Support your child’s communication using books: OI FROG
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Support your child’s communication using books: OI FROG

Sonja's top recommendation: Oi Frog, written by Kes Gray and Jim Field. An exciting book for children to enhance their speech, language and communication.
Oi Frog by Kes Gray and Jim Field

Book corner with Oi Frog! by Kes Gray and Jim Field.

Books are an engaging way to support your child’s communication development. Even if your little one dislikes reading in the traditional sense. They will become immersed in this adventure, without realising they are taking in language and developing vital communication skills. This is one of my favourite series for children.

Increase fun and interaction

These books are made for fun and excitement! It may seem silly putting on different voices for different characters, but this is one way in which you can engage your child. Why not try to use different intonation patterns (e.g., you may use a deep voice for the dog, and a higher pitch for the cat)? Make your story interactive: you could ‘rawww’ like a lion and see who can make the loudest noise. Make noises to encourage interaction (e.g., when scratching his chin, make a squeaky sound!). You could also relate the experience back to your child (e.g., ‘can you scratch your chin?’).

Time to talk

Talk about what you can see on the front cover (e.g., There’s a frog on a log, how funny!) You could also ask your child to choose the rhyming words on a page in the book. Can your child tell you what rhymes with certain words (e.g., can you guess what a parrot sits on?)? Make use of every page. You could comment on your favourite frog and see if your child can talk about their favourite. You can support them by giving them an example (“my favourite frog is the one swimming backwards because he looks funny”). Then you could use this scaffold to support their answer. Your favourite is [________________] because [_________________]

If your child is reluctant to use language, the use of commenting can take the pressure of them (“look at all those frogs” or “he’s climbing up the stool”) is a powerful way in which you (as parents) can take the pressure off your child. A top tip I like to give is to make sure you pause regularly, which creates opportunities for your child to use language.

This book uses a subject-verb-object sentence structure (e.g., ‘hares sit on chairs’) which allows your child to hear a good model of a sentence. You could also talk about things in the book that belong in a certain category (e.g., animals, food) or begin with a specific sound. See if your child will name any more.

Reap the reward of repetitive language

Oi Frog uses repetitive rhyming language and puts emphasis on these words. This is important because the more your child hears a word, the more likely they are to remember, understand and use it in the correct context.

Emotions matter

Talk about how the animals feel and why they may feel this emotion (e.g., the cat’s feeling annoyed because…, Lions sit on irons, how does the lion feel?). Reasons can be difficult for children with communication difficulties. Support them by giving an example or by giving them an option (e.g., “does the lion feel happy or sad? I think the lion feels sad because he’s burnt his bottom on the iron! It’s too hot!”)

A collection of books
OI Books

Why not read similar stories? I highly recommend OI CAT, OI DOG and OI DUCK-BILLED PLATYPUS.

Need support for your child’s communication? Contact me here.


Find a speech and language therapist for your child in London. Are you concerned about your child’s speech, feeding or communication skills and don’t know where to turn? Please contact me and we can discuss how I can help you or visit my services page.

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Book Corner: Poke-A-Dot! Old Macdonald’s Farm

Book Corner: Poke-A-Dot! Old Macdonald’s Farm

Book Corner: Poke-A-Dot! Old Macdonald’s Farm

Introducing the Poke-A-Dot Series of books by www.innovativekids.com and available on www.amazon.co.uk and many bookstores – I love this book and it is one of the most used books on my book shelf. Since I bought this one some years ago several others have been published including Two other Nursery rhymes: Wheel-on-the-bus and 10 little monkeys.

Different topics: Ocean animals, first words, a ‘good night animals bedtime story” and various others. They are ALL GREAT! I don’t have a preference but since I only own the Farm Animals below I thought I would talk you trough that one.

What it is about:

It centres on the nursery song of “Old Mac Donald has a farm” and goes through 10 farm animals (10 cows, 9 pigs, 8 chickens, 7 sheep, 6 ducks, 5 horses, 4 goats, 3 kittens, 2 dogs and 1 rooster). Each page has corresponding Poppers for every animal on the page which invite your child to practice pointing and popping with their index finger. They pop quite loudly which is the whole point after all and thus they provide a much better pop than, say, a bubble-wrap pop.

What I love about this book apart from the obvious pop-pop-popping are the very sturdy, thick hard board pages it is made up of. This book is pretty indestructible and believe me some have tried!! The down side is that it’s quite heavy and not one to have in your travelling toy bag – though if you are taking your little one on a long-haul flight you might just find it invaluable and worth the extra kilo it weighs (I did actually put it on my kitchen scales and it does weigh a hefty 1.1 kg! Something to consider).

But at home, on your book shelf, it’s a really good find and of course you might want to opt for any of the other editions depending on what your little one is into – or have them all! Why not!

What this book is great for:

Developmental Age

2-6 years. It says 3-6 yrs. on the cover but I have shown it to younger children with developmental and speech delays and it has never not been at least looked at with interest – the popping with child’s finger might come a little later, but until then an adult can pop and poke with good effect!

Explore these themes:

  • Nursery song of Old Mac Donalds
  • Farm animals
  • Actions: poke/pop/push/turn/eat/roll/play/swim/run/bark/pull/peck
  • Words/sounds: animal noises and animal names plus farmer/mud/water/stable/hay
  • Cause and effect: point and pop
  • Places : farm/lake/meadow/stable/field/mud

Develop Speech Sounds, particularly good for:

  • /b/ – baa
  • /m/ -moo/ meow
  • /p/ – pig, pop/push/pull/peck
  • /sh/ – sheep
  • /k-c/ – cow/ quack/cluck/duck

Concepts:

  • colours
  • numbers
  • prepositions (in/into/on/ inside/outside)

Published By:

Innovative Kids

ISBN: 978-1-60169-024-1


Find a speech and language therapist for your child in London. Are you concerned about your child’s speech, feeding or communication skills and don’t know where to turn? Please contact me and we can discuss how I can help you or visit my services page.

Book Corner: You Can’t Let An Elephant On The Bus

Book Corner: You Can’t Let An Elephant On The Bus

Book Corner: You Can’t Let An Elephant On The Bus
Book Corner: You Can’t Let An Elephant On The Bus

Let me introduce you to another one of my favourite books I have been using A LOT of late:

Written in RHYME – extra BONUS if you ask me, as we can use it for our speech delayed children as well and/or with our children who struggle to create grammatical sentences, or even just any old sentences will sometimes do, let’s be honest.

What’s it about:

An array of animals, starting with the Elephant who wants to get on a bus of course then onto some Monkeys rioting about in a supermarket, next a Tiger reading the paper on a train, a crazy Seal driving a tax round Buckingham Palace, a Camel on a boat, a Giraffe on a plane and numerous other mad ideas involving unsuitable passengers on the wrong vehicle (or any vehicle come to think of it) until finally on the last page a solution (of sorts) is found for them all…. I leave you to find out what happens

What I love about this book is the mad rhyming that goes on and the super funny illustrations which have even my most inattentive and “ants in pants’ kind of children spellbound and actually looking and listening to the story. Many of my little learners absolutely delight in the mad ideas in this book and I have had some pretty crazy story telling which made us fall about laughing (I always have to laugh when my kids laugh in the session it’s too cute). It’s a great read for thinking about problem solving and WHY something is not a good idea, and what could possibly go wrong – well quite a lot actually!

ENJOY!

Developmental age:

4– approximately 8 years.

Explore these themes:

  • Rhymes
  • Vehicles
  • Actions: poke / push / throw / snore / sleep / read / grasp / float / fly/ ride
  • Animals
  • Cause and Effect
  • Places – bus stop/on a train/in the supermarket

Develop Speech Sounds, particularly good for:

  • /f/- elephant. fuss, fat, flat, flipper, feet, roof, giraffe
  • /b/ – bus, bottom, bizarre, boots, boat, bony, bike, balloon, basket, bear
  • /m/ – monkey, camel, mistake
  • /p/ – pig, panic, pain, centipede, plane, pedal, hippo,
  • /k/g/ – can’t, tiger, monkey, camel, curve, sink, capsize,

Concepts:

  • Sizes
  • labelling
  • describing
  • predicting
  • prepositions (in/into/on/ inside/outside)

Emotions

  • feelings: determined/bored/scared/naughty/lonely

Published by:

Patricia Cleveland-Peck – From the illustrator of the Mr GUM books. ISBN: 978-1-4088-4982-8.


Find a speech and language therapist for your child in London. Are you concerned about your child’s speech, feeding or communication skills and don’t know where to turn? Please contact me and we can discuss how I can help you or visit my services page.

Book Corner – Pip and Posy by Axel Scheffler

Book Corner – Pip and Posy by Axel Scheffler

Kids Speech Therapist London
Pip and Posy by Axel Scheffler

One of my all time favourite book series, Pip and Posy, oh sooo good.

Before I tell you a bit about this book, just a few tips on reading aloud to children who are behind with their language and struggle to talk.

It is often assumed that “reading a book” means that we read the text exactly as it stands. We tend to read it quite quickly and, therefore, we also turn the pages quite quickly to match our reading. This may be too quick and not quite the right way of reading to your child, if she/he is struggling with speech and language development.

Instead, perhaps try this:

Sit opposite your child so that she can see you easily – check out my previous post – and start by letting your child open the book.

Now, instead of reading and pointing to everything you see, it can be really helpful to “hang back” and wait for your child to lead. S/he can point to what is interesting and then talk about freely what s/he can see. You can then respond and expand on what your child is pointing to or saying.

So, for example:

Child points to Posy looking out of the window and says: “Posy”.

You can then fill it and reply with : yes! there she is! – now give her some time to reply and take her turn.

If she is struggling to say anything more you might add: She is looking at the rain…. . – take another break and wait and let your child take her turn.

Letting your child take the lead and waiting, allowing your child to fill in and take a turn, is a great way to encourage a two-way conversation and it allows your child to lead the pace of what is being said.

So then, Pip and Posy – the scary Monster:

What’s it about:

Posy is bored indoors as it’s raining. She decides to bake some cupcakes and whilst waiting for her cakes to bake there is a knock at the door…..a big blue monster appears. Posy feels scared and starts to cry. Soon she realises that it’s her friend Pip dressed up in a monster costume and now she feels fine and both end up having fun trying on the monster costume. The sun has now come out and they go and play in the garden. It all finishes with a lovely picnic and those home made cupcakes. Happy end!

All Pip and Posy books are simple in that your child will discover every day situations and they are truly beautifully written and illustrated by Axel Scheffler.

Age group:

Around 1-6 years

Explore these themes:

  • animals
  • foods and drinks
  • friendships
  • household activities
  • toys and games
  • dress up and monsters
  • places – kitchen, garden
  • what’s a picnic

Develop Speech Sounds, particularly good for:

  • K – kitchen, cupcakes, cases, careful , costume, cry
  • M – monster, mixture, milk
  • P – Pip, Posy, paper, put, popped, open

Concepts:

  • matching
  • labelling
  • describing
  • predicting
  • prepositions (in/into/upstairs/downstairs/inside/outside)

Emotions and Social concepts

  • making friends
  • taking turns
  • feelings: bored/sad/scared/happy/delighted/hungry/ curious

Published by:

Nosy Crow Ltd in the UK in 2013 (ISBN: 9780857632432)

Find a speech and language therapist for your child in London. Are you concerned about your child’s speech, feeding or communication skills and don’t know where to turn? Please contact me and we can discuss how I can help you or visit my services page.