25 New Language Boosting Toy Ideas For Your Christmas List: Birth to 5 Yrs

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Can you believe it? Another year has come and past and with the chill in the air you know that the holidays are just around the corner! It is only November and already I have seen many toy lists posted online with suggestions for what to get kids this Christmas season. There are lots of lists out there that look great but I feel like I keep seeing the same ideas over and over again. So this holiday, I am inspired to do a post about all the new, fantastic toys out there that may not be found on the typical Christmas list, but should be!

I love all these items listed below because I have found they are fun for both boys and girls, they stand the test of time so kids will play with them for years to come, and of course, they encourage the development of strong speech, language and literacy skills.

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10 Language Boosting Board Games For The Cottage: Ages 2 – 10

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Summer is in full swing and I love it! It’s the season to take a little time off and enjoy yourself with family and friends. To take a break from the every day and make some special memories with the ones you love the most.

Personally, I remember heading to the cottage and spending lazy afternoons playing board games and cards with my friends and family. For me, these memories bring back wonderful feelings of togetherness and the pleasure of simplicity. In addition, although I wasn’t aware of it at the time, playing these games also had the amazing side benefit of helping boost my language skills!

Did you know board games help build:

  • Expressive language skills
  • New vocabulary
  • Social language skills such as turn taking, eye contact and following rules
  • Critical thinking and problem solving skills
  • Pre-literacy and literacy skills
  • Attention, memory and cognitive skills
  • And much more!!!

Whether you are heading out of town or enjoying a stay-cation, consider picking up some of my favourite games for speech and language development (listed below) to bring with you. Not only will you be creating special memories for your child to cherish, but you will be helping to boost their language skills without them even realizing! Remember, the more fun you have, the more fun your child will have! Enjoy!

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Why I’m Not Teaching My Toddler ABCs

As a parent of a 4 and 2 year old and a professional in speech and language development, I spend a lot of time with young children and their families. One of the biggest trends I have noticed amongst today’s parents is placing a high priority on having their young children learn to identify their ABCs. In my experience this typically begins around age 2, but I have even spoken to mothers of infants who are encouraging their babies to learn letters too.  Parents buy flash cards, apps and toys that center around learning letter identification and when I ask families why this is a priority for them the most common answer I receive is that they feel learning ABCs is important for helping their children learn to read.

While it is true that letter knowledge is an important piece in reading success, it is only one small portion of the bigger picture.  Reading typically begins around age 5, and just as you need to crawl before you walk, there are certain early literacy skills children need to master before they can become strong readers.

In this post I want to share some information about the building blocks for early literacy and things you can do to help babies, toddlers and preschoolers get ready to learn their ABCs.

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How To Create A Positive Home Literacy Environment

As a speech-language pathologist working with young children I get more questions about book reading than any other topic. Today’s parents are not satisfied to sit on the sidelines when it comes to their children’s development.  There is a desire to be involved and help their children grow and reach their full potential, right from birth.

Although it may seem strange to think about literacy before your child is in school, research tells us that the early experiences children have with books has a major impact on their later reading abilities.  It is with this in mind that I write this article to help families learn how to set the stage for literacy at home and foster a love of book reading from an early age.

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Let’s Get Talking!

Hi! As a speech-language pathologist, and a mom of two, I know first-hand how important it is to get a child’s language development off to a good start!  I decided to start writing this blog in response to the many questions I get from families I speak to every day. The purpose is to provide parents with education on typical early language and literacy development, and offer ideas and activities to help support their child’s language at home in fun,easy ways! 

Enjoy!