Using Books to Teach Toddlers Language and Play… VIDEO from teachmetotalk.com

LBT pic

LBT pic

If you’ve picked up any parenting book or studied anything related to educating children for at least 5 minutes, you know that you should be reading to a young child pretty much from the time he exits the womb…

That’s fantastic advice for all parents and books are certainly a wonderful choice for speech-language pathologists who work with young children.

There’s no wrong way or right way to go about reading to a young child who is meeting all of her developmental milestones. You read. She listens. She understands. She talks. End of story. That’s typical development.

BUT using a few special strategies with toddlers with speech-language, cognitive, and other developmental delays can make books exponentially better teaching tools!

By changing HOW we read to a toddler who is having difficulty learning to understand and use words, we can help him link meaning to words and eventually begin to use those words to talk.

I’ve also had incredible success using books to teach young children to play with toys. Most toddlers, even some who aren’t yet talking, have no difficulty learning to play. However, many of our little friends with developmental delays don’t instinctively understand what to do with toys until we teach them. Young children who are on the autism spectrum or who are at risk for autism really struggle with developing and expanding their play skills. They may prefer to line up or spin a toy or hoard a group of toys rather than play. Toddlers with cognitive delays may chew, throw, or ignore a toy, much like a younger baby would, rather than play purposefully.

This fall I’ve worked with several families who have desperately needed these strategies since each of these kids have had HUGE visual interests and strengths, but also have had significant language delays…. in other words, these little guys love books and videos, but they’re not talking, following directions consistently, or playing with many toys. Each of these kids had also plateaued in therapy sessions and needed some new ideas to jump start their progress.

Earlier this month I filmed a video specifically for one child’s therapy team and extended family to provide concrete instructions for using books more effectively during therapy.

After watching, I realized how beneficial it would be to share something like this here at teachmetotalk.com to reach many, many, many more families.

Let me highlight a few of the goals for reading books with toddlers so you don’t miss them when you’re watching! Some of these things may be pretty subtle to you as an adult, but each can be a BIG step for a young child with a speech-language delay or disorder. As we read books in this way, we help a child learn to:

1. Pay attention.

2. Share an experience.

3. Understand new words.

4. Follow simple directions.

5. Play with toys purposefully.

6. Use early gestures such as pointing, waving, and clapping.

7. Imitate early vocalizations and play sounds.

8. Repeat familiar words.

 

Let me remind you that this entire list, ALL of these skills, are a part of learning to talk and are necessary steps for every young child before he or she begins to use words. Toddlers who are verbal pick up these skills pretty quickly. Our friends who are late talkers will need some help mastering some (or all) of these important milestones.

And just so you know, I could probably expand this list to 25+ goals for reading books with toddlers, but I don’t want to overwhelm you!

If  you’re a parent, I don’t want to scare you either. If your own child isn’t doing these things yet, THAT’S OKAY. You can play a big, big part in helping him!

If you’re a therapist, these are the same strategies we should teach parents so that they too can continue to work with a child long after a therapy session ends. I believe the best way to teach moms, dads, and everyone else involved (including preschool and daycare teachers, grandparents, and older siblings who are eager to help!) is to model or SHOW them all of the things they can do with a book! Explain what you’re doing as you read so that a parent or teacher understands your purpose and more importantly, knows that he or she can successfully use these same techniques. If your program isn’t set up for you to work with parents and other caregivers, or if you’re uncomfortable with direct teaching, sending them a link for this post is much, much better than doing nothing : ) If you’re looking for information to share with larger groups of families within your agency, program or school, here it is! As long as you credit me and link back to this article, please feel free to share this post on your websites and social media pages.

So no matter what your role is, whether you’re a concerned parent or a therapist perusing the internet, my purpose is to give you some different things to try. I want you to SEE and HEAR examples of reading a cute and fun book and hopefully, work in at least a couple of new ideas, for you and for that sweet little one who’s listening!

In this video I’m using a book from one of my all-time favorite series for toddlers… Little Blue Truck. This version is Christmas-themed, but the strategies can be adapted for ANY children’s book. All you need is the book, the kid, and you! If you’re working on play skills too, gather some toys or props similar to the ones in your book.

Although the video was not filmed with a child, it’s EXACTLY how I and other effective pediatric speech-language pathologists use books to target a multitude of goals during speech therapy with toddlers.

As you watch, think about how you can adapt these strategies. Sometimes a few tweaks here and there are all you need to make reading books much, much better! I wish you fantastic success as you read to your little ones!

One more thing… I hope you notice a predominant strategy is REPETITION! Toddlers need to hear things over and over and over in order to learn how to understand and then say a new word!

Finally…. you can watch now : )

 

 

Link for the book in case you want to get it:

Until next time –

Laura

—————————————————————————–
My therapy manuals are SO helpful for therapists who work with toddlers birth to 3. Click the links for more info!

Teach Me To Play WITH You

Teach Me To Talk: The Therapy Manual

Building Verbal Imitation in Toddlers

Laura

2 Comments

  1. Debbie Schaefer on October 10, 2016 at 5:26 pm

    Where did you get the toys that go with the Little Blue Truck books? Did you have to scrounge around for matching pieces or were they sold as set?

    • Laura on December 1, 2016 at 3:01 pm

      EVERYWHERE! They’re not a set. I searched high and low, but pulled them together between several stores in my little ‘burb! I bought things from Wal-Mart, Tractor Supply, Kroger, and Dollar Tree. If you can’t find everything, don’t worry. It will still be fun : ) Laura

Leave a Comment





Sign Up for your Free eBook

FREE-EBOOK
Something went wrong. Please check your entries and try again.

Subscribe to the Podcast in iTunes

Browse Products

Featured Product

Recent Posts

Teach Me To Talk Testimonials

Happy Therapists, Teachers, Parents & Children

"I purchased the book on autism and have watched the #400s series podcasts. Laura Mize has been more effective in teaching autistic tendencies, than many professors, shadowing professions, and the 100s of books, articles and classes or videos, or live workshop speakers, have been at teaching effective practices for a child with ASD. Some of the many lessons she has taught, which I will now use, to be a more effective Interventionist, include but are not limited to: red flags, typical behaviors, self-stimulating behaviors, not taking away toys, rather showing child to play with toy appropriately. She gives examples of child's actions, "inappropriate," explains the reason for: why the child is engaging in these behaviors and how they can be replaced with more appropriate, effective fuctional and age-appropriate skills."

"I’m sure Laura gets these messages all the time, but I thought I’d share. I stumbled across Laura‘s "Autism or Speech Delay?" YouTube video when I really needed it. This video finally listed and explained some of the red flags my son was showing for autism. I share the link anytime a parent is questioning in my FB autism group. This mother I don’t even know said Laura's video changed her life. I know exactly how she feels because It changed families too. Thank you to everyone at Teach Me To Talk."

LINDSAY

"Good Morning Laura,
I received your book (The Autism Workbook) yesterday and it is absolutely amazing! As I evaluate young children (0-3) for developmental delays and write plans for them with their parents, there are a ton of ideas that are ready to use. Others that reinforce what I have been doing, and saying, all along. Thank you so, so much for writing this incredible book and pulling everything together in one place!"

FRANCINE IN MICHIGAN

"Thank you very much for sharing your knowledge, experience, and guidance.
I’m a parent who bought the autism workbook and it’s the only clear resource I found to make a change in my son. I’m really thankful to Ms. Laura for helping out people like us all over the world."

"Laura Mize, all I have to say is that ALL YOUR STRATEGIES WORK."

ANNE, YouTube viewer

"We have 7 SLPs in our preschool (public) program for special needs children (ages 3-5) and we use your courses, books, and techniques every day! :-) We have seen our preschoolers make such great gains!"

 

"I just received Teach Me to Play With You, and it is ALREADY WORKING! WOW!

Girl…my son is 3 years old, and he NEVER asks for something using words. We were playing “Get Your Belly” (from Teach Me to Play WITH You), and after several times, he laughed and screamed "BEWIEEE!!!"  It was a hoot. And I can't believe he said it! I have played with him like this before, but this time I took your advice and acted CRAZY!! I will act like a total lunatic if it will get him to talk to me!  Now I can give him "the look" from across the room, and he will say it. That manual is so amazingly practical, and it is a GODSEND right now! Thank you SO MUCH!”

"I wanted to send you a quick email to say thank you. I started watching your videos/podcasts about 4 months ago. My son has gone from losing words he previously used, only having about 7 words at his 2 year check up in August (assessed at a blended 10 month language level) -- to now having so many words, increased social engagement, following commands, spontaneously requesting things, and naming letters & numbers (not in order) as well as colors. We had our monthly meeting with our SLP through the state infants & toddlers program and it felt like we were just bragging the whole time, but I knew in the back of my head it was because I have been using strategies you taught me.

We still have so much work to do with our sweet boy, but I know in my heart he would not have succeeded without the education you provided. I will continue to read your emails & watch videos as we go along this journey and face challenges, but credit is due to you, Laura.

Thank you so much, endlessly."

KATIE

"I just want to tell how fortunate I feel to have found your website and you!! I became a special instructor in EI almost a year ago and I started with hardly any applicable training. I felt so lost and confused as how to help the kids I work with learn how to use words and play. Honestly, I didn't even understand the importance of play, although I always played with my kids. But, once I started to watch your podcasts and get some of your manuals I felt a weight had been lifted off my shoulders and that I could finally teach these kids and their families something of value from a real therapist and based on research!. Thank you so much for seeing the need to help other EI service providers and providing a forum to share your knowledge and years of valuable experience. I'm sure you get a lot of these emails every week if not every day, but I wanted to make I could add to those notes of gratitude!! THANK YOU again!!"

SS

"Just wanted to say a HUGE thank you for these emails and your books, I have them all and they have seriously saved and improved my sessions with my kiddos. Huge thank you."

REBECCA

"I was very frustrated with how speech therapy was going for my child. I would take him and drop him off and not hear much of anything from his therapist and teachers other than, "He had a good (or a bad!) day." Your materials were invaluable for us because I learned how to work with him on his speech. I learned how to teach him to talk and play. I learned how to pay attention to his cues and work with him to teach him to communicate. Without it, I have no doubt he still wouldn’t talk."

BRITNEY

"Hi! I just wanted to say (from an SLT perspective) how incredibly useful I am finding absolutely all of your articles, blogs and resources - I only discovered your site last month and have just received all your books which I feel I am learning more than on my entire university training course!! But also the way in which you give specific, realistic, fun, encouraging ideas for working with parents is really just fantastic, I only wish I have your site sooner! Thanks so much from the UK! Kind regards."

HANNAH

"I just wanted to reach out to say thank you for making things a little easier to manage for me this year. I made the transition from school SLP to private therapist about a year ago. While the change was welcome, it was a lot, and I was just getting my footing in the clinic when I began teletherapy full time. Your website has been a huge lifeline in helping me work with late talkers and coach their parents in an accessible but effective way, even remotely. I look forward to getting your emails each week. I am floored by the amount of valuable, free information that your website provides, and I’m looking forward to investing in your workbooks soon. A sincere thank you for all you do!"

ALLISON

"You are an inspiration! I am truly grateful for the way you put into words and writing how to do what we do as SLPs. At this time in my 13 years of practicing, I find your encouragement keeps me going. As a single mom, I find it a stretch to buy materials these days and I am so thankful for the freebies you so generously share that help me teach my families. I don’t have much time to put together lists or quick references for parents!! Much gratitude!!"

ANDREA