One of the most common vocabulary goals I often work on with younger children (and some older children) is building a child’s lexicon of verbs. Verbs are the words that talk about our actions, or what we do, and they are a very important part of our vocabulary. Without them, we would not be able to create and use sentences because there is always at least one verb in every sentence. If you think about it, I’ve already mentioned 10 different verbs (seeming, being (are/is), working, building, talking, doing, creating, using, thinking and mentioning) in this paragraph alone...
Love them or hate them, devices are all too much a part of our lives these days and kids are spending more time in front of a screen than ever before. Computers/laptops, tablets and mobile phones, television and video games all contribute to the time and focus children are spending in front of a screen. And with a vast range of children’s apps and programming now, it can be hard to know what the right balance is in terms of the amount of time children spend on them.
It can be so hard to know when to be concerned about an aspect of your child’s development – children all grow and develop at such different rates. My own three children all hit developmental milestones at completely different ages, keeping me constantly baffled and unsure of what to expect next. And I confess to occasionally agonising about whether these differences were ‘normal’ and whether I should be doing something about it.
While not a substitution for traditional tools and methods of speech therapy, I have found that when used the right way, it is possible to use apps to encourage and teach a wide range of specific communication skills. Ipads and apps are often highly motivating for children, so having a good catalogue of apps to support communication skills can really assist in teaching new skills as well as increasing consolidation and transfer of that skill in different ways. So here is a very brief list of some of my favourite apps for encouraging different communication skills.
We all probably know we should read with our children, but do we always know why, and how reading can help support language development? I find that consciously knowing why I am doing something helps me to be more targeted in the way that I do it, and recognise when the outcomes I am aiming for are being achieved.
The days are getting cold here now and the motivation for getting outside is at an all-time low at our house at the moment. So I thought that it might be time to come up with some fun games to get the kids out for some fresh air, get their vitamin D boost and to burn up some of that abundant supply of energy!