Guest Blog by Little Orchard Children, Speech & Language Therapy
If you have a little one getting ready to start school in September then I know how you feel, I’ve been there myself! You want your little one be able to make themselves understood, ask for help if they need it, make friends and be happy. To be able to do all of these thing your little one needs Super Speech and Language Skills and the confidence to use them.
I’m Jane Wilson, Mum to three little girls and an independent Specialist Speech and Language Therapist. I’m also founder of Little Orchard Children and providing accessible therapy services to families and Early Years settings. I’m going to share with you some of my top tips for getting your child’s communication skills school ready!
Target: Speech Sounds
If unfamiliar people struggle to understand your child all of the time then your child may have difficulties making some of their speech sounds. If this is the case you can start helping them straight away by raising their awareness of that sound.
Activity: Treasure chest
What to do:
Find a box and decorate it.
Collect things from the house and garden that all start with the sound your child finds difficult.
Place all your items in your decorated treasure chest.
Take turns to close your eyes and pull things out – no peeking.
Try guessing what it is, describe what you can feel.
Open your eyes and label each item for your child, use single words.
Hold each item close to your mouth as you label it for them so they can see how you say the words and sounds.
Target: Confidence Boost
If your little one has lots to say at home but is not so confident at talking in unfamiliar situations, a great way to build their confidence is to practice talking!
Activity: DIY telephone
What to do:
Decorate some paper cups and poke a hole in the bottom of each cup.
Grab some string and thread it though each end of the cup.
Tie a knot to stop the string from pulling back through.
With the string pulled tight, one person holds their cup to their ear and the other person talks into their cup.
Encourage your child to practice passing messages to members of your family.
Target: Attention and Listening
If your little one finds it hard to attend to an activity for any length of time try the activity below to build on their attention and listening skills.
Activity: ‘Go’ Game
What to do:
Go outside and give your child a simple instruction like; “Run to the gate”, “Touch the tree” or “Go down the slide”.
Tell your child they have to wait until you say “Go”.
Give your instructions and then say “Ready Steady…” leave a short gap and then say “Go”.
You can made this activity more challenging by giving more complex instructions as well as gradually increasing the length of time your child has to wait before you say”Go”.
The best way to boost your child’s vocabulary is by sharing books together every single day! If you read one book a day to your child up until they start school at 5 years old they will have heard 290,000 words! Amazing!
Activity: Books, books, books!
What to do: Pick a quiet time every day to share your favourite book. Simple!
For more top tips and easy to follow activities that you can start straight away at home, pop over to our Facebook page or Instagram account. Visit our website to find out more about the services we offer and to book your first free service introduction. All of our services are available online so that you can access Speech and Language Therapy at a time that suits you from the comfort of your own home. Get in touch today to find out about our summer holiday special offer and discover how we can help you and your family!