tool to help your child calm during a “time-out”!
-Empty water bottle (smooth bottles work best!)
-Clear gel glue
Clean water bottle and remove labels.
Fill water bottle ¾ of the way with warm water.
Add glitter glue and fine glitter. Shake bottle to mix and melt glitter glue.
Add clear gel glue and fill to the top with cool water.
(You can play with the consistency at this point…more gel glue will make the glitter settle slowly and more water will make it settle more quickly.)
Secure the top back on with super glue.
Photo credit: By Inkwina (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Playing With Just Your Imagination:
Toy of the Month: Melissa and Doug Alphabet Nesting and Stacking Blocks
Ask an Expert
My child is finally beginning to use words, but I can’t understand anything he/she says…
At this young age, it is normal to not understand everything your child says. Generally, a simple way to determine your child’s intelligibility (or his/her ability to be understood by others) is to take your child’s age and divide by four. This determines the amount (percent) of your child’s speech that you should understand (i.e. 2 years/4=50%). This may change depending on context and complexity of what your child is saying. Additionally, unfamiliar listeners may understand even less of what your child is saying.
The focus of intervention prior to age three is to make sure your child’s language skills are near age-appropriate before solely focusing on his/her intelligibility. When it is appropriate to begin targeting speech sounds, make it fun! For example, you can give sounds different names:
/p/- popper sound
/b/- bounce sound
/m/- yummy sound
/h/- laughing sound
You can also make fun noises throughout play activities that contain difficult sounds for your child:
- scared noises (i.e.“ah” or “ee” to work on vowels)
- find animal noises that contain the sound (i.e. “baa” to target consonant or vowel sound)
- sneeze sounds (“achoo”)
- Practice sounds in silly places: in front of a mirror before bedtime or in the car