Let's Talk Tuesday is a bi-weekly series with ideas on how you can promote healthy speech development for your children (of any ability), but especially those with Apraxia, Autism, speech disorders or late talkers. I am not a speech therapist, but I am a mom of an Apraxic child. I share these ideas in hopes that they will help someone else.
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At our house, we usually do mommy speech therapy time at home, but there's a great advantage to doing it when you're out & about. Whether you're in the car, waiting in line, or shopping at the grocery store, there are ways you can include speech therapy (& possibly distract them from being bored or wanting that candy bar)!
Digital Flash Cards
Have some words you are working on? Take a picture of them & make your own flash cards. Upload them to your phone (or use your phone camera), make your own folder for them & you can work on those words while you're waiting at the doctor's office.
If you aren't prepared, chances are you have a bazillion pictures on your phone anyway (no? that's just me?) and you can look through your phone & point out things that have what ever sound you're working on.
Play I Spy
While you're driving or walking down the bread aisle, play I Spy with your child, that will encourage them to talk! Is I Spy too hard for them to say? Maybe try something like I Want or I See.
Dollar Store Photo Book
Take pictures of their favorite things & people. Add them to a simple dollar store scrapbook & violla! You have your very own speech therapy tool that fits in your purse. Pull that out while shopping & your child can tell you what he sees in the pictures. Chances are if it's pictures of things or people he loves, he'll be more excited about talking about it. Think of things like pictures of friends, family, favorite toys, places he's familiar with, etc.
Don't have time to take pictures & get them printed? The dollar store almost always has flash cards, too. I have put the flash cards in the dollar store picture albums & it's worked well, too!
Keep a board book in your purse, they are durable & usually small. My personal favorite is Mr. Brown Can Moo, Can You? Any Dr. Seuss book is great for babies, up to elementary aged kids.
ABC Sign Game
While driving down the road, have your child look for different letters of the alphabet, starting at A. Once they see an A on a sign or license plate, they can move onto B, and so on. This can also be done with numbers!
Singing is an awesome way to get kids to sing. My 3 year old is really into princesses, so right now we love to sing along with any of the Disney CDs that we have in our car or get from the library.
Sick of listening to the same old CD? Turn off the radio & sing the first song that comes to mind. Kids love to hear their parents sing (even if it sounds as bad as my singing voice) & if you sing a song they know, I bet they'll enjoy singing along with you. There are so many classic kids songs (The Itsy Bitsy Spider; Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star; Old MacDonald Had a Farm), there's bound to be one that has a lot of the sounds your child is working on!
There are some great apps out there that encourage speech development. Lots of them are available on both the iPhone and iPad, and some are even available for Androids. You can find some of my favorites here.
The bottom line is that there are so many different ways you can still practice speech therapy while you're out running errands with your child. Just use your imagination & I'm sure you'll have some beneficial practice with them!
What have you done to encourage your child to talk while out & about?
*This post contains affiliate links. You will not be charged more if you purchase items through these links. It will, though, help contribute to my daughter's speech therapy. For that, I thank you!