Toy Central- Slug in a Jug

No doubt you’ve heard the message “play with your child” but what they don’t tell you is what games are good to play and how to play them.  Did you know it’s these two things – the what and how - that makes the difference to your child’s development?

So why take the time to play with your child? Well research shows us play allows children to use their creativity as they develop their imagination, dexterity, and physical, cognitive, and social and emotional skills.  Phew! That’s a lot of areas play can influence. Play is also so important for healthy brain development. Most of all play is fun and a simple joy that children love and by playing with your child,  you are giving them time when they feel special.

To help you out we’re going to answer the what and how for playing with your child by telling you about a game we like to use in clinic and sharing our top three tips on how to play the game to encourage your child’s listening, talking and thinking skills.

 

 

Slug in a Jug by Orchard Toys

What’s it about?

Slug in a Jug is a colourful and fun game for matching pictures of things that rhyme. Players take turns to choose which pictures rhyme. Better yet, Slug in a Jug has made teaching rhymes a lot easier by highlighting the sounds at the end of the words. In this way, children are able to match the letters as well as the sounds when learning about rhymes.

Rhyme awareness is a phonological awareness skill. Phonological awareness refers to the ability to recognise patterns of letter sounds (such as rhyme and alliteration), know how many syllables and sounds there are within words, and being able to recognise how these sounds can be changed or manipulated. Phonological awareness is strongly linked to our children’s ability to read and spell during their school years.

 

 

Our top 3 tips

  1. Children in preschool or kindergarten are encouraged to increase their awareness of rhyme. One way to do this is to choose three pictures: two that rhyme, and one that does not. Then ask your child which two rhyme. For example, “I have a king. Which one rhymes with king?Ring or cup?”
  2. For older kids, you can take matching pairs of rhyming words and sort them into a game of Have all cards faced down. Take turns flipping over two cards, and if they rhyme, you get to keep them. If not, you must put them back. This way, both you and your child get a mental workout with your memory skills whilst targeting your child’s ability to recognise rhyme.
  3. Get your child to come up with another word that rhymes that is not on any of the Slug in a Jug It can be a real or made up word! This way, children can use their imagination and demonstrate how well they understand the concept of rhyme.

 

REMEMBER: MOST OF ALL HAVE FUN PLAYING TOGETHER.

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Do people have trouble understanding what your child says?

If people have difficulty understanding what your child says to them then this article is for you. You probably find yourself asking a bunch of questions about their pronunciation (aka speech).  Is it ok for their age?  Should they be able to say that sound? I can understand them so why can’t others? When do I need to get help? These are all really important questions so keep reading to find out the answers.

Whilst every child develops differently there are some key milestones when it comes to your child’s speech development. If your child doesn’t meet these milestones you or other less familiar people can be find it difficult to understand them.  This can cause your child to become frustrated, they may become withdrawn and their confidence can drop.

 

Research has found that persistent speech sound disorders, in other words those that are present at school entry and beyond, can negatively impact on a child’s literacy development.

 

It’s clear that early intervention is the key to success when it comes to speech. But the question is when should you seek help from a Speech Pathologist?  Family and friends may tell you not to worry explaining how their child “caught up” or “grew out of it”. GPs may tell you to wait because your child is too young.  These people mean well by their advice however they’re not qualified Speech Pathologists and don’t actually know whether or not you should be seeking help for your child.  Waiting can be incredibly detrimental to your child. Getting help at the right time will improve your child’s speech, make them easier to understand, build their confidence and prevent them from going on to have literacy difficulties due to ongoing speech difficulties.

 

So, here are the two main ways for you to work it if your child may need help.

  1. Intelligibility

Although it sounds related, intelligibility has nothing to do with your child’s intelligence. Intelligibility is a general measure of well people can understand your child when they’re talking.  Here’s what to expect...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Speech sounds

Your child should develop certain speech sounds by a certain age.  This is what increases their intelligibility over time. As your child gets older their speech should become more accurate.  Here are the different sounds and when you should expect to hear your child using them when talking

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you’re worried about your child’s speech, trust your gut and reach out to a qualified paediatric Speech Pathologist (one who works solely with children). Our Speech Pathologists see children who have speech difficulties every day.  We can implement treatment to improve your child’s speech so they can be understood by everyone, reduce their frustration and build their confidence and prevent literacy difficulties due to ongoing speech difficulties.  Click here to send us an email or call us on 9653 9955.

 


Toy Central- Shopping List

No doubt you’ve heard the message “play with your child” but what they don’t tell you is what games are good to play and how to play them.  Did you know it’s these two things – the what and how - that makes the difference to your child’s development?

So why take the time to play with your child? Well research shows us play allows children to use their creativity as they develop their imagination, dexterity, and physical, cognitive, and social and emotional skills.  Phew! That’s a lot of areas play can influence. Play is also so important for healthy brain development. Most of all play is fun and a simple joy that children love and by playing with your child,  you are giving them time when they feel special.

To help you out we’re going to answer the what and how for playing with your child by telling you about a game we like to use in clinic and sharing our top three tips on how to play the game to encourage your child’s listening, talking and thinking skills.

 

 

SHOPPING LIST by Orchard Toys

What’s it about?

The Shopping List lotto game is a colourful and simple vocabulary game which holds children's attention! Players take it in turns to turn over cards showing everyday items, from tomatoes to washing powder to pizza. If they match the pictures on their shopping list, they are encouraged to put them in their trolley. The winner is the first player to collect all the items on their list and fill their trolley or basket

It is good for children ages 3-7.

Our top 3 tips

  1. With younger children place the pictures face down and take turns to choose one, then see whose shopping trolley it should go in and help each other fill the trolleys. This is nice for encouraging social skills such as sharing, turn-taking and helping others.
  2. With older children it can be fun to take turns to be the shopkeeper and encourage questioning and requesting skills. E.g. in response to ‘Hello what do you need today?’ – ‘I need tomatoes please’.
  3. Talking about the items, you can give additional information. This helps extend your child’s vocabulary and concept knowledge e.g. I’ve got carrots…do you have any vegetables in your trolley? My carrots are orange? Can you tell me something about the things in your trolley? This is fantastic for encouraging categorising and describing skills.

 

REMEMBER: MOST OF ALL HAVE FUN PLAYING TOGETHER.
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Book Central - The Wonky Donkey

No doubt you’ve heard the message “read books with your child” but what they don’t tell you is what books to read and how to read them. Did you know it’s these two things – the what and how - that makes the difference to your child’s development?
We know from research that children who are not read to have a poorer understanding of language, their vocabularies are smaller, and their thinking skills are less advanced. And this means they go on to have trouble learning to read themselves. So, reading the right books in the right way to your child is critical to their development.
To help you out we’re going to answer the what and how or book reading with one fantastic book and our top three tips to make sure the way you’re reading is improving your child’s listening, talking and thinking skills.

The Wonky Donkey - Craig Smith

What’s it about?

The Wonky Donkey is a children’s book and song which talks about a donkey who has three legs and one eye. It is a funny cumulative story using many descriptive words to describe how the donkey looks, smells and what he looks like.

Our top 3 tips

1. Children love funny stories. Laughter is contagious and if you can actively enjoy the books you are reading with your child, chances are they’re going to love them and want to do them with you over and over.
2. Children love and respond to repetition, and this book repeats many silly words and phrases over and over allowing your child to remember them, giving them opportunities to join in the story as it progresses.
3. The Wonky Donkey is also a song and therefor has a rhythmic flow to it which also helps capture your child’s interest and learning. Talk to your child about rhythm and consider listening to the song together joining in with the words.

 

 

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Book Central - Sharing a Shell

No doubt you’ve heard the message “read books with your child” but what they don’t tell you is what books to read and how to read them. Did you know it’s actually these two things – the what and how - that makes the difference to your child’s development?

We know from research that children who are not read to have poorer understanding of language, their vocabularies are smaller and their thinking skills are less advanced. And this means they go on to have trouble learning to read themselves. So, reading the right books in the right way to your child is critical to their development.

To help you out we’re going to answer the what and how or book reading with one fantastic book and our top three tips to make sure the way you’re reading is improving your child’s listening, talking and thinking skills.

 

Sharing a Shell – Julia Donaldson

What’s it about?

This story is about a little hermit crab who doesn’t want to share his shiny new shell. However, circumstances may change Crab’s mind as new dangers occur. Will Crab accept a blobby purple anemone and a fuzzy bristle worm?

This book is suitable for children aged 3 years+. The story is easy to follow and prompts the children to consider themes of friendship and sharing. The clever rhymes and bright illustrations will keep children engaged. Repetition of phrases in the book will also allow children to read along as they become familiar with the story.

 

Our top 3 tips

  1. Look at the illustrations as you are reading.

The illustrations in the book are a useful way for children to comprehend the story and start to link pictures to words. They will be able to draw on emotions depicted on faces and what they can see in the foreground and background to help inform what they are reading. By showing children the illustrations and pages in the book, you are also modelling how a book is to be read, how it should be held, what direction they read in and when to turn pages.

  1. Ask questions about the story.

Asking questions about what you are reading is a great way to ensure children are comprehending the story. You can ask them questions about what they can see, what might happen next, how characters are feeling and why they might be feeling that. These questions promote predicting and inferencing skills and keep the child engaged in the story.

  1. Use rhyme and repetition.

This book is full of rhyme and repetition which can be emphasised with expression and character voices to make the story exciting.  Rhyme will help in the development of phonological awareness skills as children can start to recognise and identify words that have the same sounds. Once the child is familiar with the story, pausing and allowing the child to finish the repetitive sentences will keep them engaged and excited as they are able to help tell the story.

 

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Toy Central- Hedbanz for kids

No doubt you’ve heard the message “play with your child” but what they don’t tell you is what games are good to play and how to play them.  Did you know it’s these two things – the what and how - that makes the difference to your child’s development?

So why take the time to play with your child? Well, research shows us play allows children to use their creativity as they develop their imagination, dexterity, and physical, cognitive, and social and emotional skills.  Phew! That’s a lot of areas play can influence. Play is also so important for healthy brain development. Most of all play is fun and simple joy that children love and by playing with your child,  you are giving them time when they feel special.

To help you out we’re going to answer the what and how for playing with your child by telling you about a game we like to use in clinic and sharing our top three tips on how to play the game to encourage your child’s listening, talking and thinking skills.

Hedbanz for kids!

 

What’s it about?

Hedbanz is a fun, interactive game that is known as the quick question game of what am I? The aim of the game is to ask questions until you figure out if the cartoon on your head is an animal, food or household item. Everybody else knows your cartoon but you! The winner is the first person to guess their cartoon before the timer run out!

 

 

 

Our top 3 tips

  1. With younger children, this is a great game to develop basic vocabulary and simple categories. You can use the nicely illustrated playing cards that contain pictures of familiar foods, animals and household items which can be used to teach simple vocabulary or turned into a category sorting task.
  2. For older children, this game encourages item descriptions and the use of adjectives. Ensure all questions asked contain an adjective whether that be focusing on the colour, size, feature or category. This helps promote sentence complexity as well as vocabulary development.
  3. Get your child to focus on the previous questions they have asked to ensure they are not repeating the same questions. This helps target auditory recall as your child needs to recall the answers to previous questions and comprehend the answers to begin creating a mental picture in their minds.

 

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Book Central - Where is the Green Sheep?

No doubt you’ve heard the message “read books with your child” but what they don’t tell you is what books to read and how to read them.  Did you know it’s actually these two things – the what and how - that makes the difference to your child’s development?

We know from research that children who are not read to have poorer understanding of language, their vocabularies are smaller and their thinking skills are less advanced.  And this means they go on to have trouble learning to read themselves.  So, reading the right books in the right way to your child is critical to their development.

To help you out we’re going to answer the what and how or book reading with one fantastic book and our top three tips to make sure the way you’re reading is improving your child’s listening, talking and thinking skills.

 

 

Where is the Green Sheep? – Mem Fox and Judy Horacek

 

 

What’s it about?

This is a story is simply about finding the green sheep seeing what he’s been doing. As you go though each page, you will find lots of different sheep of different colours and with different interests. But will you find the green sheep?

This book is suitable for children as young as 2. It is colourful book that is quirky and easy to follow. The pictures and rhyme are sure to keep your child engaged, while the story will keep your child guessing about the whereabouts of the mysterious green sheep. This book will help your child develop language and pre literacy skills.

 

 

 

Our top 3 tips

  1. Make the most out of the rhyme and repetition.

Mem Fox always does a great job of incorporating rhyme and repetition. Add in some expression, character voices and even gestures to make the story even more exciting. Emphasising and identifying the rhyme can help your child develop their phonological awareness, and the repetition will help familiarise them with words. It’s important that story time is fun, so why not make it fun and educational when you can?

  1. Have fun with the pictures.

Storytime is meant to be fun and colourful pictures really help bring a story to life. Embrace the pictures and use them as a stimulus to ask lots of questions before you read the words “what’s that?” or “what is he doing?”. This will help your child gain a better understanding of the words when you read them.

  1. Ask questions.

It’s great to ask about what’s happening in the story to hear their ideas about what’s going on in the book and make sure they’re understanding. But it’s just as important to ask about what they think might happen next, or in this case “where do you think the green sheep is going to be?”. This is a great way to build your child’s inferencing skills, helping them formulate ideas based on what they know already.

 

 

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Book Central - The Best Birthday Present Ever

No doubt you’ve heard the message “read books with your child” but what they don’t tell you is what books to read and how to read them.  Did you know it’s actually these two things – the what and how - that makes the difference to your child’s development?

We know from research that children who are not read to have poorer understanding of language, their vocabularies are smaller and their thinking skills are less advanced.  And this means they go on to have trouble learning to read themselves.  So, reading the right books in the right way to your child is critical to their development.

To help you out we’re going to answer the what and how or book reading with one fantastic book and our top three tips to make sure the way you’re reading is improving your child’s listening, talking and thinking skills.

 

The Best Birthday Present Ever! By Ben Mantle

What’s it about?

This book is about a squirrel who tries very hard to find his bear friend the very best birthday present ever! The squirrel decides a stick would be the best gift, and so he scours the entire woods to find the perfect one. At the bear’s birthday party, the squirrel finds that all of the bear’s presents are extravagant and just keep getting bigger and better with each one he unwraps! But the squirrel’s worries are all for naught, as the bear beams with glee, for he has always wanted a stick.

 

 

Our top 3 tips

  1. Follow the story along with your finger.

Following the story along with your finger helps children understand where you are looking to read the words within the book. From here, children can get their first glimpse into the relationship between printed letters and the sounds these letters make. This is the first important step of learning how to read.

  1. Get into a solid routine of reading a book every day.

Setting time aside every day to read helps children get into the habit of reading and practising their reading skills. Pick a time that is normally quiet so that distractions are limited and both you and your child can focus on what is happening in the books.

  1. Talk about the moral of the story.

Talking about the moral of the story can help sum up what the book is about. This skill is for older children, but is useful for them as they can use their higher-level language skills to look between the lines of what the story says to get a deeper understanding of what the book was really about.

 

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Book Central - The Rainbow Fish

No doubt you’ve heard the message “read books with your child” but what they don’t tell you is what books to read and how to read them.  Did you know it’s actually these two things – the what and how - that makes the difference to your child’s development?

We know from research that children who are not read to have poorer understanding of language, their vocabularies are smaller and their thinking skills are less advanced.  And this means they go on to have trouble learning to read themselves.  So, reading the right books in the right way to your child is critical to their development.

To help you out we’re going to answer the what and how or book reading with one fantastic book and our top three tips to make sure the way you’re reading is improving your child’s listening, talking and thinking skills.

The Rainbow Fish – Marcus Pfister

What’s it about?

This is a story about a rainbow fish with shimmering scales that is referred to as the most beautiful fish in the ocean. Other fish want shimmering scales too, but the rainbow fish does not want to share them. His choice not to share makes him a lonely and unhappy fish so he seeks help in finding what might make him happy.

Children will start to understand this story line at 4-5 years of age. The touching moral of the story will challenge children to think about how their actions and behaviour can impact other people around them. The story line helps children think about the concept of feelings and we can impact other people and the way they feel. This story is accompanied by shimmering pictures and a beautiful ending that is sure to keep your child entertained.

Our top 3 tips

  1. Use expression when you’re reading

Always add expression into your voice when reading a story. Adding expression keeps your child more engaged. You can do this by using different voices for different characters and by adding emotion to your voice to suit what is happening.

  1. Talk about feelings and putting yourself in another person’s shoes

Ask questions about how the characters might be feeling. “How do you think the rainbow fish feels now that no one wants to be his friend?” or “How do the other fish feel now that they have shimmering scales too?”. You can also ask questions about how they would feel if someone didn’t want to share with them, or when someone does share with them.

  1. Ask questions about what might happen

It’s great to ask your child questions about what they think might happen next. This helps build their predicting and inferencing skills. Its great to ask questions “what would happen if...” or “what would you do if...”. These questions will challenge your child to think about the moral of the story and how it relates to their own life.

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stuttering child picnic

If your child is stuttering you need to read this

Is your child stuttering? Are they repeating sounds, words or phrases?  Are they stretching out words or getting stuck before talking?

 

“Around 12% of children begin to stutter by 4 years of age.  Children who begin to stutter in their preschool years need therapy immediately to prevent its negative impacts and possibility of lifelong stuttering”

 

If left without treatment your child’s stuttering can get worse or be with them for life.  The impact of stuttering on a child’s life is varied however it’s absolutely certain that it will interfere with their ability to communicate.  Stuttering can lead to your child feeling embarrassed to speak in front of others, they can become frustrated with it and they may develop social anxiety which significantly affects their ability to interact and build relationships with people.  This social anxiety can begin to emerge by just seven years of age.

With the right treatment in the preschool years stuttering can be eliminated.  Your child can become an excellent communicator who can confidently answer questions in class, stand up and give a speech and build strong relationships with those around them.

 

“It’s so important that you get the right treatment for your child. There are specific programs that must be used to treat childhood stuttering.  There is NO evidence to back up some of the approaches that are out there.”

 

So, if you want to get your child’s speech stutter-free here are the two programs that work in the preschool years:

  1. The Lidcombe Program

    This program was developed in Australia and has the strongest evidence supporting its effectiveness. It involves you and your child attending weekly sessions with a qualified Speech Pathologist.  These sessions involve training you in how to give your child feedback on the stutter every day at home as well as how to rate the severity of the stutter.  You being present and participating in the sessions is essential for success.

  1. RESTART-DCM

    This program was developed in the Netherlands and also had strong evidence supporting it use.  It also involves you and your child attending sessions with a qualified Speech Pathologist however the focus of your parent training will be on helping you to reduce the communication demands on your child.  As with the Lidcombe Program, your must be present in sessions for the treatment to work.

Do you see the one common element in both programs?  It's the involvement of a parent or carer in the therapy.  Without your involvement your child will not become stutter free.

Now with these programs in mind, if your child is stuttering it’s time to get help.  Our Speech Pathologists see children who stutter every day.  We can do treatment to stop your child stuttering and build confidence in their communication.  Simply send us an email info@jennih.sg-host.com or call us on 9653 9955.