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Practice What You Preach

Although it can be super-cute when our babies mispronounce words, it is really beneficial to help them improve.  It’s not necessary to correct everything, all the time, but choose a few words or sounds per week to improve upon.  Choose words that your baby is confident with and uses frequently.  This is beneficial because it helps them to get what they need, to explain their thoughts and feelings and to develop their phonemic awareness (an essential skill for reading and writing).   Also, as more people begin to understand them, their confidence with language and oral self-expression increases and thus, their overall self-confidence increases.  Today’s activity is a very simple and quick exercise to practice pronunciation.

Our little twinkle toes practising her "cheese!"

Our little twinkle toes practising her “ch-ch-cheese!”

Mondays and Wednesdays I choose one activity we did today from the Reaching Roses curriculum and share our experiences (starring my twin babies)

 This week’s Theme: More Colours

Activity DescriptionWhat Colour?: Place different coloured balls into an opaque bag.  Reach a hand into the bag to pull out a ball.  What colour is it?  What other things are also this colour? Repeat what your baby says with correct pronunciation then practice the pronunciation of colours by singing about that colour. (Song from this week’s list of songs).

This Activity’s Main Area of  Development: Language Development

Specific Skill: Practice pronunciation

O&M’s Ages (at the time of posting this): 24 months!!

 

1.I decided to sing some songs about colours at the beginning of the activity because this is part of our learning routine.

2. We used cloths because we don’t have balls in all four colours (orange, purple, pink, brown).  I quickly explained what to do (put your arm in and pull out a cloth) and say what colour it is.  Simple!

Here are a few quick clips to demonstrate

This first clip shows the basic interaction of the exercise:

 

This next clip has more of an example of how to practice pronunciation (they didn’t have much difficulty saying brown in the video above):

 

The following video is an example of how to proceed if your baby can’t guess the colour.  Also, I chose “purple grapes” as an example of purple because they have difficulty saying ‘grapes’ and it is a word they use frequently (that only myself & Mr. Y can decipher):

 

***You can use this activity to learn any vocabulary (put in figurines or pictures) and/or any sound (put in objects that all contain the same sound.  Ex. pig, pot, princess, peas, etc.)

Want more language development activities?  Click here for 18-24 months OR click here for 15-18 months

 

This post was based on an activity included in the Reaching Roses curriculum.  Click here to learn more!

Decisions, Decisions!

Decision making is one of the most important skills babies can develop.  The ability to make a decision will help a baby to become a well-adjusted, confident child and then a healthy, mature adult.  Decision making is not necessarily a naturally simple task, and though we may not realize, it takes practice.  Let’s give our babies and children the opportunity to practice making decisions.  There are so many benefits from doing an activity like this (I’ve listed some below), I really encourage you to try it with the children you care for.

We went out of town this weekend and are on the road today so I prepared this post ahead of time (it’s an activity that we did last week).  This week we are moving on to a new theme “Transportation” – though today’s post doesn’t reflect the new theme.

Mondays and Wednesdays I choose one activity we did today from the Reaching Roses curriculum and share our experiences (starring my twin babies)

Theme: Meal Time

Activity Description Snack Time: Prepare a snack of several different elements (ex. Fruits & veggies, crackers, yogurt, etc.)  Pick up two of the foods and ask your baby, “Do you want this (carrot) or this (cheese)?  After a choice is made and the food is eaten, repeat with two different foods.  Continue.

This Activity’s Main Area of  Development: Cognitive

Specific Skill: Making a choice

O&M’s Ages (at the time of making this post): 19 months

M's says, "Hmmm....."

M’s says, “Hmmm…..”

O trying to decide

O trying to decide

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What are some benefits of decision making activities?

  • They provide an opportunity to develop language and communication skills
  • They improve your baby’s self-awareness (they need to consider their preferences and comfort levels)
  • They help increase your baby’s self-confidence (they gain some control over their lives)
  • They provide an opportunity for self-expression
  • They will lead to better habits and taking responsibility (eating, dressing, helping with chores – because it is their choice)
  • They can help deal with and deflect tantrums

1. The first thing I did was review the food that was available for snack, asking the babies to repeat the words.  Then I began to offer a choice of two snacks just as is written in the activity description and I encouraged “please & thank you”.  The video below shows the basic interaction.

 

2. Next is an example of how teaching a baby to express what they want can help stop a tantrum or future tantrums.  In this example I am explaining that in order to get what she wants, she need to use words.  However, understanding the concept of making a choice can help deflect other tantrums too.  For example, if your baby is screaming and refusing to help clean you can offer a choice, “Would you like to clean the cars or the blocks?” or refusing to get dressed, “Would you like to wear this shirt or this shirt?”.  Giving them a choice and some control over the situation often causes the tantrum to melt away.  But first your baby needs to understand that you are offering the opportunity to make a choice. (That’s where these kinds of activities come in handy). Be advised this video starts out with some screaming…you might want to turn the volume down.

 

3. The following two videos show some examples of encouraging verbal communication.

This video shows how instead of simply allowing M to point to what she wants, I encourage her to say what it is, I repeat what she says with correct pronunciation and I encourage her to add “please”.  O complies first so I give it to her first and this leads to an example of how we share (using counting to take turns).

 

This video shows how to encourage more complex language (two or three words sentences instead of one word). O points to the goldfish she wants but instead of giving it to her right away, or asking her to say “fish”, I ask her to say three words.