Monday, January 13, 2014

Mommy & Me: Mommy School.

This week is going to be fun. Leah is kicking off the start of "Mommy School" and has a ton of awesome activities, crafts, and snacks planned for us to do with our little one's. I'm looking forward to working with Owen and having some new activities to do with him. This week's theme is Farm Animals. See all of the Mommy School details here.

And I am excited to share a few simple speech/language activities you can do with your mini's centered around the Farm Animal Theme as well. 

(I chose these goals/activities based on language developmental milestones appropriate for children 12-24 months. If your interested in more information about milestones see this page.)

Social Language Goal-Making Requests: If you have farm animal figurines and your little one is motivated to play with them simply put these in your lap, in a zip-lock bag or even on a higher shelf. (just somewhere out of there reach) Prompt your little one to make a request for an animal by showing them the animal.  Show excitement in your face when you pick up the bag, a single animal etc. Show them the animal. Model the short phrase for them, "want ____"  Using a hand gesture to indicate want paired with the word want should help them understand the concept. After you've modeled the phrase a few times for them remember to pause and wait and see if they will then request independently.   If they are not particularly motivated by the animal figurines try using animal crackers, cut out pieces of play dough in the shape of the animal, or an animal printable that they can first color, cut and glue onto popsicle sticks.

 Make it Harder-Give them two animals to choose from. Hold up both animals and ask them - "do you want pig or horse ." Child responds-"want horse."
If your child is already using two word utterance independently, prompt them to use 3 words. "I want ____." Child says-"want cow, " you model back to them "I want cow."
  If you have different sizes of animals you could also make it more difficult for them by having them request a BIG horse or a LITTLE horse,  etc.  They make a request by verbalizing which animal they want by also using a descriptive term. 

Pre- Literacy Skills Goal-Point to and label pictures independently: After reading one of the books Leah suggested. Let your little one "take charge" of reading time. Let them hold the book and turn the pages. Name an animal or target vocabulary as you are looking at the book leisurely together.  Ask them to-  "point to _____."   If they need help with this the first few times help them by pointing for them, or take their hand and point to the item named. After you've done this through pointing, next work on getting them to expressively name the pictures you point to. Simply point to the picture. Say the name of the item. Wait, and then point again and see if your child labels the picture independently. (many times children in the toddler age range can not say the words perfectly. That is okay and quite normal. See this page for information on speech development) Just be sure to give a good model of the word while holding their attention.  If they need extra help with this use a favorite toy, or snack and hold it close to your face to make sure you have their attention and to make sure they are looking at your "articulators" (ie, lips, tongue, mouth. :) Before they attempt to imitate the correct production of the target vocabulary word. 

Basic Concepts-IN/OUT 

(If you have a Fisher Price Barn you can work on all of the concepts below using it and the animal figurines. If you don't, use the farm animals and barn on Popsicle sticks craft Leah shared. )

I always encourage parents to let your child have some free play time before you try and do the "teaching time." When you feel they are ready, get down and play with them by manipulating the animals and showing them how they can go in the barn and out of the barn.  Go through each animal and say for example, " Pig IN, Horse IN, etc After all the animals are in the barn then take them OUT. Again, going through each animal and saying "Pig OUT", Horse OUT," etc. Of course, remember to make it fun, add in making animal sounds while also working on teaching verbs like eat, drink, run and jump. 

****See the Basic Concept Developmental chart here to find other age appropriate basic concepts to work on with your child if they have already mastered the concepts mentioned above. 

Following directions- After you've done the above activity or if your child already knows many basic concepts you can then work on following directions. First one step directions, and then two.  "Put the pig IN the barn."  "Put the pig IN the barn and the horse BEHIND the fence."

Answering questions-Yes/ No questions- Work on answering yes/no questions using the animals. Be sure and exaggerate the answer and the head nod or shake to illustrate concept. Pick only two animals at first. Ask them, " Is this a pig?" (hold up a cow) NO!!!! Is this a pig  (holding up a pig) YES!!! Go through and do this a few times with them, answering the question together.  Then, try giving them less cues- remember to pause and wait and see if they can answer the question independently.

And since I am working on putting together some activities for Owen to do when baby Claire arrives I also created this double sided language mat for him to play with. 

This side can be used to further vocabulary development, asking and answering questions, and in learning spatial concepts.  I know O will also enjoy adding his own trucks to the scene, too- Driving them on the path to go to the barn, around the animals, and to the apple trees.  

And this side-A Play dough Activity Mat will be used to learn shapes and during independent playtime.

Feel free to save and use the mats above for your little one. Just right click on the image and click save as. They are designed to be printed as double sided 11 X 17 placemats.  

I've also added a few new farm themed Personalized Language Enrichment Placemats to the Shop-check them out here. 

I hope you all have a great week, and don't forget to snap a few pictures and share your Mommy School Fun on Instagram (#mommyschool) and here on the link up!

January 2014


Meghan said...

Thanks for the great ideas! We have so many farm animals so we can totally do this! Cute placemat too!

Leah @ Everyday Love said...

I will definitely be doing this at home with Avery! Thank you so much for all your hard work! You my friend, are amazing!

the girl in the red shoes said...

You are amazing....seriously blown away by all of this! Good job mama!

Desiree Macke said...

These are such great (and simple) ideas! We will have to start some of these tonight.

Megan said...

Such a great activity!! Sofia loves animals, we'll have to try it out! :)

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Lauren said...

I just found your blog and can't wait to follow along! I'm always looking for new ideas to engage my 2 year old daughter Elyse...Thanks!