Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Bringing Speech & Language into Your Own Home- Letting Mom (or Dad) be the SLP!

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I absolutely love using thematic units. I wish I could find a career where my entire job was to plan thematic units for kids. I'm talking a story that goes along with a lesson or skill. Then, a fun correlating activity. Or maybe if things get a little crazy, a matching snack and a movie. I love it. Thematic units are fun and they give the kids multiple exposures to vocabulary and skills you may be working on. Lucky for me, I do get to plan thematic units that go along with my students' speech and language goals. And guess what- this is something super easy, fun, and educational for parents to do at home with their kids, too. 
With winter break right around the corner, this is the perfect time to educate your students' parents on how to tie speech, language, and educational opportunities into their daily lives. I know that many parents are busy with a full schedule and full time jobs (trust me, I am one of them), but this doesn't have to be something that happens daily. When you have a free evening or a free afternoon, set some time aside for some fun, hands on learning. I am going to share an example below.
I always say, start off with a story. Last week, we read the story, Gingerbread Baby by Jan Brett
This is a great holiday story that kids just love. Books give us an amazing opportunity to make predictions, use descriptive words, ask and answer WH-questions, practice reading skills, practice reading skills while using good speech, etc. Kids love reading with their parents, it's a great bonding time.
After you read a story, find a fun activity that is related to the same topic as the story. Moms and dads that are reading this- finding activities to go along with stories is much easier than you may think. Search Google, Pinterest, and Teachers Pay Teachers for some great, printable educational materials. For example, Whitney Smith, from Let's Talk, has a great story companion that goes along with Gingerbread Baby. After we read the story, we played a synonym matching game then compared and contrasted a gingerbread man vs. a gingerbread house. These are all great language opportunities.
Next comes the best part- the snack! What is a better snack when reading this story than decorating a gingerbread man?! Hands on, crafty activities can spark a lot of language in kids. In addition to their excitement, it's a great chance to work on requesting, vocabulary, descriptive words, story telling, sequencing, etc.
The picture below if of my daughter decorating a gingerbread man with her daddy. If you check craft stores around this time of year, everything holiday related is on sale.
This is just one example, there is so much out there that parents can do with their kids at home. Any opportunity to spend time with your children while working on speech and language skills is time well spent. Fun weekend or evening games, stories, and activities are things that your kids will remember forever. Why not have some fun and try out your best SLP skills at the same time? You may surprise yourself!


1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the informative article. There are few well-known Speech Language Pathologist in Kolkata who provide speech therapy. Looking forward to more informative articles from you.

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