30+ Play dough activities for toddlers and preschoolers

30+ Play dough activities for toddlers and preschoolers

Posted by: on Jun 14, 2016 | No Comments

Play dough is one of our favorite play materials: it’s versatile, cheap and engages the little ones on so many different levels. When they’re playing with dough they are exploring their creativity, building motor skills and, of course, developing their language. Here’s my BIG guide to our top 30+ ways to play with dough!

Mr. Potato Head play ideas for building language skills with your toddler or preschooler

Mr. Potato Head play ideas for building language skills with your toddler or preschooler

Posted by: on May 30, 2016 | 2 Comments

Mr. Potato Head is a popular toy among speech therapists because little kids often enjoy playing with it, and it’s perfect for encouraging some important early language skills, including naming body parts, understanding object function, using early verbs and much more. Today’s post shares some fun ways to use this toy in educational play.

The best books to support early language development

The best books to support early language development

Posted by: on May 11, 2016 | No Comments

Reading with our children is one of the most powerful things we can do to support their language development. Sharing books with babies and toddlers introduces them to lots of new words. Just as importantly, it fosters loving bonds between children and adults. That feeling of warm attention that a small child enjoys when a parent reads them a story creates the perfect learning environment.

Teach your child to say ‘Mama’: Language skills targets for babies and toddlers

Teach your child to say ‘Mama’: Language skills targets for babies and toddlers

Posted by: on Apr 22, 2016 | 6 Comments

 

I realize that saying ‘Mama’ doesn’t sound like a major language skills goal, but let’s be honest, isn’t that what most mothers can’t wait to hear from their babies? And although I’m writing about ‘Mama’, the ideas in this post are just as relevant for ‘Dada’ or ‘Nana’ or whatever name you’re using, as a key figure in your little one’s life.

Language skills targets for babies and toddlers: 7. First Words

Language skills targets for babies and toddlers: 7. First Words

Posted by: on Apr 15, 2016 | One Comment

Our babies’ first words are undoubtedly one of the most exciting milestones of the early years. We get to hear about what interests our little ones, what they want and what they think, and start to connect in a whole new way. So how do we encourage babies and toddlers to speak? Here are some ideas and resources to get started!

Language skills targets for babies and toddlers: 6. Animal sounds

Language skills targets for babies and toddlers: 6. Animal sounds

Posted by: on Apr 3, 2016 | No Comments

A very common group of early ‘words’ for children are animal sounds: moo, baa, neigh, woof… It might seem silly to try to teach these words to your little one but it’s honestly a wonderful way to encourage talking! Find out why, and how in this post.

Inventing songs with toddlers

Inventing songs with toddlers

Posted by: on Mar 24, 2016 | 4 Comments

Singing songs is a great way to boost toddler language skills because it engages little children in a fun interaction and encourages them to listen out for and enjoy the sounds of words. Inventing new songs extends this. It helps fill your toddler’s day with words, and makes songs directly relevant to their experience. The language-learning potential from that is huge! This post gives quick tips for inventing songs your little one will love.

Language skills targets for babies and toddlers: 5. Play Sounds

Language skills targets for babies and toddlers: 5. Play Sounds

Posted by: on Mar 20, 2016 | One Comment

Before a baby says her first words, she will learn to use sounds in communication and to make particular noises on purpose. A great way to encourage this process is to introduce fun noises to your little one’s play. It may seem trivial, but in fact learning to imitate playful sounds is a big step towards learning to talk. This post is all about encouraging your baby or toddler to get noisy and verbal in play with easy to imitate sounds.

Language skills targets for babies and toddlers: 4. Following instructions

Language skills targets for babies and toddlers: 4. Following instructions

Posted by: on Mar 15, 2016 | No Comments

When a little one begins to follow instructions this is a moment worth celebrating! Not only might they be able to help out with simple tasks, they are also showing us that they understand words. Whether a toddler follows commands is a crucially important indicator of their early language skills. Today’s post talks about this milestone, and how to help toddlers understand and carry out simple instructions.

Help your toddler learn with puzzles

Help your toddler learn with puzzles

Posted by: on Mar 10, 2016 | No Comments

We play with puzzles every day and I’m a big fan of these toys for developing fine motor skills, spatial understanding, and language skills. My preschooler now enjoys doing his puzzles independently, but my toddler still prefers guidance and encouragement. They get lots of praise for completing puzzles, so I guess this motivates them! Today I’m sharing ideas for playing with puzzles with babies through to preschoolers.