Category Archives: Speech and Language

Valentine’s Day Activities

Written by Gloria Menezes-Furtado, MED, LSLS Cert AVT

It’s time for songs, chocolate and love!  Happy Valentine’s Day. 

Here are a few listening activities you can do with your little one to celebrate:

All kids love singing and being sung to, so it’s time to bring back the classics from Barney: “I love you , You love me….” Singing is a natural partner for building auditory discrimination and memory.  Add movement while singing, and after a few repetitions, stop at a crucial point in the song to allow your child to fill in the blank. This will look different based on your child’s age and listening skills — on the continuum, it will go from non-descript vocalizing to clarity in vowels, to clarity in consonants, to words and phrases.  

Heart stickers can be used to build and reinforce auditory comprehension of family member’s names, vehicles, your child’s favorite toys, and the list goes on.  Pick a sticker and put on different toys or pictures while saying “Happy Valentine’s Day!” This will provide a natural situation to repeat this phrase.  Listening can be further incorporated by going from single elements to multiple embedded elements. (Let’s find the lion…. Let’s put the blue heart on the lion…. Let’s put the small blue heart on the lion…. Let’s put the small blue heart on the lion’s tail).

If you do not have stickers, have no fear! You can make a Valentine’s Day card by tracing your child’s hands together to make the shape of a heart (see picture). Use your imagination, the possibilities are endless like drawing a heart on face.  Create a natural language interaction by narrating while tracing and involving the child in the selection of the colors, facial features, and other details.

Above all, love and enjoy your time with your child!

Using St. Patrick’s Day to Build Your Child’s Language

One of our speech language pathologists, Lauren Walence, shares ways to have fun with your child on St. Patrick’s day while incorporating new vocabulary and building language skills. Read below:

A great way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day is to have a little bit o’ fun with your kids! Using sabotage can be a valuable strategy when expanding your child’s expressive language skills. What is sabotage? Sabotage is a way to stop anticipating your child’s needs, play dumb, and give your child time to think about how they are going to communicate what is happening in their world. Allowing a mischievous leprechaun to leave a few surprises while your child sleeps will provide them with rich language opportunities when they wake up and talk about everything the leprechaun switched around. Here are some easy, festive ideas:

  • Green milk for their cereal
  • Use a doll’s shoe to make leprechaun footprints across the counter
  • Sneaky temporary shamrock tattoos
  • Hide gold coins and talk about where they were found
  • Move furniture from its ordinary spot or turn it upside down!
  • Hang rainbow streamers in your child’s doorway
  • Swap a Cheerios bag with Lucky Charms cereal

Once you’ve found all the leprechaun’s tricks, take the time to make leprechaun pancakes, see recipe here:  Cooking together is a great way to input new vocabulary, build language skills and bond with your little one. Don’t forget to read a St. Patrick’s Day book before these festivities to give your child context as to what a leprechaun is and what mischief they get into!