By Small Talk Speech Pathology

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Autumn Leaf Fun + FREE Printable

Autumn is more than upon us, it is almost over. So before we dive head long into winter we thought we should take a minute to have some fun despite the cold mornings and early sundowns. 

The following Autumn leaf activities are all from the wonderful inspiration over at Picklebums.

First of all we have free printable finger puppets with a song to accompany it. Have a look at the full article here,

For a lovely fine motor task for your littles, have a go at this Autumn leaf threading task. 

Lastly, quench all your crafty cravings with Autumn Leaf Crowns and Autumn Leaf Collage

These tasks all provide ample opportunities to develop both your child's fine motor skills as well as their language content (vocabulary) and language structure (grammar).

Build your child's vocab with less frequent words by having them describe the colour, shape and texture of the different leaves e.g.
- jagged
- smooth
- pointy
- rounded
- sharp
- rough
- flat
- curled
- dry
- scratchy

Or target their concepts and grammar with varying sentence structures e.g.

- before I thread the bead, I will thread the leaf
- after I thread the leaf, I will thread the bead
- the brown leaf is beside the red leaf
- I have 5 gold leaves
- I am threading___, I thread___
- I am sticking___, I stuck___

Have fun, stay warm, and another big thank you to Picklebums for their wonderful inspiration.

love L & V

Friday, 18 May 2012

Happy Friday - FREE Printable Artwork!

Happy Friday everyone!
Here are some free printable artworks to make you smile courtesty of
Feed your soul.  
(for personal use only)

Why not go online and print a few off to brighten a bedroom or study?
We have many free printable artworks on our walls at Small Talk Speech Pathology and will often update them with new artworks.

Print here at Feed your soul

V & L

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Yoga for Kids + FREE Printables

The term "yoga" comes from a Sanskrit word meaning "union." Yoga combines physical exercises, mental meditation, and breathing techniques to strengthen the muscles and relieve stress. 

Top 5 benefits of childhood yoga:
  1. Healthy outlet to balance their lives
  2. Ideal way to naturally unwind and obtain physical activity at the same time
  3. Paves the way for a life-long tradition of health and fitness
  4. Children of all ages and sizes and varying degrees of athletic abilities can practice yoga
  5. Non-competitive form of exercise

ABCs of Yoga for Kids has developed some beautiful resources such as this poster to assist you in introducing yoga to your children. Click HERE for more information.

Below are an example of the lovely images. Click to enlarge.
Plank Pose
Warrior Pose
Also available are these beautiful yoga pose colouring pages. 

Visit the blog Yoga for Kids for frequent updates and tips.

Free Printables:

Click HERE for more free printable yoga pose colouring pages.
Click HERE for free printable PDF yoga pose cards.

10 Yoga Tips for Parents & Kids

1. Kids (and parents) should not eat right before doing yoga. It is best not to have a full stomach when practicing the postures.
2. Pick a quiet place to do yoga with your child. Preferably practice on a yoga mat or soft carpet. Using a yoga mat helps ground kids and gives them a personal space to do the postures.
3. Do the poses with your child.
4. Enjoy being with your child, and try to be in the moment rather than letting your mind wander to things you need to get done.
5. Start in the Candle pose by kneeling on the floor with your hands in prayer position in front of your heart. Take several breaths in and out through your nose before advancing to other poses.
6. Remember to always breathe in and out of your nose when practicing yoga postures.
7. Keep the tone light and fun, and never push your child to do more than they are capable of.
8. Give your child positive reinforcement to help him or her learn and improve.
9. Your final posture should be the Do Nothing Pose, where you and your child lie on your backs with your arms alongside your body and your palms facing towards the ceiling. If you have an eye pillow or small towel to cover your eyes, it helps to keep the light out.
10. Play a soothing children’s lullaby when doing the Do Nothing Pose. One of my favorite songs is “House at Pooh Corner” by Kenny Loggins. See if you and your child can lie still for the duration of the song. See how relaxed and rejuvenated you both are when you are done!

Yoga Precautions for Children

Children tend to have looser joints and great enthusiasm. As a result, they may be unaware when they are stretching beyond what is safe. Parents without yoga backgrounds who are interested in incorporating yoga should seek proper guidance and instruction. Parents practicing independently with their children should be aware that upside-down poses (such as headstands) pose great risk to children who have limited body awareness. According to yoga instructor Baron Baptiste, only children over 8 should try upside-down poses and only with adult supervision.

Read more here or click here for more 
safety tips.


Lauren and Vanessa

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Teach Your Child How to Take Good Pictures

Kids have an interesting perspective on just about everything and when you hand a kid a camera, you get a fascinating glimpse into their world. 

Makayla Hayes, 14, won the international grand prize in the 2011 National Geographic Kids photo contest for this 

Want to teach your kids how to take great photos? 
Have a read of this wonderful article on how to Teach Your Child How to Take Good Pictures Via Teach Kids How
There is something magic about capturing an image, some small piece of reality, and turning it into an artifact of one moment in time. Children and adults alike love to get behind a camera and start clicking. But in order to make the photo good enough to honor that moment in time, some knowledge and practice is needed.
Teaching your child to take good photos does not require fancy equipment or a great deal of time. You will, however, need a camera and lots of patience.
Many people have made the switch to digital photography and for good reasons. It’s cheaper, you can take more pictures, and save or print only those worthy of keeping. Digital photos are easy to store and to send to friends and relatives. Certainly, going digital cuts out the cost and inconvenience of developing your pictures.
Lots of folks still use film and a traditional camera, especially for teaching their little ones the basics of photography. And there are those who would never forsake the mystery and excitement of the darkroom for the speed and convenience of digital.
But whatever you use you will be teaching your child a valuable skill that will provide a lifetime of joy and memories.
Young children love to be on both sides of the camera. Many of us who are now parents can remember our first Fisher Price cameras! (They still make one! The “Kid-Tough” digital camera that is drop-proof! Children as young as two can successfully use this camera.)
If your child seems to be determined to be the photographer, it is best to get them their own camera. What kind you select will depend on these factors:
  • What the camera will be used for
  • How much you want to spend
  • The age of your youngster
  • What features you’ll need
  • Whether you want to go digital or not
You’ll want to do an Internet search first, perhaps read a few reviews, and talk to other parents that have purchased one recently. At this age a camera made just for kids will probably be the wisest choice and produce pictures good enough to put up on the screen and email to Grandma and Grandpa. Hewlett Packard has some tips for parents when selecting a digital camera. Make sure it:
  • Is small enough to hold easily
  • Has fully automatic settings
  • Can turn itself off
  • Is simple to use and has easy options for transferring photos
As far as technique goes- most kid digital cameras have double view finders and are “point and shoot”. Preschoolers are old enough to remember to:
  • Stay still
  • Get the subject of the photo in the finder
  • Click and advance
  • Keep it in the case while not in use
Kids this age are not very selective regarding subject matter! That’s why going digital is probably a better choice. You can sit together and decide which pictures to save and which to delete. This will help your child to learn what makes a good picture- balance, optimal distance, best background, and begin to understand the basics of lighting.
It’s important to be patient with your youngster. Teach one point at a time and then provide time to practice. As your child grows they will be able to assimilate what they’ve learned. The proof will eventually be in the pictures.
Letting your child take their own pictures is a step toward developing independence, forming artistic judgment and perhaps beginning a lifelong hobby or even vocation.
Main points to address:
  • Preschoolers are ready to “point and shoot”.
  • Digital cameras may be a cheaper and a more practical choice.
  • Shop around to find the best camera for your child.
  • Selecting photos worth saving together can be a learning experience.
Grades K-3rd
As children grow, their pictures will reflect their understanding of the principles of good picture taking. They may want to upgrade their camera. Again, searching for a camera with a few more options will open up a world of possibilities and allow your child to add to what they know and can do with a camera.
Children this age love to share their lives with others and pictures do this very well. Teach your child how to download their photos into the computer. They will then be able to choose the best ones, based on each picture’s artistic merits or the emotional endearment of the subject matter. Sending select photos to relatives is a great way to keep in touch.
You may want to spend time on the web with your child viewing slides of other people’s work. It’s usually easier to view someone else’s photos more objectively. Your youngster will be able to see how distance, perspective, lighting, background and choice of subject matter comes into play and begin to apply their observations to their own photography.
Kids love to take pictures of animals and other people. But equally fascinating at this age is the richness of nature. Take your cameras with you when hiking or camping. Capturing a shot of a squirrel munching on an acorn or laying on the forest floor shooting the sky though the canopy above could be your child’s idea of heaven!
Farm animals also make great subjects. So do fruits and vegetables! Don’t be afraid to let them experiment. Ripples in a pond or a flock of geese in flight will create interesting images and evoke precious memories. Your young school age child will enjoy experiencing life through a view finder!
Main points to address:
  • You may need to upgrade your child’s camera as they grow, become more skilled and more responsible.
  • Teach your child how to download their pictures to the computer.
  • Spend some time together viewing pictures taken by others.
  • Your child will have fun taking pictures of things in nature.
Grades 4-6th
Your older child will be better able to handle their camera and stay steady for a shot. This is the time to teach them some of the finer points of photography. Teach one of these aspects at a time, backing them up with pictures you have taken or images found on the net.
Identifying a “point of interest”: Teach your child to pause before shooting to find the one thing that he or she wants to emphasis or feature in the picture. That will help them consider distance, lighting, perspective and where the focal point will be.
Focal lock: Many kids when using an auto focus camera have trouble focusing on their true subject. This can be avoided by having your child press the shutter half-way down to focus and then set the subject where they want it in the view finder. Then hold steady- and press the shutter the rest of the way. This will result in a clearer picture.
The rule of thirds: Simply put- divide the view finder in thirds vertically and horizontally and center the subject on one of the vertices so that the subject is slightly off-center.
Experiment: Encourage your child to take the same shot from different angles (above, below, straight-on), distances, and with various backgrounds. Review the shots with your child so they can describe the techniques used and discuss the outcome. This will help your child understand the endless effects from manipulating the various elements of their picture-taking.
If your child remains excited about photography, they may want to join a club, either in your community or online. There are many sites that invite young photographers to share their photos, giving young people a forum for their work.
Remember that your child will take many more “bad” pictures than good. That’s why photographers take multiple shots! Encourage their interest by giving them artistic freedom to make mistakes and learn from them.
Save the good pictures in a quality album. Your child will enjoy sharing their favorites with friends and family for years to come.
Main points to address:
  • Older children are ready to learn some of the finer points of photography.
  • Teach them one aspect at a time.
  • Your child may want to join a photography club online or in your community.
  • Print and save the best photos. Keep them in an acid-free album.
Resources that can help you in your venture include: