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Halloween Vocabulary List: Speech and Language Activities

Halloween Speech and Language ActivitiesHalloween Vocabulary List: Speech and Language Activities

 

Halloween is Coming! Leaves are falling. Temperatures are dropping. And pumpkins are out. Goblins, skeletons, witches oh my! Chicago Speech and More knows Halloween is right around the corner.

There is a lot of research behind the importance of incorporating meaningful vocabulary  into speech and language activities. Not only does it teach new words, using meaningful vocabulary is functional. If we tailor therapy activities to include relevant material,  children will be more engaged. When this happens, children are more apt to generalize (carry-over) skills.

Below is Chicago Speech and More’s Halloween Vocabulary List. This list can be used for many goals. Depending on your child’s area (s) of need, this list can be modified for their intervention plan. Use the Halloween Vocabulary List to generate fun speech and language activities.

Chicago Speech and More’s Halloween Vocabulary List

alien dark gravestone ninja tarantula
angel demon gruesome October terrible
astronaut devil Halloween owl terrify
autumn disguise hat party thrilling
ballerina dress-up haunt pirate tomb
bat eerie haunted house potion tombstone
black cat elf hayride pretend treats
blood evil headstone pumpkin trick
boo eyeballs hocus pocus RIP trick-or-treat
boogey face paint horrify robot vampire
broomstick fairy howl scary vanish
candy fangs jack-o-lantern scream wand
cape fall make-believe shadow web
carve fear make-up skeleton werewolf
cat firefighter magic skull wicked
cauldron frighten mask spell wig
cemetery genie monster spider witch
clown ghost moon spider web witch hat
costume ghoul moonlight spook wizard
cowboy goblin mummy spooky wizardy
cowgirl goodies night strange zombie
creepy grave nightmare sweets

 

How to Adapt the Halloween Vocabulary List for Speech and Language Activities

Speech (Articulation Therapy): If your child is working on a specific sound or group of sounds simply find the target (sound/group/process) within this list.

Here are some examples of how to use the Halloween list as a guide for speech therapy:

  • /s/ is the target: spook, face paint, sweets, etc.
  • /s/ blends: scary, skeleton, spooky, etc.
  • /l/ blends: black cat, blood, clown
  • /r/: robot, creepy, October, werewolf, etc.
  • multi-syllabic words: ballerina, Halloween, October, skeleton, etc.
  • Cluster Reduction: spooky, scary, blood, clown etc.

Language Activities: Depending on your child’s language needs, the Halloween list can be adapted for their therapy.

Here are some examples of how to use the Halloween vocabulary as a guide for language therapy:

  • Sequencing: Have your child tell you various Halloween-related sequences (i.e., steps to carve a pumpkin).
  • Re-telling/summarizing: Tell your child a story, using words from the Halloween list. Have them retell the story to you. Everybody loves a good ghost story.
  • Story-telling: Have your child tell you a Halloween-related story. Urge them to use words from the list.
  • Conversation: Engage your child in a conversation about Halloween-related items. Ask and encourage them to ask open-ended questions (rather than yes/no questions). Model follow-up questions.
  • Describing: Cut up the list and put the words in a box. Have your child choose a word. Your child describes the item without naming it.

These are just some suggestions but the possibilities are endless. Get creative. Add your own words and activities.

Halloween brings a ton of candy and new vocabulary words. These activities can be done before Halloween, during and after. Get in the spirit and have fun! Just make sure to talk about what you are doing while you are doing it, afterwards and then again-later!

Chicago Speech and More hopes you have a wonderful Halloween!

For more speech and language activities please refer to archive blog posts.

Outdoor Language Activities: At The Park

Language Activities: At The ParkOutdoor Language Activities: At the Park

 

Now that it is finally warming up we can start going outdoors.  I don’t know about you but Chicago Speech and More loves to play outside. Don’t want to break the bank? No worries. A trip to the park is free, fun and provides many opportunities for language activities. Read below for Chicago Speech and More’s favorite language activities to do while at the park.

If your local park has a great playground you are in luck. Here are some guidelines for language activities to be incorporated into an old fashioned park outing.

Swings: Swings are fun and better yet- most parks have them. Make sure that your child is in the appropriate swing for their age, size and developmental level.

  • Encourage your child to request the swings by simply saying “swing”.
  • Does your child like you to push them when they’re on the swing.  Give them a few pushes and then back off. Wait until they say “push” or say/sign “more” to start up again.
  • Play games where you pull their swing back and count “1-2-3-GO” until you drop/push their swing.  After a few times, count “1-2-3” and then wait for them to add “GO”.

Slides: Slides are definitely a favorite amongst most toddlers and children. Watch your child carefully when going on the slide. Make sure that your child can safely navigate the steps/ladder up to the slide and knows to remain seated while going down the slide.

  • Encourage your child to request the slide by simply saying “slide”.
  • When going up the stairs (or carrying your child up) model “up, up, up” as you climb. When you get to the top of the stairs encourage your child to say “down” before assisting him.
  • As your child is going down the slide say “wheeee” and encourage her to do the same. Your children will love it if you use a silly, exaggerated voice to do so.
  • After one trip down the slide, wait for your child to request another. Work to have them say “more” or “slide” or “whee” to convey to you what they want.

Sandbox: If your local park has a sandbox and you don’t mind getting dirty Chicago Speech and More says go for it.

  • Encourage your child to request the sandbox. Depending on their language abilities work with them to say “box”or “sand.”
  • Encourage them to say “in” if they want to go in or be put in the sandbox. Similarly, when they want to get “out”, wait until they say “out” to help them do so.
  • Build sand castles and hills and label what you are making.  If your child can, encourage them to use these labels as well.
  • The sandbox offers a variety of new vocabulary. Shovel, bucket, pail, sand, etc. Use these words.

Monkey Bars: Chicago Speech and More knows that monkey bars can be scary but they are also so much fun. If you watch your children carefully, the monkey bars can be safe and language rich. Depending on your child’s ability, I would recommend holding your child around the waist while they go across the bars. Regardless, make sure you are with them and spotting your child.

  • Encourage your child to request the monkey bars by saying “monkey bars”, “monkey”, “bars” or simply making the ooh-ooh-ahh-ahh monkey noise.
  • Once you are by the monkey bars model “up” as you lift your child to the bars.
  • After the first time, wait until your child either says “more”, “up”, or lifts his arms up to assist them.

Going to the park is fun, free and lets you spend time outdoors. I bet you never knew the playground offered so many language opportunities. This list is just a start. Language activities are everywhere. Don’t know which playground to head to? Click this link for Chicago’s Best Playgrounds by Chicagoparent.com

Chicago Speech and More hopes you enjoy the nice weather. Make sure to get outside and talk with your children! Stay tuned for Chicago Speech and More’s next edition of outdoor language activities.

Chicago Speech and More’s Mother’s Day Vase

Chicago Speech and More's Mother's Day Craft

Chicago Speech and More’s Mother’s Day Vase

Being a mother is one of the toughest jobs out there. Chicago Speech and More knows how special a mom is. While we should be honoring the “mothers” in our lives on a regular basis, Mother’s Day is the perfect opportunity to do so. There is no better way to let your mom, grandma, aunt, step-mom, sister, best friend, family friend, godmother (the list goes on and on), know you are thinking about her than with a home-made mother’s day craft.

I love making holiday crafts and my favorite Mother’s Day project is Chicago Speech and More’s “Mother’s Day Vase”. It is easy, educational, fun and makes a great finished product! All you need is different colored construction paper, scissors, pen/marker and some glue.

Steps for making the Mother’s Day Vase:

  1. Trace a vase on a piece of colored construction paper. Chicago Speech and More recommends using light, spring-like colors for your vase (yellow, purple, pink). Encourage your child to choose and ask for a specific color. “May I haveChicago Speech and More's Mother's Day Vase the yellow vase?” Depending on your child’s age and ability level, either cut the vase out or have your child cut it out themselves. Note: the opening (round part) of the vase can be difficult to navigate with a scissors.
  2.  Glue the vase onto a piece of white construction paper. You can use white card-stock to make it more durable. Work with your children to place the vase in the center. Help them with the glue. Note: a glue-stick works well with this project.
  3. Trace flowers (at least 3) on various colors of construction papeChicago Speech and More's Mother's Day Vaser. Chicago Speech and More recommends using bright colors. Encourage your child to choose and ask for specific colors. “May I have the red, purple and orange flowers?” Depending on your child’s age and ability level, either cut the flowers out for them or have your children cut them out themselves.
  4. Trace circles (at least 3) on yellow construction paper. These will be the Chicago Speech and More's Mother's Day Vasemiddle of your flowers. Depending on your child’s age and ability level, either cut the circles out for them or have your children cut them out themselves. Note: make circles large enough so that your child will be able to write on them (one letter per circle).
  5. Glue the circles in the middle of the flowers. Use vocabulary words such asChicago Speech and More's Mother's Day Vase: middle, center, in, on, first, next, last. Encourage your child to use these words to talk about what they are doing.
  6. Trace “stems” (at least 3) on green construction paper. Cut strips about a ¼ of an inch in width and between 4-6 inChicago Speech and More's Mother's Day Postches in length. Depending on your child’s age and ability level, either cut the stems out for them or have your children cut them out themselves. Note: the size of the strips does not make a huge difference. Make them longer to start and you can always trim down the length after.Chicago Speech and More's Mother's Day Vase
  7. Glue the stems to the back of the flowers. Put the stem up to the center of the flower. Use vocabulary words such as: flower, stem, center, middle, first, next last. Encourage your child to use these words to talk about what they are doing.Chicago Speech and More's Mother's Day Vase
  8. Arrange the flowers in the vase. Discuss the order the flowers should go. Does your child want the red flower to come first, the blue, purple? How about an ABA pattern (red, purple, red)? Note: Remind them that they will be spelling M-O-M out on the flowers so the color order will need to stay.
  9. Glue the flowers. Chicago Speech and More recommends staggering the flowers for a more natural look. Note: it helps to glue the stem to the white construction paper and part of the flower to the vase if possible.Chicago Speech and More's Mother's Day Vase
  10. Help your child write M-O-M on the flowers.
  11. Write a Mother’s Day message on the front of the vase. Depending on the age and ability of your child, help them to create a message. It is usually best to draw lines on the vase to give your child a visual area to write on. If your child isn’t able to write independently but can copy written work, draft the message together, write it on a separate piece of paper and have your child copy it onto the vase. If this is too advanced for your child, have them dictate theChicago Speech and More's Mother's Day Vasemessage to you. Start with “Happy Mother’s Day”. Discuss other items you can enclose in your message. Let your child come up with ideas. Once you have finished your message, explain how we close letters with “love, yours truly, from, etc.”. When the message is complete, have your child read the message back to you. Reading practice plus a language activity- what could be better?
  12. Encourage your child to retell the steps it took to create this master-piece. Work with them to use sequential vocabulary: first, next, then, second, last, finally. Positional vocabulary: on, in, under, first, middle, center, last.

Chicago Speech and More wishes you a very happy Mother’s Day! For more holiday/seasonal language activities please visit archive posts in Sam’s Blog.

Spring Vocabulary List: Speech and Language Activities

Spring Vocabulary List: Speech and Language ActivitiesSpring Vocabulary List: Speech and Language Activities

 

Spring is Coming!  The days are longer, the birds are chirping and most of all the sun is out. Chicago Speech and More wanted to share the Spring Vocabulary List to be used for a variety of speech and language activities.

There is a lot of research behind the importance of incorporating meaningful vocabulary words into speech and language activities.  Not only does it teach new words, using meaningful vocabulary is functional. If we tailor therapy activities to include relevant material, our children will be more engaged and apt to generalize (carry-over) skills.

Below is Chicago Speech and More’s Spring Vocabulary List.  This vocabulary list can be used for a variety of speech and language goals. Depending on your child’s area (s) of need, this list can be modified for their intervention plan.

Chicago Speech and More’s Spring Vocabulary List

April daisy leaves spring cleaning
ball Easter May sunglasses
baseball eggs Mother’s Day sunshine
bat flowers news storm
birds green new temperature
bloom grass pollen thunder
Blue Jay grasshopper pouring tulip
break grow puddles umbrella
bugs hatch rabbit warm
butterfly hop rain weather
chick ice cream rain coat windy
cicada kite rainbow
daffodil lamb slide

 

How to Adapt the Winter Vocabulary List for Speech and Language Therapy

Speech (Articulation Therapy) Activities: If your child is working on a specific sound or group of sounds, simply find the target (sound/group/process) within this list.

  • Here are some examples of how to use the spring vocabulary list as a guide for articulation therapy:
    • /s/ is the target: slide, sunglasses, storm
    • /s/ blends: slide, spring cleaning, storm
    • /l/ blends: Blue Jay, flowers, slide
    • /r/: April, break, green, rainbow, umbrella, warm
    • multi-syllabic words: butterfly, cicada, daffodil, grasshopper, temperature, umbrella
    • Cluster Reduction: slide, storm, Blue Jay, slide, flower

Language Activities:  Depending on your child’s language needs, the spring vocabulary list can be adapted for their therapy.

  • Here are some examples of how to use the spring vocabulary as a guide for language therapy:
    • Sequencing: Have your child tell you various spring-related sequences (i.e., steps for getting dressed to play at the park, planting flowers, getting ready to go outside in the rain)
    • Re-telling/summarizing: Tell your child a story, using words from the winter vocabulary list and have them retell it to you.
    • Story-telling: Have your child tell you a spring-related story, using vocabulary from the list.
    • Categorizing: Generate a list of categories from the vocabulary list and have your child group the words (i.e., category groups: clothing, activities, weather…)
    • Conversation: Engage your child in a conversation about spring-related items.  Ask and encourage them to ask open-ended questions. (rather than yes/no questions) Model asking follow-up questions.
    • Describing: (Cut up the vocabulary list and put the words in a box.) Have your child choose a word from the box and describe the item without saying the word.

These are just some suggestions but the possibilities are endless.  Get creative. Add your own words and activities.

With the warm weather comes a ton of new vocabulary words. These activities can be done inside or outside. Go for a nature walk or just hang out in the backyard.   Just make sure to talk about what you are doing while you are doing it, afterwards and then again-later!

Chicago Speech and More hopes you have a wonderful spring season!

For more speech and language activities please refer to archive blog posts.

Winter Vocabulary List: Speech and Language Activities

Winter Vocabulary List

Winter Vocabulary List: Speech and Language Activities

 

Even though spring is on its way, it looks like Chicago still has more winter ahead. This winter vocabulary list came to mind in anticipation of the snow- storm. The winter vocabulary list can be used for many fun and relevant speech and language activities.

There is a lot of research behind the importance of incorporating meaningful vocabulary words into speech and language activities.  Not only does it teach new words, using meaningful vocabulary is functional. If we tailor therapy activities to include relevant material, our children will be more engaged and apt to generalize (carry-over) skills.

Below is Chicago Speech and More’s Winter Vocabulary List.  This vocabulary list can be used for a variety of speech and language activities and goals. Depending on your child or student’s area(s) of need, this list can be modified to fit into their intervention plan.

Chicago Speech and More’s Winter Vocabulary List

 

blizzard freezing skate snow shovel
boots frosty ski snow day
brrrr gloves ski pants snowy
carrot hot chocolate sled socks
car ice sleet sweater
chimney icicle slip temperature
coat icy sneeze white
cold jacket snow whiteout
chocolate marshmallow snow angel wind
earmuffs melt snowball wind chill factor
February mountain snowball fight windy
fire scarf snowboard wintertime
flip shovel snowflake wintry

 

How to Adapt the Winter Vocabulary List for Therapy

Speech (Articulation Therapy): If your child is working on a specific sound or group of sounds, simply find the target (sound/group/process) within this list.

  • Here are some examples of how to use the winter vocabulary list as a guide for articulation therapy:
    • /s/ as target sound: snow, snowball, sled, boots, socks
    • /s/ blends as target sound: snow, ski, sled, slide, slip, sweater, snowsuit
    • /l/ blends as target sound: blizzard, sled, slide, slip, flip, shovel
    • /r/ as target sound: blizzard, brrr, red, carrot, sweater, freezing
    • multi-syllabic words as target: snowball fight, hot chocolate, wintertime, snow shovel
    • Cluster Reduction as target: snow, ski, slip, slide, blizzard, flip, sleep

Language Activities: Depending on your child’s language needs, the winter vocabulary list can be adapted for their therapy.

  • Here are some examples of how to use the winter vocabulary as a guide for language therapy:
    • Sequencing: Have your child tell you winter-related sequences (i.e., steps for getting dressed to play in the snow, making a snowman, going sledding, etc.
    • Re-telling/summarizing: Tell your child a story, using words from the winter vocabulary list and have them retell it to you.
    • Story-telling: Have your child tell you a winter-related story, using words from the winter vocabulary list.
    • Categorizing: Generate a list of categories from the winter vocabulary list and have your child group the words (i.e., category groups: clothing, activities, food…)
    • Conversation: Engage your child in a conversation about winter-related items.  Ask and encourage them to ask open-ended questions. (rather than yes/no questions) Model asking follow-up questions.
    • Describing: (Cut up the vocabulary list and put the words in a box.) Have your child choose a word from the box and describe the item without saying the word.

These are just some suggestions but the possibilities for speech and language activities are endless.  Get creative. Add your own words and activities.

If staying inside isn’t your thing, bundle up and play in the snow with your children.  Just make sure to talk about what you are doing. Talk while you are playing, afterwards and then again, later in the day.

Chicago Speech and More hopes you stay warm and have fun!

For more speech and language activities please refer to archive blog posts.

Lucky Heart Clovers: A Fun Language Activity

Lucky Heart Clovers: A Fun Language Activity

Are you feeling lucky?  St. PatriHeart Clover Language Activityck’s Day is just around the corner and even if you don’t paint your face green and believe in leprechauns, it is the perfect opportunity to talk to your children about how lucky they are.  Chicago Speech and More recommends making a “Lucky Heart Clover” for a fun language activity.

Making a craft with your child is great for vocabulary development.  Crafts encourage use of sequential and temporal vocabulary words (first, next, then, before, etc.).  St. Patrick’s Day also has a lot of unique vocabulary words.  Think: clover, leprechaun, rainbow, gold… For a larger list visit: St. Patrick’s Day Vocabulary Words.  I love making holiday crafts and my favorite St. Patty’s Day project is the “Lucky Heart Clover”.  It is easy, educational, and most of all fun.  All you need is green construction paper and some glue.

To get started, trace 3 hearts and a stem on green paper.  Depending on your child’s ageHeart Clover Language Activity and ability level, either cut the shapes out for them or have them do it themselves.  The next thing you need to do is set up the hearts to act as clover leaves.  I put the stem down and glue the hearts on-top.  Work with your children to place the hearts and help them with the glue.  Make sure you explain to your child what you are doing using temporal, sequential and positional vocabulary words (first, next, then, last, before, on-top, under, next to, etc.).  Have them repeat the steps back to you and/or retell you how to make the craft.

Once you have assembled your “Lucky Heart Clover”, it is time to talk to your children about why they are lucky.  Many children take for granted all that they have.  Maybe they’re lucky because they have: a Wii, an iPad, a best friend, a brother or sister, wonderful parents, great teachers….the list goes on and on.

After your child decides what makes them lucky, it is time to start writing.  You can adapt Chicago Speech and More’s “Lucky Heart Clover” however you would like this is how I set mine up.  On the first leaf (heart to left when facing craft), I write “I am”and on the middle leaf I write “lucky because”.  The third and final leaf (heart to right when facing) is where you input what makes you lucky.  As always, depending on your child’s age and ability level you might have to write the message for them, have them trace it, copy it and/or provide lines for them to write on.

Stand back and admire your St. Patrick’s Day craft.  Don’t forget to have your child read their message to you.  Who knew hearts could turn into clovers?  For more holiday activities please visit Chicago Speech and More’s blog archives.

Homemade Valentine’s Day Cards: A Great Language Activity

Valentine's Day Card Language ActivityHomemade Valentine’s Day Cards: A Great Language Activity

 

Making a Valentine’s Day card with your child can provide opportunities to use tons of vocabulary words and language concepts.  Begin by letting your child select which color construction paper to use.  Provide them with choices. Pink, red, white are the usual, but who cares? Go crazy! Depending on your child’s language ability have them make their selection either by pointing, labeling the color or using a carrier phrase or sentence such as: “I want the red, please”.  If you are working on expanding utterances, model a longer sentence “Can I have the red piece of paper, please?” It is amazing how much language you can elicit just from choosing construction paper! After the big decision (paper color) is made, discuss with your child which way to fold the paper (don’t just do it for them).

Practice writing a message with your child on the inside of the card. Depending on the age and ability of your child, help them to create a message. It is usually best to draw lines on the inside of the card to give your child a visual area to write on. If your child isn’t able to write independently but can copy written work, draft the message together, write it on a separate piece of paper and have your child copy it onto the card. If this is too advanced for your child, have them dictate the message to you. Talk about how we open letters with “dear” and then write “Happy Valentine’s Day!”  Discuss other items you can enclose in your message. Let your child come up with ideas. Once you have finished your message, explain how we close letters with “love, yours truly, from, etc.”.   When the message is complete, have your child read the card back to you. Reading practice plus a language activity- what could be better?

Now comes the fun part- decorating your cards!  I like to use hearts in various sizes, textures, and colors.  Depending on the age and ability of your child you can cut out hearts from construction paper or have your child trace hearts on construction paper and cut them out themselves. I also try to find fun foam heart stickers. These glitter ones are amazing: Glitter Foam Heart Stickers.  Kids love them! Now it’s time for more language. Depending on your child’s language ability, have them select which hearts they would like for their card either by pointing, labeling, or using a carrier phrase or sentence.  You can encourage use of MANY attributes here: big, little, small, red, white, pink, hot pink, shiny, glittery, etc. Get creative! Model great sentences such as: “Can I have the big, shiny, pink heart please?” Continue to make this a language-rich activity by holding onto the glue so your child has to ask for it each time he needs it.  Talk about placement of the hearts on the cover. Are you going to write I love you in the hearts, create a pattern, go from big to small, etc? Here are some great examples of homemade Valentine’s Day cards: Homemade Valentine’s Day Card Ideas.

Once you are done decorating your card, introduce vocabulary words like: envelope, stamp, address, return address. We’re cutting it close- so it is probably best to hand-deliver these Valentine’s Day beauties!

Chicago Speech and More hopes you and your loved ones have a wonderful Valentine’s Day!  If you are looking for some additional activities to do with your children, check out Chicago Speech and More’s blog to get some ideas!

Chicago Speech and More’s Favorite Post-Holiday Language Activity

Thank You Note Language ActivityWith no school, the days can get endless and the kids restless…

Now that Christmas and Chanukah are over you are probably looking around at a bunch of new toys, games and electronics. While I hope your children are still enjoying their new gifts, it can be hard to find ways to stay busy. If you’re looking for a great language activity, Chicago Speech and More recommends writing thank-you notes with your children.

I know sending and receiving letters might be foreign to your children but the concepts are important. Writing “thank-you” notes with your children are great for many reasons.  Not only are you instilling the value of saying “thank-you” for gifts received, there is tons of new vocabulary and language concepts that go along with writing and sending letters.

First, practice writing a message with your child.  Depending on the age and ability of your child, help them to create a message. It is usually best to draw lines to give your child a visual area to write on. If your child isn’t able to write independently but can copy written work, draft the message together, write it on a separate piece of paper and have your child copy it. If this it too advanced for your child, have them dictate the message to you. Talk about how we open letters with “dear” and then write “thank you for the ________”.  Discuss other items you can enclose in your message. Let your child come up with ideas. Once you have finished your message, explain how we close letters with “love, yours truly, from, etc.” and then sign our name.

If you are a fan of “snail-mail”, introduce vocabulary words like: envelope, stamp, address, return address.   If  “snail-mail” isn’t your thing, you can always send a “thank-you” email.   Let’s be honest—everyone loves getting a “thank-you” note.

Chicago Speech and More hopes the rest of your holiday season is wonderful.  If you are looking for some additional activities to take up time, check out Chicago Speech and More’s blog to get some ideas!

Chicago Speech and More’s Favorite Holiday Activities

Chicago Speech and More recommends making a Ginger Bread House

Chicago Speech and More’s Favorite Fun and Easy Holiday Activities

It might be getting cold outside but there are many fun indoor holiday activities you can do with your children this weekend. Here are some of Chicago Speech and More’s favorite holiday language enriching activities.

Make a fun holiday card
Making a card can provide many opportunities to use various vocabulary words and language concepts. Begin with a piece of construction paper and discuss with your child which way to fold the paper (don’t just do it for them). Practice writing a message with your child on the inside of the card. Depending on the age and ability of your child, help them to create a message. It is usually best to draw lines on the inside of the card to give your child a visual area to write on. If your child isn’t able to write independently but can copy written work, draft the message together, write it on a separate piece of paper and have your child copy it onto the card. If this it too advanced for your child, have them dictate the message to you. Create a fun and decorative cover for the card. Chicago Speech and More recommends the 3-D cotton ball snowman card. For more information visit:
http://fun.familyeducation.com/crafts/childrens-art-activities/48081.html

Make a special holiday gift
Rather than going out to the store and buying gifts for your loved ones, Chicago Speech and More recommends creating gifts with your children. Everyone loves a picture frame—why not spruce up the easy and timeless Popsicle Stick Picture Frame.  While you are crafting make sure to use sequential vocabulary like “first, “next”, “then” and “last” and talk through the entire project. Sort the various items into colors, sizes and shapes before putting them onto your frames.
Check out this website for some creative and fun ways to make this gift a real keeper:
http://www.firstpalette.com/Craft_themes/People/craftstickphotoframe/craftstickphotoframe.html

Make delicious holiday treats
What is better than eating tasty holiday treats? Making them with your children! Chicago Speech and More recommends making holiday cookiesFollowing a recipe is a great way to encourage language and direction following with your children. You can use sequential vocabulary (see above), positional vocabulary and introduce new baking vocabulary (measurements, utensils). When baking, the possibilities are endless…you can go as simple as making holiday cookies (all you need are some cookie cutters, frosting and sprinkles) or check out this coconut snowmen recipe: http://www.marthastewart.com/275160/easy-holiday-treats-for-kids-to-make/@center/307035/santas-workshop

Building or designing a Gingerbread House might just be the most fun you and your children will have this winter. You can either purchase a kit at your local grocery store or make a house from scratch.  While slightly more difficult, making the house from scratch will lead to: brainstorming, problem solving and a lot of laughs!  When decorating your gingerbread house discuss patterns, colors, shapes and sizes with your children.  Try the various candy and talk about how they taste and feel in your mouth.  Most importantly– Have Fun!  Here is a recipe for a Children’s Gingerbread House:http://allrecipes.com/recipe/childrens-gingerbread-house/

These are just a few of Chicago Speech and More’s favorite holiday activities but the fun doesn’t have to stop there! Language opportunities are everywhere so make sure to talk about everything: each step you are taking, why you are doing it, how to do it and encourage your child to do the same. When you are done with your projects recap what you did and ask your child about it—maybe while sipping a cup of hot chocolate☺?

Chicago Speech and More hopes your have a fabulous weekend!

Educational Holiday Gifts

It’s holiday time and with so many options out there, buying the perfect gift for the children in your life can be daunting.  Why not make it an educational, language enhancing gift?

Here are some of my my favorite educational holiday gifts……

Board Games:

These games are fun and exciting and can help with vocabulary and language development without your child even knowing it.  Add carrier phrases such as “I picked (card item)” or “Does your person have (attribute)” to various games to work on expanding utterances and question forms.

  • Blurt
  • Boggle and Boggle Jr.
  • Funny Bunny
  • Guess Who
  • Guess Where
  • Memory
  • Scattergories
  • Sequence for Kids

Toys:

Use these toys to engage in imaginative play and build vocabulary.  The more fun you have, the more your child will get out of these experiences!

  • Fischer Price Little People Toys (van, bus, car, people, etc.)
  • Mr. Potato Head
  • Just Like Home Brand (food, kitchen, cash register, etc.)
  • Puzzles
  • Fischer-Price Laugh and Learn Puppy

Electronics:

  • LeapFrog devices
  • VTech devices

This is only a start–there are many fun and wonderful educational holiday gifts out there.

I hope you have a fantastic holiday season. 

Happy shopping!

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