By Small Talk Speech Pathology

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Fishing with numbers, colours & shapes

Kids love to 'go fishing' so why not turn it into a fun and educational task?  The Learning Boat is a great way to get your tots motivated and teach them all about the alphabet, basic shapes, and colours. 
View this idea at lilsugar

What you'll need:
  • Cardboard box big enough for your tot to sit in
  • Paint, markers, stickers, or anything else you would like to use to decorate the box
  • Construction paper in an assortment of colors
  • 1 small magnet
  • Paper towel or toilet paper roll
  • 1 piece of yarn or ribbon
  • Tape/glue
  • Marker
  • Paper clips, one for each fish
How to Build the Learning Boat:
  1. Cut the flaps off of the cardboard box.
  2. Get creative! Decorate the box with your kiddo anyway he likes.
How to Make the Fish:
  1. Use the construction paper to make the fish. The can be any color or size!
  2. Also from construction paper, cut our various basic shapes small enough to fit on the fish.
  3. Write a letter or number on each shape.
  4. Glue or tape one shape on each fish.
  5. Attach 1 paper clip to each fish.
How to Make the Fishing Rod:
  1. Have your child sit in the "boat" and hold the paper towel/toilet paper roll and pretend to fish.
  2. With your ribbon or string, measure the distance between the cardboard roll and the floor. That is how long your string should be. Cut it to the appropriate length.
  3. Tape or glue one end of the string to the cardboard roll.
  4. Tape or glue the magnet to the other end of the string.
  5. And voila! So how does it work? Your child gets in the boat and goes "fishing." Once the child has "hooked" a fish, she must properly identify the color, shape, and letter on the fish in order to keep it in the boat. When all of the fishes have been caught, the game is over — but trust us, she'll want to play again and again!
    Have a ball!

Hanging mobiles

Another crafty idea to brighten up a bedroom or play room - mobiles. There are many different DIY designs available online in addition to hanging photo mobiles which also look great.

 Download at Spoolsewing

Download at Bugs and fishes

Download at Spearmint baby

Download at Gray sparrow

View at Kikkerland

View at Amazon

Vanessa ;)

Pretend play with paper dolls

Cut out paper dolls is definitely an oldie yet a goodie.  As a child, I personally loved playing with my cut out paper dolls on rainy afternoons.  Assembling the paper dolls, changing the costumes and making up stories can provide hours of fun for kids of all ages.  Pretend play with cut out paper dolls gives children the opportunity to get creative and to use their imagination.  

You can target many different vocabulary items during this task including:
- Dressing words eg. dress, shirt, pants, skirt, on, off, up and down
- Pronouns eg. he vs she, his vs her
- Body parts eg. head, hair, neck, arms, legs
- Special events eg. Christmas, Easter,  weddings, parties

Print the paper dolls, laminate them and store in a 'paper doll box' for easy access.  

Here a some wonderful free printable sites- please click on the download at link to access the entire doll & costume collection:

Download at Making friends 
This site allows you to make up lots of different friends that are
multi-ethnic and gender non-specific.  Making Friends promotes social tolerance, diversity and individuality.

 Download at Maryann paper doll

 Download at The bleu door
Betsy McCall was announced in April of 1951 and first appeared on the pages of McCall's magazine in May, 1951. In the upcoming months a lot of characters were introduced, such as Betsy's mother and daddy, Nosy -Betsy's dachshund dog. Betsy's adventures span from the 1950s -1990s so the options are endless!

Download at Sixteen
 Get creative, have fun and enjoy!

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

FREE Printable Narrative Cards

Looking for a way to make teaching narrative structure more enjoyable? Look no further than the wonderful blog What The Teacher Wants who has kindly uploaded these beautiful free printable story sequencing cards and worksheets.

Download free printable cards at What The Teacher Wants

Download free printable cards at What The Teacher Wants

Let your child's imagination run wild, and give them some gentle direction on structuring their stories with these lovely resources.
love, L

Monday, 24 October 2011

All Hallow's Eve

With Halloween just around the corner, I thought I'd take the opportunity to fill you with inspiration for Halloween themed goodies to keep the kids entertained without them having to beg for lollies from your neighbours (not that, when supervised, this can't be a viable way to spend the 31st of October).

But if traditional candy related activities are not your thing, why not sit down for a game of spooky Halloween themed Tic Tac Toe?

Via My Computer is my Canvas
This spooky pumpkin spelling game is a great way to make spelling fun.
Via Two Can Do It

 Get your home in the spirit with these fun printable posters.
Via Craftily Ever After
Via Craftily Ever After
I love these boy and girl paper dolls with Halloween costumes. You could even sneak some language work into your fun and games by targeting pronouns (he, she, his , her) and prepositions (on, off) while you dress the dolls.

Via Babalisme
Via Babalisme
Bingo is always a family favourite, and Halloween Bingo is sure to not disappoint either.

Via Family Crafts

Happy Halloween everyone.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Tips to encourage water

As the weather heats up, most kids will be spending more time playing outdoors. It is important for kids to drink enough fluids to avoid becoming dehydrated during the warmer season.  It is also important for kids to understand the benefits of drinking water. 
Water is vital for life toucan learn and has many benefits including:
  • It regulates the body temperature
  • It helps flush body waste in the form of urine
  • It is required for transporting nutrients throughout the body
  • It helps maintain a good weight
  • It helps avoid constipation and urinary infections
  • It helps digest food and absorb the nutrients from your food
  • It increases your energy levels
Here are some tips from Kidspot to keep your child hydrated and healthy all year long.  

  • Try putting ice in it - most children love playing with the ice with their tongues while they drink.
  • Float a slice of lemon or banana or strawberries in a jug of water that she can access herself.
  • Keep a jug of cold tap water in the fridge. Cold water is generally more appealing than room temperature water.
  • Make sure that your child sees you drinking water - and enjoying it!
  • If she steadfastly won't drink water, try diluting her drinks with water - half juice, half water. Gradually increase the dilution until she is basically drinking water.
  • If all else fails, feed her water-rich foods. Most soups, vegetables and milk have high water content, somewhere around 80%. Try home-made juice iceblocks and fruit smoothies.

Thursday, 20 October 2011


Teaching a child 'prepositions' - words that specify time, place and direction - can sometimes be a confusing task.  There are generally three types of prepositions:

Preposition of place - at, on, in, below, beside, under, behind, between. 
Used to describe the place or position of nouns.
eg. The puppy is beside the pool. 

Preposition of time - at, on, in, since, during.  
Used to show when something happened.
eg. I read my book during morning tea.   

Preposition of direction -to, toward, across, into, over, onto.  
Used to clarify the direction of someone or something. 
eg. The plane flew toward the beach.

Here is a simple printable that can make these concepts clearer and more concrete to learning minds.

 Download at free printable fun
At Small Talk Speech Pathology, we have printed these out, laminated them and turned them into 'fans' - a great language tool for children to refer to when in doubt.


Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Free printable artwork

Print off - laminate or frame - then display on a blank wall to brighten any room! Get the kids involved so they can choose which pictures they like best for their room.  Double siding the artwork allows you to change pictures whenever you like. 

Download at Make it perfect

Alphabet boards are great to have on display in a child's room as it is never too early to start learning the names of letters and what sound the letters make.  These pre-literacy skills are the building blocks for learning how to read and write in the future.  You can also build on vocabulary using the printables below by discussing animal names etc.

Download at Sprik space

Here are a few more:
Download at simple as that

Another great site for children-friendly artwork is Feed you soul unfortunately as its for personal use only I was unable to upload any of the artworks - definitely check this one out if you liked any of the above.

Happy printing & keep smiling!


The Early Years - Kids Count

Why are the first few years of your child's life so important?

Between birth and three years of age your child grows and develops faster than at any other stage in their lives. The way your child's brain develops in these early years is critical. In the first three years of your child's life, the brain has done a great deal of its growing and has established important pathways for future development.
Everything we do, say, think and feel is experienced and made sense of through our brain. Our brain allows us to love and to laugh, cry and then feel better, be confused and then understand.

The developing brain

At birth your baby has about 100 billion nerve cells, yet the brain is not fully developed. In the first few years of life these cells develop vital connections in the brain that influence your child's emotional, social and intellectual make-up. The brain is affected by influences from your child's environment in these early years.
The brain uses our sensory organs (eyes, ears, nose, tongue and skin) to tell us what is going on in the world. Everything we experience is filtered through our senses. Our senses send signals to our brain that can alter how our brain understands and responds to experiences and information.

The important role of parents in the early years

Researchers have found that the relationship between a parent and child in the early years affects the child's brain development in many ways.
When children are provided with loving and caring experiences in these early years, the connections in the brain for feeling good and learning are strengthened.
Babies and young children need lots of nurturing, touching and stimulation to enable them to learn and grow in the best possible way.
Early positive relationships with parents promote curiosity, self esteem and confidence in developing children.
These relationships will assist children to better cope with life's challenges.

During the early years spend time:

  • Holding and cuddling your child
  • Talking to and smiling with your child
  • Recognising and responding to your child's signals
  • Providing your child with new experiences and opportunities
  • Make sure that your children feel safe and secure
Visit Kids Count Website for more information

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

A fun way to teach colours

Here is a lovely paper heart garland from spearmint baby.  It is super easy to make and you can modify the garland by using different shapes eg. hearts, stars, circles, squares etc. 

You can teach children about:
  • all the different colours including shades such as 'dark blue' vs 'light blue'
  • how colours are made from our primary colours red, blue & yellow
  • different shapes
  • different sizes eg. small, medium, big

Things you will need:
- A trip to the local hardware shop to collect the cards from the paint section
- Shape punchers
- Needle and thread