Using Children’s Books to Enhance Language Skills

Using Children’s Books to Enhance Language Skills Reading to children beginning at a very young age is a great way to introduce them to language.  However, enhancing their language can go far beyond reading the book.  Here are some fun, simple ways to use children’s books for more than just reading the words on the page. Select books that are repetitive and have child “fill in the blanks” Example: Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See” By Eric Carle.   Repetition is a great way for children to learn language.  After multiple times reading this book with your child, start pausing in the reading and see if your child can fill in the blanks. Use picture books that don’t have any words. Using picture books you and your child can make up your own story. Take turns adding to the story with each turn of the page. Instead of making up your own story, describe what you see on each page. This can start at the word level with just naming items on the page and eventually expand to sentences describing items on the page. Play a game of “I Spy.” Describe something on the page and see if your child can identify it, then switch roles where he/she describes then you guess. Example: “I Spy something that’s red, is a fruit, crunchy, and grows on trees.” Use traditional nursery rhymes or fairy tales. Nursery rhymes have rhythm to them just like songs….after multiple repetitions start pausing during the rhyme and see if your child can finish the rhyme. You can also act out nursery rhymes using yourself or...

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Summer Fun!

Summer Fun by Abby McKenzie, MOT, OTR/L Gross Motor/Core Strengthening Activities: A strong core and foundation is needed to help fine motor and visual motor skills develop.   Crab Walk Soccer Wheelbarrow Races Hungry HungryHippos on Scooter Boards Swinging Trampoline Jumping Jacks Hopscotch   Fine Motor Activities/Bilateral Coordination: It’s always great to incorporate activities that encourage crossing midline, using two hands, palm to finger translation, manual dexterity, grip strength, pincer skills, etc.   Piggy Banks – Start with picking up and putting in one coin at a time. As your child becomes more skilled with this, have them pick up multiple coins at once, storing them in their palm and sliding them to their fingers one at a time to place them in the piggy bank. DIY Piggy Bank   Play-Doh – Use two hands to roll into “snakes” or “meatballs” to develop the small muscles of the hand and encourage bilateral hand use!   Tongs – Use tongs to drop soft fuzzy pom-poms down paper towel rolls or match them by color in muffin tins. Fill a tub of water with magnetic letters, shapes, etc., have your child “fish” for them using tongs! Pinterest Tong Ideas   Washing Windows – You will be surprised how much kids actually enjoy this activity! Spray bottles are a great way to incorporate fine motor strengthening. Washing windows is a great way to strengthen a child’s shoulder joint. Encourage them to reach up high and use both hands on the towel at one time. Similar Activities   Peeling stickers, using clothespins, hand clapping games, Cats Cradle, icing cookies, origami, Etch-A-Sketch, squeeze fruits...