Here’s this week’s Therapy Tip of the Week:
Therapy Tip of the Week for 3.2.12
Balls are developmentally appropriate and a fun toy for toddlers between 1-3 years old. Remember that you’re looking at a child’s developmental age here. Let’s face it; even older kids love balls!
Ball is also a great, early word for late talkers. Why? Because the word “ball” meets all the criteria for Word Selection for Establishing an Early Vocabulary. Those 3 keys are:
1. Choose high frequency words - meaning words a toddler hears often. Most families own a ball, and likely, more than one, so it’s not a new brand word.
2. Choose easy words - meaning words with simple syllable construction.
Many toddlers, even those with typically developing speech-language skills, say ball as “ba.” It’s a consonant-vowel (CV) combination which makes it among the 5 earliest syllable patterns we note with babies and toddlers. (For a brand new talker, please don’t overemphasize articulation or getting the right sounds in the right places just yet. Praise his attempts. Many children don’t master final /l/ until they’re 3 or 4.)
3. Choose words with sounds he can already say - meaning you’ve heard the child use the sounds in other words or in babbling/jargon.
“Ball” begins with an initial /b/, which is a bilabial or a sound made with both lips. Bilabials /b, p, m/ are usually among the first sounds babies acquire. Ideas for helping a child learn to get his lips together were included in the video.
Some of my favorite ball toys and the concepts/words to target with each are included in the video. For more ideas with ball toys, read this article:
By watching the video I hope you’ll get some new ideas for sessions or playing with your own child!
I welcome your feedback or questions!
Until next week - Laura