Chicago spring is on its way, and along with the warmer weather comes a wealth of opportunities to practice speech and language skills outside! No matter what your child is working on in speech therapy, you can find ways to target their goals in the sunny spring weather.
As your child grows, their understanding of language, use of language, and ability to use language to interact socially with family and friends will continue to expand and become more complex. It can often be difficult to know what language skills you should be looking and when you should expect them to be developed. The chart below outlines general milestones for language development in regards to receptive-language, expressive-language, and pragmatic-language. If you have any concerns regarding your child’s language skills, please contact your speech-language pathologist.
Questions or concerns?
If you have questions or concerns about your child’s language development, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 773-332-9439.
Claire Hacker MS, CCC-SLP
Speech Language Pathologist
Photo Credit: from Pixabay
Valentine’s day is approaching, and love is in the air! Here are a few fun craft ideas for you to make with your littles while working on their language development!
Red paper, white cardboard, black marker, googly eyes, scissors, glue
- Cut out one large heart and four small hearts from the red paper.
- Fold the white strips of paper like an accordion. Glue two strips for arms and two strips for legs.
- Create a face for your heart man! Glue two googly eyes and draw a mouth!
How to target language?
- Expressive language: Talk about body parts when making/gluing the eyes, mouth, legs, and arms.
- Receptive language: Following multi-step directions (e.g., “First, put on eyes, then draw mouth”).
Tissue box, wrapping paper, stickers, markers, candy and/or envelopes
- Cover the empty tissue box with wrapping paper.
- Decorate your tissue box with stickers, markers, pom poms, etc. Get creative!
- Deliver candy and/or Valentine’s cards to other mailboxes!
How to target language?
- Expressive language: practice “mail”-related vocabulary, such as card, send, mailman, mailbox, write, letter, and stamp
- Receptive language: understanding pronouns (e.g., “put the candy in her mailbox” or “put a card in theirmailbox”)
- Pragmatic language: role play social exchanges as you deliver letters to loved ones
Craft foam, yarn, scissors, hole punch, beads
- Cut a small heart out of the craft foam.
- Punch a small hole into the top center of the heart.
- Thread a 2-3-foot piece of yarn through the hole.
- Add the beads of your choice and tie a knot on the top!
How to target language?
- Expressive language: using prepositions (e.g., “on the string,” “in the heart”)
- Receptive language: following directions to put different beads on the string
Jill Teitelbaum, MS, CCC-SLP
Looking for some ways to work on your child’s speech and language while in the car?
Stuck in gridlocked traffic is not fun, but you can make it a little more interesting by working on your child’s speech and language skills while in the car! Below are some easy ways to work on your child’s speech and language development that do not require a phone, iPad, or any physical toy. Reduce the noise in the car and tune into your child during your next drive!
12 months to 24 months
-Sing songs! Some great songs to sing include Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Row, Row, Row your Boat, Old McDonald, Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed, Itsy Bitsy Spider, Wheels on the Bus, BINGO, Baby Bumblebee,If You’re Happy and You Know It, andBaby Shark.” As your child gets older you can leave out words at the end of phrases (“…Twinkle twinkle little _____”) to see if your child can fill them in!
-Model environmental sounds like “wee, woah, uh-oh, vroom, beep-beep” while driving. Make your sounds exaggerated and silly to capture your child’s attention!
-Name things you see during your car ride! Label objects you see as you pass them by.
-Phrase “Ready, set, ____ (go)!” when you start/stop at a red light
-Make silly sounds as you drive to see if your child can imitate you
24 months to 36 months
-Continue to name things you see during your car ride! If your child labels something they see as you are driving you can expand on what they say. For instance, if your child said “truck” you can model “red truck.”
-Model simple location phrases such as “in, on, under.” For instance, “doggie inwater” or “car onroad”
-Target basic concepts:
-Model the words “open/close” and “in/out” as you open and close doors and get into or out of the car
-Model a variety of action words as you drive such as “go, stop, drive, park, turn”
-Look for and identify objects that are “big” vs. “small”
-Work on quantity concepts as you drive, such as onecloud vs. manyclouds in the
-Talk about the colors of cars around you
-Talk about the types of cars you see (e.g., semi-trucks, cars, construction vehicles)
3 years to 4 years+
-Play “I spy” to work on labeling and naming things that you see and drive past
-Model more complex adjectives and more advanced location concepts as you drive.
-Ask your child a variety of wh-questions while driving such as “Where are we going?, What are we doing?, When did we leave?, What are we doing when we reach our destination?, What is mom/dad doing?, What are we making for dinner? Why are we going grocery shopping, etc.” If your child responds with a single word see if you can give them two choices or model a longer phrase. If they use vague and non-descript language such as “this, that, right here, etc.” provide them with two choices to see if you can promote your child’s use of more descriptive language.
-Play the Grocery Storegame: Have an adult start. “…I went to the grocery store and I bought _____ (apples). See if your child can repeat the item just said and add one to it. For instance, “I went to the grocery store and I bought apples and stickers.” You can provide hints if you don’t think your child can recall what was said last. When it’s too hard start again from the beginning!
-If your child is working on speech sounds you can practice their sounds in the car! Pick several words with the target sound and say it every time you stop at a red light or every time you see a certain object or item such as a tree.
-Tell your child that you’re thinking of an object that starts with a certain sound such as “b.” See if your child can think of things as you drive that start with that letter.
-Promote appropriate grammar and sentence structure. If you notice that your child made a grammatical error model their sentence with correct grammar and sentence structure.
-Talk about letters or numbers you see on license plates
-Talk about categories (e.g., types of transportation that you pass, types of weather, types animals you see, etc.)
Questions or concerns?
If you have questions or concerns about your child’s speech and language development, please contact us at email@example.com or 773-332-9439.
Samantha Labus, MS, CCC-SLP
Photo Credit:Sandy Millar via unsplash.com
Last fall, I brought my Goddaughter and her younger sister to an amazing apple orchard/pumpkin patch called All Seasons Orchard in Woodstock, Illinois. In addition to the apple orchard, All Seasons has a corn maze, tractor and pony rides, a petting zoo, a mini zip line, tube slides and multiple bouncy houses! It is about an hour outside of Chicago, but well worth the drive! Whether you make it out to All Seasons or find an apple orchard closer to the city, check out these awesome ways to support your child’s speech and language development on your fall outings:
Vocabulary: Label both the familiar and novel items you encounter on your outing, and talk about ways to describe the new objects (big/little, soft/hard, wet/dry, etc.). You can easily teach and reinforce animal names at the petting zoo; fruits, veggies and other food labels at the country store; parts of a tree in the apple orchard; etc. Use the object labels frequently to reinforce their meaning:
“Look! A big leaf. My leaf is red. What color is your leaf? My leaf feels crunchy.”
Following simple directions: Target two skills at once by giving your child a direction using familiar attributes, such as “Put one apple in the red basket” or “Give the little pumpkin to your brother.”
Increase expressive language: There are many fun and exciting activities at the apple orchard that will have your child communicating like you’ve never seen before! If you are working on sign language, encourage requesting ‘more’ or ‘help’ for picking more apples, going down the slide, or jumping in the bouncy house, for example. If you are working on simple one- to three-word phrases, expand on your child’s utterance by one word and encourage them to imitate your model:
Child: “More!” or “Go horsie!”
Adult model: “More slide!” or “Go on horsie!”
Basic concepts: Teach basic preschool concepts, such as colors, shapes, numbers, etc. by identifying objects throughout the orchard. A simple way to target these skills is by playing “I Spy…” Encourage your child to find what you label and help them come up with their own objects for you to find!
If you would like more information on All Seasons, you can check out their website: http://www.allseasonsorchard.com/
Autumn Smith, MS, CCC-SLP