By Small Talk Speech Pathology

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

FREE Printable Leap Year Activities


It’s almost Leap Year!! Click the above link for tons of “froggy” inspired games, treats, and crafts to celebrate this special day that comes only once every 4 years.   They are easy to make and fun activities for kids of all ages.

Printables for kids have a lovely free printable colouring in PDF to help introduce our up coming leap day to your kids.

Want more leap day fun? Check out Activity Village for these lovely bookmarks.

Happy Leap day everyone!

L & V

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Teaching your child not to interrupt

Whether you're on the phone, busy on your computer, or talking to another adult, it can be frustrating when your children constantly interrupt you. What's surprising to learn is that they do it because they always get a response from you when they do! They've learned that you are willing to stop what you're doing to answer them. Keep in mind that children are so focused on their own needs that they don't realize that you have needs, too. They can learn how to pay more attention to other people's needs as well as their own, which will help control these endless interruptions.

Give lessons and examples
Teach your children how to determine if something warrants an interruption, as they may have a hard time deciphering when interruptions are justified. Discuss examples of when it's okay to interrupt, such as when someone is at the door, or if a sibling is hurt.

Coach proper manners
Teach your child how to wait for a pause in the conversation and to say, "Excuse me." When she remembers to do this, respond positively. If the interruption is of something that should wait, politely inform your child of this.

Don't answer the question
Many parents admonish kids for interrupting, but in the same breath respond to the child's interrupted request, which just reinforces the habit.

Watch your manners
Parents sometimes jump in so quickly to correct their child's bad manners that they don't realize that the way in which their correction is delivered is itself rude. Use your own good manners to model appropriate communication skills. Pause, look at your child, and say, "I'll be with you in a minute."

Teach "The Squeeze"
Tell your child that if she wants something when you are talking to another adult, she should walk up to you and gently squeeze your arm. You will then squeeze her hand to indicate that you know she is there and will be with her in a minute. At first, respond quickly so your child can see the success of this method. Over time you can wait longer, just give a gentle squeeze every few minutes to remind your child that you remember the request.

Create a busy-box
Put together a box of activities or games that can only be used when you are on the telephone, working at your desk, or talking with an adult. Occasionally refill it with new things or rotate the contents. Be firm about putting them away when you are done. Your child will be look forward to your next conversation, which will be interruption free!

Plan ahead
Before you make a phone call or have a visitor, let your child know what to expect. "I'm going to make a phone call. I'll be a while, so let's get your busy box ready to use while I'm on the phone."

Give praise when deserved
Catching your child doing the right thing can be the best lesson of all. Praise your child for using good manners, for remembering to say "excuse me," and for interrupting only for a valid reason.

Excerpted with permission by McGraw-Hill Publishing from The No-Cry Discipline Solution (McGraw-Hill 2007) by Elizabeth Pantley.

Monday, 13 February 2012

18 Free Printable Valentine's Cards

have these wonderful FREE printable Valentines Day cards this week so why not print them all out and have some family fun writing some loving words to each other.

Happy Valentines Day dear readers.
Lauren and Vanessa

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

10 Activities to Teach Your Children About World Cultures

Explore World Cultures With Your Kids

Kids in traditional dress
Kids learn to appreciate people and their differences when they learn about world cultures.

Teaching your kids about world cultures helps them appreciate the differences in people and their traditions. Put down the textbook and travel around the globe without ever needing a suitcase. Use your imagination to teach your kids about world cultures.

Create a Passport
International travel requires a passport, so start your foreign adventures by creating a passport. Before you begin, show your child the reasons we use a passport and what they look like.
Next, help her make a small booklet to serve as her passport. The pages should be blank on the inside. That way, you can draw, use a sticker or glue a picture of the country's flag to stamp the pages of her passport as she "travels" from country to country to learn about world cultures.

Map It Out
Now that she has a passport, she's ready to travel the world. Print a world map and use push pins to illustrate where the country's located.
Every time you learn about a new country, use another push pin on your world map. See how many countries she can visit.

Study the Weather
Kids who live in Ohio won't have to worry about a willy willy. But where will you find these conditions? How's the weather in Zimbabwe today?
Weather is more than the basics of sun, rain, wind and snow. Learn about the weather in other countries to give her the full experience of what it's like for other kids who live there.

Get Crafty
Make Muslim clothing when learning about Islamic countries. Try your hand at Mexican handicrafts when learning about Mexico.
Take your world culture lessons even further when you let her create or wear the types of crafts you would find in that country. Beadwork, clothing, pottery, origami -- the possibilities are endless.

Go Shopping
In Bangkok shopping centers, you can buy everything from religious amulets to pet squirrels. Search for jade or haggle for high-tech electronics in Hong Kong's markets. Look for the horse drawn delivery carts when shopping in Ireland.
These shopping experiences are completely different than our local malls. Learn about each country's marketplace through pictures and articles. Search YouTube for videos of street markets in other countries. You'll be surprised at how much your child can learn about world cultures from thousands of miles away through many resources you can find online.

Cook Authentic Recipes
How does Japanese food taste? What types of food would you find on a typical menu in Germany?
Cook authentic recipes together. Find what foods are popular in the country you two are studying. Use the Food Channel for inspiration to find iconic Australian and New Zealand foods, traditional British recipes, Chinese dishes, Indian meals, South American foods and more.

Find a Pen Pal
Forget texting. Letters to pen pals are a classic way for kids to communicate with friends they may never get to meet. They're also a hidden lesson in language arts and social studies.
Search for a pen pal in the country you're learning about with your child. There are many free websites that will match your child with pen pals around the world. This pen pal primer will get you started.

Learn Cultural Etiquette
What we might do in our home country isn't necessarily appropriate in other countries. Learning about each culture's etiquette can be enlightening for you both.
Pointing your feet in Thailand is offensive. Your left hand is considered unclean in India, so pass all food or objects to other people with your right.
Learn about cultural etiquette with your child. Try practicing this country's dos and don'ts of etiquette for a day or week. What happens to citizens when they break the rules of etiquette? Are they simply frowned upon or is it a punishable offense?

Teach the Language
Learning a foreign language is fun for kids. Fortunately for parents, we don't have to know how to speak every single language to help our kids.
When you're exploring world cultures, study each country's official language. Learn basic words your child already knows. Teach both written and spoken form.
Not sure how to pronounce the words? Visit the language labs for French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin Chinese and Spanish to hear correct pronunciations.

Celebrate Holidays
Keep a calendar of upcoming holidays celebrated in other countries. Celebrate national holidays just as people in that country do.
For example, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United Kingdom observe Boxing Day. The holiday's tradition includes giving money and charitable donations to organizations and people in need. To celebrate, the two of you can box some canned goods for the local food bank, drop a few bills into a charity's bucket or donate old items to a nonprofit.
Teach your child about the history of each holiday too. When did it begin? Why? How has it changed over the years?
Study up on each holiday as it approaches. Decorate your home as you would find streets, businesses and other houses for their observed holidays.

Vanessa X

Free colouring book of flags

Here at you can print off any flag of the world for colouring/craft purposes.  They are perfect for extending your child's understanding of different countries and cultures.

Flags linked through this page have been drawn in outline form, suitable for printing to be coloured in by hand. These flags are available for you to use for any non-commercial purpose. They are presented in three sizes. Small flags should fit eight to an 11.5 x 8 inch page (close to A4 format), medium-sized flags should fill about half a page, and large flags should fill a whole page (these are rotated, so you can print them in portrait format). 

Flags are available for the following areas: 
Happy colouring and learning everyone!

Free online & printable Maths Flashcards

Help your little one master addition/subtraction/multiplication/division and practice with these maths flash cards and tables that you can customise.  Click here to access these brilliant flash cards and tables.


2 options - Flashcards OR a printable practice sheet. 
Tick the numbers that you would like to include in this session below. 
THEN, the tool will include and randomise all addition facts for selected numbers in the selected format (eg Flashcards OR practice maths sheets).
1 5 9
2 6 10
3 7 11
4 8 12

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Find a sport for your child

By Alex Brooks

Extracurricular activities are a great way to solve school difficulties, and sports can help your child stay active, learn sportsmanship, improve social skills and concentration and have fun.
Some sports and activities are too challenging for little ones to handle.

When considering a particular sport or program, remember:
  • Preschoolers and kindergarten children have shorter attention spans and may not be ready for games or team sports with rules. Individual sports like swimming, gymnastics, or Little Athletics are great to keep kids physically active if they aren't ready for the rules of team sports.

  • Kids between 5 and 7 years old enjoy learning sports and games with rules, but look for sports that strongly emphasise sportsmanship and fun rather than winning and trophies. At this age, kids need to work on agility, strength, and hand-eye coordination. Non-contact sports such as soccer, swimming, gymnastics, and softball are all good possibilities.

  • Eight- to 10-year-olds are ready to play competitive sports. They are old enough to develop strong skills, understand rules, and be part of a team, even if they do find it hard to lose! Most schools organise competitive team sports, but try local clubs if your school doesn't offer a sport your child would enjoy.

  • Older school children can play contact sports and may be willing to get themselves organised for practice and competition games rather than relying on parents to ferry them around.
Get active and enjoy!
Vanessa & Lauren