I picked this felt board up on clearance at Barnes and Noble. Looking forward to seeing what type of creative designs my speech therapy clients can come up with! I foresee this being a hit! Get it here.
I have a large car tower for our house and one at the clinic because they are great for working on language skills with young kids. It’s all about joining kids where they are to help them learn!
Here are some ideas on how to use a car tower to practice speech:
- Expand on what a child says. So if they say “blue car” I might say, “Yes, the blue driving car is driving fast.”
- Ask questions. “Where is your car going?” “What color is your car?” “Why does a car have wheels?”
- Try and introduce new concept words when playing. Some ideas for cars and the tower could be fast/slow, stop/go, here/there, top/bottom, first/last.
This tower is the one I have at home! Get it here!
Fun game alert! I bought Snap Shouts a few months ago, and I love it. It has pictures of random photos and letter cards. Players come up with a one-word caption that starts with the selected letter that best fits a particular picture.
When playing, have your kids explain their answers and provide reasons why they selected the word they did. Another way to use it is to target social flexibility. After you play the cards, ask your kids to be flexible and pick the answer they genuinely think is the best one. Explain that their answer won’t always be the best, so teach your kiddo to be flexible and choose other people’s responses most of the time. Get it here.
Ice Cream Set
For any kid who loves ice cream, this Melissa & Doug set would be a great gift! This ice cream set is currently William’s favorite toy, and he plays with his ice cream set multiple times throughout the day. There are many skills you can work on when playing. For example, you can help your kiddo follow short directions with concepts “I’d like a chocolate cone with two ice cream scoops” or “I’ll have a strawberry scoop and a chocolate chip scoop in a cup.”
You can also help your child with pretend play by having him take orders and deliver ice cream. Working on math? The ice cream set comes with money and a menu with prices to practice basic addition.
I’m so glad we have this ice cream set at home because we work on so many different concepts together during play! Get it here.
I bought “Last Word” a while ago and completely forgot about it. This game was sitting on a shelf for years–but, then I got it out to play a couple of weeks ago with a client, and it is so much fun! It’s a fast-paced categories game that challenges one’s language skills. This game is great for a variety of ages since you can modify the difficulty by playing with/without the rule that each item in a category has to begin with a particular letter. Oh yea, and there is a randomized buzzer that goes off during each round. Don’t be the one stuck thinking of a word when time runs out! Get it here.
Light Spinner Toy
Does anybody else love these light spinner toys? They are so mesmerizing! Yes, they are fun to look at but here are some other ways you can use a spinner at home. Will and I often use our light spinner as a pretend magic wand and turn each other into animals. So when I say “abracadabra, I turn you into a frog,” Will then has to act like a frog. Cute, right? This light spinner is also a great calming tool when a little one is upset. Consider adding it to your child’s calm down spot when they are having a good time. What other ideas do you have for this fabulous little gadget? Get it here.
5 Second Rule, Jr.
Fun game alert! Okay, I have the adult version of this game, which can work with older kids. But, 5 Second Rule, Jr could work for a greater variety of ages. The object of this game is relatively easy. You have 5 seconds to name three items in a category (which is a great language skill). If 5 seconds seems too fast for your little ones, use the timer on your phone and extend the time to 15 or 20 seconds. That way they don’t feel as rushed. You could also just use the cards and take them with you on the go to play while you are waiting somewhere. Get it here.
I heart playing memory games. Memory has always been a favorite of mine since I was a child. I still get excited to play this game whenever possible. These Melissa & Doug wooden memory boards are fabulous! They come with seven different memory boards, so you get a variety of categories/cards to play in one game. Yay! I like the fruit card because I’m always thinking about food! These boards and cards are sturdy for multiple uses, and the game is easy to take on the go. I have this version at the clinic, and it is a fan favorite! Get it here.
Do you have a love/hate relationship with kiwis? Love to eat them, but hate to peel them? Well, friends, I’m here to help! My friend had one of these kiwi gadgets at her house, and I was in awe. It’s $6 and worth every dime! Kiwis are aplenty at our house now! Check out this video to see how it works. Get it here.
Sydney Cummings YouTube Workout Videos
I have started doing YouTube workouts because I didn’t want to pay for a gym…and these by Sydney Cummings I found are awesome. They range from 30-60 minutes. Include all different types from cardio, HIIT, weights, stretching, and pilates.
They are different all the time, so you don’t get bored. And, you can do the workouts anywhere and at any time. And, of course, these videos are free. If you’re looking for a change or something to fit in when you don’t go to the gym, check Sydney out! Her channel is available here. -Sharon