Targeting Early Language Skills with Plastic Eggs!

Plastic eggs are a spring-time favorite! There are so many fun ways to play with plastic eggs, below are a few of my favorite activities with speech and language targets!

  1. Practice target words or labelling common objects: hide small pictures, stickers or objects within the eggs and have fun finding each egg and practicing the target word before racing to the next egg! Target words of “open,” “shut/closed,” “stuck,” or phrases of “Egg, where are you?” or “I found it!” are great to practice! Eggs come in all kinds of sizes, talk about fun shapes, big/small, colors or how many eggs you found!
  2. Practice early location concepts: early location concepts include “in, on, under.” Hide one egg and tell your toddler where it is using simple location concepts (“Look IN your shoe!”). You can work on following directions by telling your child where to hide the egg (“Put it ON the chair”) and have another person (sibling, friend, family member) find the egg.
  3. Practice simple questions: “Where is the egg?” “What did you find?” “Is it a cat?” If answering questions is still tricky for your child, model the question and the appropriate response, such as “Is this a cat?” “NO! It’s a dog!”
  4. Following directions: provide directions on what objects to place in the egg or where your toddler should hide it. For example, “Put the flower (sticker) in the egg!”
  5. Asking for help: plastic eggs can be difficult for tiny hands to open or close, take advantage of this moment to practice requesting “help!” “Open” or “Shut/closed.”

There are so many ways to play with plastic eggs, get creative! Please remember to monitor children with small plastic eggs and toys, as these can become a choking hazard.

Jessie Delos Reyes, MA, CCC-SLP

Language Fun & Paper Plate Farm Animals

Looking for a fun spring craft? Check out these fun paper-plate farm animals and get to work!

Incorporating speech and language into arts and crafts is a great way to target goals! Try discussing animal sounds and names. Label what you’re doing (i.e. cutting, pasting, pushing, coloring, drawing, etc.). Take turns with the crayons, appliqués and model pronoun use (I do, my turn, your turn.) Point to animals and have your child do the same (“Here’s the sheep. Can you show me the horse?”) Describe the way things look and feel (“The sheep has a soft, white coat.”) Is your child engaging in pretend play? Have the animals pretend to “eat” or go through a bedtime routine. Working on a specific speech sound goal? See if your child can say a target five times before taking a coloring turn.

Follow up this fun craft by visiting the farm at the Lincoln Park Zoo or by reading a farm book to review! I especially love any touch-and-feel farm books for a bonus sensory activity.

Contact us if you have questions about how to incorporate your child’s goals into arts and crafts!!

Credit for craft idea:
Caitlin Brady, M.A.,CCC-SLP
Director of Speech and Language Services

Do you have a picky eater on your hands?

Mealtimes can be stressful for parents when children refuse to eat the food on their plate. It is common for parents to worry about their children not eating, which often means parents will try to accommodate the children by making more than one meal. Children grow up and learn how to exercise their power by making their own decisions. With this easy-to-follow food chart, children will not only be able to choose their meals but will lend for a more consistent schedule for the entire family.

Weekly Meal Chart:

Start by creating a weekly chart including each day of the week. Begin by picking one meal to chart, which can include the most difficult meal for the child. Parents can then print off a number of foods, with the pictures, that the child enjoys. For example, if the family chooses breakfast, the parents can print out pictures of foods that the child usually eats, including oatmeal, cereal, fruit, etc. At the beginning of each week, help the child pick out which food to put on each day. This action will give the child the power of choosing the food and give the parents a visual reminder of what food will be eaten on each day.

Once the chart is filled out, put in on the refrigerator as a visual reminder for the entire family. Parents should make sure to stay consistent with the chart and only offer the food listed for the day. If the child refuses to eat the meal presented, put the food aside and allow the child to take a break. The child may become upset and need some time to calm down with some toys. Once calm, parents can remind the child that he/she can eat the food when ready. Usually, children will give in to the food after they see that the parents are only offering the one meal without other choices. It may be difficult for parents and child to adjust to the chart in the beginning, as the child is used to getting more options, but the more the parents stay consistent with the system, the faster the child will learn the routine.

Brittany Hill, MS, MSW, LSW, DT