I wanted to give a big thank you to all the parents of my wonderful students- you have all been so incredibly supportive of me in my first semester here at Tritt and I am so thankful for that. It is so evident that you all work hard with your children at home on their speech goals. I have seen such progress for the students and know that so much of it is due to the care and encouragement they receive from their parents to work hard at home. I am not sending home specific packets for homework over the break- I believe students make more progress in generalizing their speech and language skills when their goals are maintained through family activities at home. Below is a list of some ideas for activities the whole family can do together to make communication more salient for the students while they are on break:
- Decorate a gingerbread house together
- Label the different candies you put on the house and identify the actions you take to create the house (“Squeeze the icing, push the gumdrop down, etc.)
- Talk about spatial concepts while you build it (the gingerbread man goes inside the house, the gumdrop is on top of the house, etc.)
- Pick out candies that have your child’s speech sounds in them and model the correct articulation
- Bake cookies together
- Sequence the steps taken to make cookies (First, we add the ingredients, next, we stir, then, we dollop cookie drops onto the sheet, last, we put in the oven, etc.)
- Encourage your child to request items or help using words or sentences that are just above what they are currently producing (from “help” to “I need help,” or “please give me the chocolate chips”)
- Read read read!
- Read your favorite (and new) books together pointing out the child’s articulation sounds and emphasizing their correct production
- Ask questions about what is happening in the story (Who is the main character? Where are they going?, etc.)
- Encourage interaction with holiday guests
- It’s always exciting to see children generalize their learning to other activities and situations- sometimes it just takes a reminder to help them connect the dots and see that they need to use their correct speech sound with everyone they talk to, not just parents or SLP
I have found that often, whatever is important to the child (a certain toy, book, or favorite activity) can be used to target their goals more effectively than created materials. I encourage you to use your child’s hobbies to expand communication and verbal output- because it’s important to them, they will enjoy it more, and they will remember what they’ve learned!
I hope you all have very happy holidays and create wonderful memories with family and friends!