Tip of the Month

Tip of the Month

May 2021 – Let’s Talk About

Turn Taking is Important for Good Communication
Amy Tyner, M.A., CCC-SLP, Senior Speech-Language Pathologist
 
Good communication and good social skills go hand in hand.  Children learn language so that they can be social with others.  An important part of good social communication is turn taking.  Conversations happen when we take turns talking and then listening.  You can help your child learn about turn taking to improve his or her communication skills.
 
Emphasize Turn Taking During Play

  • After your child learns to verbally talk about turn taking, you can begin to work on helping your child to have a conversation. At first you may have to work to get your child to take a turn in the conversation. You can do this by starting with a greeting like “Hi, Can you guess what I am doing?” or “Hello, where were you?” This gives your child a clear chance to answer and begin a conversation with you.

  • Reward your child’s comments and turn taking in conversations by commenting on what he or she says. Continue the conversation by asking another question of your child. As your child answers your questions he or she learns turn taking in conversation.

  • Your child may need help in staying on topic in beginning conversations. If your child comments on a topic different from what you are talking about, acknowledge the comment and then remind your child what you are talking about.

Work on Turn Taking in Conversations

  • After your child learns to verbally talk about turn taking, you can begin to work on helping your child to have a conversation. At first you may have to work to get your child to take a turn in the conversation. You can do this by starting with a greeting like “Hi, Can you guess what I am doing?” or “Hello, where were you?” This gives your child a clear chance to answer and begin a conversation with you.

  • Reward your child’s comments and turn taking in conversations by commenting on what he or she says. Continue the conversation by asking another question of your child. As your child answers your questions he or she learns turn taking in conversation.

  • Your child may need help in staying on topic in beginning conversations. If your child comments on a topic different from what you are talking about, acknowledge the comment and then remind your child what you are talking about.

Previous Month Tips

January 2021 – Let’s Talk About Clothes!

Let’s Talk About Clothes
Amy C. Tyner, M.A.  CCC-SLP, Senior Speech-Language Pathologist

Helping Your Child Learn About Clothing Words
Winter in Florida is a time of changing weather.  It is a good time to talk with children about the clothes that we wear depending on the weather.  You can help your child’s vocabulary by talking all about clothes with him or her.  Remember that children learn language best just by listening so any time that you talk with your child you are helping him or her to learn new words and concepts.  You don’t need to be a teacher to teach speech and language! Here are some specific things you can focus on when you talk about clothes:

  • Talk about color words by finding different kinds of flowers outside in garden or inside at the flower shop or grocery store.

  • Review action words by watching what other people are doing as they work outside…mowing grass, painting, picking up garbage.

  • Teach position words by hiding things and giving clues to help your child find them …in the bushes, under the table, beside the tree.

  • Practice following directions during outside play…throw the ball to me, take off your shoes and put them next to the sandbox, point to the grass and the flowers.

  • Plan an outing to a park for a picnic and some special family time.

February 2021 – Let’s Talk About Colors!

Let’s Talk About Colors
Amy C. Tyner, M.A. CCC-SLP, Senior Speech-Language Pathologist
Central Florida Speech and Hearing Center

Helping Your Child Learn About Colors
Colors are all around us. Learning the names of the colors is an important preschool skill. It is easy to help children learn to understand and use color words. Remember that children learn language best just by listening so any time that you talk with your child you are helping him or her to learn new words and concepts. You don’t need to be a teacher to teach speech and language! Here are some specific ways you can focus on color words easily:

  • Getting Dressed – Talk about the colors of the clothes your child will be wearing as you help him or her get dressed in the morning. You can have your child help pick out clothes that go together and match. Talk about whether family members have on clothes that are the same or different colors.

  • During Meals – Talk about the colors of the food you are eating. Try planning a meal that has foods of the same color. Talk about how some foods change color as they cook. For example, hamburger meat starts out pink but becomes brown as it cooks.

  • At The Grocery Store – As you choose foods to go into your cart, talk about what color they are. You may want to have your child find things that are a certain color. For example, in the produce department, say “we need something yellow” and see if your child can find the bananas or lemons.

  • Play “I Spy” – Take a walk with your child. You start by saying “I spy something (give the name of a color)”. Your child guesses things until he or she chooses the correct item. Then let your child “spy” the next color. You can also play this game in the house or in the car.

  • Color of the Day – Choose a “color of the day” and on that day talk about things that you could wear, eat, play with, and see around the house that are that color. Help your child draw a picture using only that color.

  • Making Art – Almost any art project you do with your child involves talking about colors. You can try different ways of painting and talk about how colors mix together to make other colors. You can use crayons to draw pictures of things that are different colors.

March 2021 – Let’s Talk About Spring!

Let’s Talk About Spring
Amy C. Tyner, M.A. CCC-SLP, Senior Speech-Language Pathologist
Central Florida Speech and Hearing Center

Helping Your Child Learn About Spring
Spring is an exciting time with blooming flowers, baby animals, and changing weather. You can help your child learn about things that we hear, see, and do in the springtime.

Remember that children learn language best just by listening so any time that you talk with your child you are helping him or her to learn new words and concepts. You don’t need to be a teacher to teach speech and language! Here are some specific ways you can focus on the language of spring:

  • Talk about color words by finding different kinds of flowers outside in garden or inside at the flower shop or grocery store.

  • Review action words by watching what other people are doing as they work outside…mowing grass, painting, picking up garbage.

  • Teach position words by hiding things and giving clues to help your child find them …in the bushes, under the table, beside the tree.

  • Practice following directions during outside play…throw the ball to me, take off your shoes and put them next to the sandbox, point to the grass and the flowers.

  • Plan an outing to a park for a picnic and some special family time.

  • a. Let your child plan the menu as you decide what kind of food will work best for a packed picnic lunch. Talk about whether or not the food you choose will need to stay cold and how you can do that. Let your child come up with some ideas for how to keep lunch cool. Talk about what you need to do to the food to prepare it and include your child in the preparations.
    b. Together with your child, plan out the things that you will do once you arrive at the park. Talk about if you will need to take any equipment along with you for the activities you have planned.
    c. While at the park, talk about what other people are doing. Talk about any animals you see and what they are doing also. As you participate in activities talk about what you are doing as well. Take time to hike, climb, run, play, watch, listen, smell, and most of all just have fun.
    d. When you get home from your day, help your child to draw a picture or make a list of the things that you did. Talk about what you did first, second, next, last, etc.

April 2021 – Let’s Talk About Shapes!

Let’s Talk About Shapes
Amy C. Tyner, M.A., CCC-SLP, Senior Speech-Language Pathologist
Central Florida Speech and Hearing Center

Helping Your Child Learn About Shapes
Shapes are all around us. Learning the names of the shapes is an important preschool skill. It is easy to help children learn to understand and use the names of the shapes. Remember that children learn language best just by listening so any time that you talk with your child you are helping him or her to learn new words and concepts. You don’t need to be a teacher to teach speech and language! Here are some specific ways you can focus on shapes easily:

  • After your child learns to verbally talk about turn taking, you can begin to work on helping your child to have a conversation. At first you may have to work to get your child to take a turn in the conversation. You can do this by starting with a greeting like “Hi, Can you guess what I am doing?” or “Hello, where were you?” This gives your child a clear chance to answer and begin a conversation with you.

  • Reward your child’s comments and turn taking in conversations by commenting on what he or she says. Continue the conversation by asking another question of your child. As your child answers your questions he or she learns turn taking in conversation.

  • Your child may need help in staying on topic in beginning conversations. If your child comments on a topic different from what you are talking about, acknowledge the comment and then remind your child what you are talking about.

  • Sponge Painting – Cut inexpensive sponges into different shapes. Dip the sponges into paint and press onto paper. Your child can talk about the colors and shapes you make-red circle, green square, etc.

  • In The Car/On The Bus – As you drive/ride with your child, look for shapes outside the windows. Talk about the shapes of signs, lights, buildings, etc.

  • Shapes Toys/Books – There are many toys and books available that focus on shapes. Look for simple puzzles and children’s books that show the different shapes. As you read the books or put together the puzzles, ask your child to find the different shapes and name the shapes you find. There are many varieties of shape sorting toys for even very young children where the child matches the shape pieces to holes of the same shape. Matching shapes is the first step in recognizing and naming shapes.