Friday, May 28, 2010

How to Be a Playful Parent

Play is a child's "work" and is a very important part of a child's life.  It is the way he will discover the world around him.  The best kind of play is fun and engages the child.  Here are some how to's on how to be a playful parent...

1.  Know that any playtime with your child is invaluable.
2.  Make your own creative and use your imagination.  Kids are great at this...adults are the ones that need practice.
3.  Become a child yourself.  Turn a hairbrush into a microphone, a bowl into a hat.
4.  Give it your attention.  When you are playing give your child your FULL attention so that he can develop confidence in what he is doing.
5.  Follow the leader...let your child guide.

Who knows you might even have some fun???

I play and laugh all day long with kids.  They are experts in play and have taught me so much.  Even if it is just for a few minutes, take time every day to really play with your kids.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Oh Baby!

Within their first year babies will make one of the greatest accomplishments of their lives...they will learn to communicate.  They will learn to take control of their mouths and begin forming the sounds of their language.  They will learn to communicate their needs in ways that become more predictable to those around them often.

Babies begin learning before they are even born and within a few years they will learn the many different reasons why humans comment, request, reject, and so on.  They will also learn the social rules that apply to language such as eye contact, turn taking, and maintaining a topic.

Here are some things you baby should be doing from birth to 3 months:

Startling to loud sounds
Quiets or smiles when spoken to
Seems to recognize your voice and quiets if crying
Increases and decreases sucking behavior in response to sound
Makes pleasure sounds (cooing, gurgling)
Cries differently for different needs
Smiles when sees you

I don't know this baby, but he/she is precious!  

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Celebrate Better Hearing and Speech Month

May is Better Hearing and Speech Month.  Here are some practical tips any parent can use to encourage better understanding and use of language.  Try some of these out and while you are out celebrating BSHM why don't you give a big hug to all the hearing and speech professionals out there??? 

•Model grammatically correct language in your home
•Explain words that are new for your child
•Describe your activities as you are doing them
•Turn off the television
•Read books with your children
•Talk with your child even if they cannot respond
•Give your child time to formulate his answers to your questions
•Accept signs and gestures as well as vocalizations for minimally verbal communicators. This will make your child less frustrated
•Expand on what your child says to increase expressive language
•Play games to practice concepts like taking turns, following rules and attending to a task
•Support your child to help complete homework assignments
•Build your child’s esteem by providing positive reinforcement • Play games that help your child categorize
•Involve your child in cooking or baking activities. Talk out-loud about each of the steps