Friday, December 13, 2013

Free App Friday

Today there are $220 worth of apps that are free.  Check out the list at Smart Apps for Kids.  Many of them are only free until 10 p.m. (CST).

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Monkey in the Middle

Next week for Large Group we will be doing more fun things with our sound of the month.  Here is our learning card:

We will be doing monkey in the middle, focusing on actions and past tense -ed.  Our weekly handout is a great one that gives some ideas for working on action terms with young children. It is from the Speech, Language and Communication Website for Cambridgeshire.

FYI: OT Workshop

I was given this flyer and wanted to share it on the blog.  It is a workshop for pediatric massage.  Even though it says it is for OT's/OTA's, it is open to parents or anyone in the community who would like to attend:

Friday, December 6, 2013

Free App Friday

Smart Apps for Kids has 32 apps, worth $92 that have gone free today. So head on over to their site and check it out.  Many of them are only free until 10 p.m. CST.  

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Happy Holidays

Next week is an exciting week, and with all of the partying going on, and chaos that ensues before Winter Break, there will be no learning card for the week. We will be singing lots of fun songs from our 'Song Tree,' so be sure to ask what songs we sang at school.  You can even sing a few Christmas songs on your way to and from the store this week.   

Instead of a weekly handout this week, I wanted to provide you all with some natural ways to work on language during the Holiday Season and break. This time of year can be crazy, and our little ones feel it, so it's okay to give them a little break and just have some fun. :)

Making Sugar Cookies: The process of making sugar cookies is a great time to talk about sequencing (first, next, last), label new vocabulary items, work on concepts (put the flour “in”), etc.. If you want to add a book to support this, you could read "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie."

Decorating Gingerbread Houses: You can make a simple and fun gingerbread house by using graham crackers. Our family likes to use hot glue for gluing crackers together. Or if you want to eat the house once it’s completed, you can use royal icing to "glue" the house together. Again, you can work on requesting, concepts, labeling, colors, following directions, pronouns, etc.!

Wrapping Christmas Presents: Have your little one help you wrap presents for the holidays. This will not only work on fine motor skills, but you can work on that sequencing vocabulary, following directions, and even labeling objects.

Gingerbread Christmas Trees: For these, you can use sugar cones turned upside down onto a paper plate. Ice them and cover with candy.  Talk about what you are doing.  Ask wh-questions and even work on colors.

Creating Tree Ornaments: There are a lot of great ideas for homemade ornaments: coloring pictures, making clay ornaments, popcorn strings, beaded wreaths on pipe cleaner, etc. Again, think about describing what you and your child are doing during the process, being sure to use losts of rich vocabulary (concepts, verbs, adjectives, etc.) You an even work on following directions.

Sledding: Yes, you can even work on language skills if you go sledding this year. Focus on concept terms (down, up. fast, slow, etc.). Ask your kiddos questions like, “Did you go fast or slow that time?” Or describe what you are doing, “We are walking back up the hill. Where are we walking?”

Building a Snowman: This is a great activity to work on following directions and concept terms! "Put the little ball on the top."  "You stuck the carrot in the snow, where did you stick it?"  Etc.

Getting Winter Ready: When kids want to play in the snow, they have to put lots of items of clothing on and it seems to take a. long. time. So, why not get some language targets in while you help. Label all of those items, talk about body parts or sequencing (first you put your snow pants on, then your coat, and last your hat.), work on following directions, really just describe describe describe.

I hope you all have a wonderful Holiday Season and enjoy the break!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Cyber Monday App Deals!

Smart Apps for Kids has over $200 worth of free or discounted apps today for Cyber Monday! So hurry over there and check it out!!

The Monkey Sound

We are finally focusing on one sound this month!  It will be our monkey sound, "m."  
Use the sheets below to practice throughout the month of December.  

Isolation/CV combos: practice the "m" sound in isolation or in CV combinations while playing, shopping, or getting ready for the Holidays.  Example:  While making cookies, "mmm," or playing dress up, "My purse."
Words: Here are some worksheets from Testy Yet Trying to practice initial /m/ and final /m/ at the word level.
Phrases:  Use this dice from Testy Yet Trying to play a game.  Roll the dice and take turns saying the word in a phrase or sentence.   

Read a New Book Month

I am a sucker for children's books.  If you ask my husband, he'll tell you it's kind of an addiction.  I love buying them, thumbing through them at bookstores, giving them as gifts, and reading children's books to anyone who will listen (preferably a child, because reading them to adults gets a little awkward).  So I am super excited that December is 'Read a New Book Month.'  To celebrate, we will be reading a new book (not new new, but new to our class) for Large Group.  Check out this post to find out what book we will be exploring.
Here are some ways to celebrate this month:
As I was looking through these lists, there were some that I have already fallen in love with and several that I will add to my shopping list.  Some of my favorites this year have come from the BabyLit books.  They are written by Jennifer Adams who lives right here in Salt Lake City.  They are adorable board books taken from classic novels, with fun, creative illustrations that teach concepts related to counting, weather, fashion, opposites, colors, and sounds.  My favorite (although I seriously love them all) is Pride and Prejudice (which is my all time favorite book, so I am a little biased):

But check out the BabyLit website because there are some fun ones, including Romeo & Juliet, Moby-Dick, Alice in Wonderland, & A Christmas Carol, to name a few.  

Okay, another great one that came out this year is The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt.  It is hilarious, and wonderful for talking about colors!

One that I have not read yet is Unicorn Thinks He's Pretty Great by Bob Shea.  It looks like a fun one, so it may be one of the "new books" for my daughter this month.

I also love reading classics, and I have always wanted to read Alice in Wonderland, so my new book of the month is going to be Alice's Adventures In Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. 

We'll see if I can squeeze it in with work, holiday madness, and my (almost) 1-year-old's birthday party.

Anyway, I hope you will take some time to check out some of the books talked about on the above lists, or just spend an afternoon at the library with your little one to find a new book to read during bedtime.  We have all heard it, but books are truly wonderful for children's overall development, especially in the areas of speech and language!! ;)