Don’t you love it when you discover a whole new world to learn about?
This month, our storytime providers are sharing tips with parents and caregivers about the early literacy practice of “talking.” So I’ve been surfing, on the lookout for new ideas for storytime activities and fun research to share. I was specifically looking for information about “expressive” vocabularies, or the words that we can say ourselves (not just the words we understand when we hear them).
One of the things I came across was a great post from a speech therapist’s blog: Child Talk: Building Language in the Bathtub.
Bathtubs can be a wonderful place to build language! Why? Because one of the most powerful ways to build language is inside of routines, especially those routines that occur on a daily basis. What’s more, many children love bath time! The only thing better for language than a routine is a routine that children truly love. As a bonus, bath time is something that is already built into the day – no need to buy any new toys or find time to sit on the floor and play. As parents, we can create many teachable moments inside something we are already doing, almost every day.”
The rest of the post is filled with practical, doable advice for encouraging language and communication during a bath. What struck me is how much of it sounds like stuff we already do (or could do) in storytime, especially in terms of how we articulate routines, respond to and expand on what children say, and those great open-ended dialogic reading questions.
In addition, I really enjoyed reading articles in her “Tips” section on the left sidebar. I learned about the different kinds of talk we can engage in with young children, and how to use choices and set up “communication temptations” to entice a child to practice using words. She even has posts on using books to encourage language! This is all super advice that I can pass on to parents and caregivers. I’ve added her to my blogroll and am eager to go back and read the rest of her posts.
Then a lightbulb went off in my head and I remembered that Anne had sent me a link to a different blog by another speech language pathologist, but I had not read much beyond that one post. So I headed over to Playing with Words 365 and was blown away by all the information there.
Katie has a great page called “Speech and Language 101” with links to all of her developmental articles–what to expect at each stage birth-5 years.
She also has a series of posts on Top Toys that encourage language development, and she addresses sign language questions, and in her section for other Speech Language Pathologists, she has posts on therapy activities–which look a lot like storytime or preschool program ideas to me. AND she talks about using books to extend language skills. What’s not to love?
Obviously these are only 2 of about a million speech therapy blogs, but I’ve found them to be very helpful. I’ve learned new vocabulary, techniques, and concepts, and I love looking at early literacy from a slightly different point of view.
Do you follow any speech therapy blogs?