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How Pizza Builds Language

If you clicked on this blog hoping to hear scientific evidence that eating pizza will improve your child's language skills, I am so sorry to disappoint you! If you haven't noticed yet, you will soon start to see that everything you do can provide an opportunity to build language, One of my family's favourite, fun, and fast activities is making pizza! Here are 4 fun ways you can build language while making pizza with your family: 1. Using Language Categories: Sort toppings into different food groups or into fruits vs. vegetables. Have your child guess which group each topping belongs to. Sequencing: Talk about what comes first and last (put on the sauce, then the vegetables and cheese, last p

Community Spotlight - Beautiful Noise

Yesterday I had the opportunity to sit down with Natisha McLeod, owner of Beautiful Noise Music School in Timmins. Natisha offers Kindermusik classes to children from 0-5 years old. She also offers private lessons and runs summer music camps. I first met Natisha last year when my daughter joined Kindermusik. Natisha's passion for music and children was evident the moment we met! I thought it would be a lot of fun to meet and talk about how the activities and strategies in Kindermusik support early language skills. In preparation for this blog I looked at research on the effects of music training on language development. I ended up spending so much time researching this topic that I created a

What does the research say about Kindermusik and Preschool Language Development?

Last year, as a new mommy, I was looking for fun classes for my music loving daughter. We decided to register for Kindermusik. As I was participating in the first class, I was amazed to see how well the class incorporated early language learning strategies that were individualized for each child's developmental stage. After the class, I quickly did a little more research on the Kindermusik program and realized that there has been a significant body of research looking at preschool music programs, such as Kindermusik. Once I started looking into the evidence, I quickly fell down the research rabbit hole... and to save you an inordinate number hours of researching, here is a quick summary: 1.

Fun Friday - Falling for Fall

It's that wonderful time of year again! Colours are changing, everything is pumpkin-spiced, and we get to wear sweaters (unless you are in Timmins where the temperature was higher today than it had been during the summer)! Along with a new season, comes new vocabulary words and super fun fall themed activities. **Before I get to the exciting fall activities, did you notice "fall" can have multiple meanings? Talk to your children about how some words can sound the same but mean different things (these are called homophones). For more examples of homophones click here. 1. LEAVES With fall comes piles of leaves! Leaves supply FREE, endless entertainment. While playing in the leaves you can talk

3 "Arrr"mazing Activities for TLAPD

Talk Like a Pirate Day is a great opportunity to "sneak" in speech and language goals into fun pirate themed activities. There is no better day than Pirate Day to work on the dreaded "r" sound! "R" is one of the hardest sounds to learn and one of the last sounds to develop. You can expect your child to make the /r/ sound by the age of 5 (McLeod & Crowe, 2018). How to Teach the "r" Sound All pirates need a good "Arrr!" Click here for tips to teach the /r/ sound Watch this video for even more great ideas: Avast Ye! 3 Pirate-tastic Activities 1. Pop-up Pirate If you are a speech-language pathologist, you KNOW Pop-up Pirate! I think I've played more games of pop-up pirate than any other game I o

Celebrating Silliness

One of the best parts of being a parent is seeing the world through the eyes of your child. Children are fascinating, creative, and brilliant, but sometimes their brilliance can be perceived as "silly" to adults. Whether your child is smearing yogurt all over their face, having a tea party with their stuffed toys, or laughing hysterically after saying the word "poop," children experience the world differently than adults. Being "silly" is an important part of child development. As a speech-language pathologist, I often work closely with wonderful, caring, parents. Some of the parents I have worked with feel uncomfortable playing on the floor with their child, engaging in pretend play, or mak

Fun Friday - Barrel of Monkeys

4 Fun Ways to Build Language Learning Opportunities 1. Build use of single words: Hold the monkeys "hostage" so that your child has to ask for them. Each time your child wants another monkey model the word "more" If they are just starting to use single words model "more" If they are beginning to combine 2 words model "more monkeys" If your child is not yet using words, you can model the "m" sound. After you have modeled the word several times, WAIT about 5 seconds to see if your child will use the word/words/sound to request more monkeys, if not, give them the word and try again next time. ​ 2. Build your child's understanding of basic vocabulary and understanding of concepts: Start by havin

Great Expectations

As a mother of a toddler, my poor daughter is constantly being compared to my expectations. If I'm being completely honest, at 11 months I caught myself wondering why she wasn't already walking and talking. Despite years of advanced training in child development, I clearly set unrealistic expectations for my child! Are you creating unrealistic expectations for your child too? I often get asked by parents, "What should I expect?" As parents, we are often guilty of comparing our children to other children in the same age group. The problem with comparing is that there is a HUGE range of what is considered “normal.” The other day I was visiting a daycare and was surrounded by 10 toddlers. What

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