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Things You Can Work On This Week

Whether you are a parent looking for speech homework or a therapist looking for ideas for "homework" to leave with families, this is a nice list of ideas that almost anyone could use to help increase speech and language skills for kiddos under age 3.

1. Model clear and simple speech. Think about what level your child is on. Is she using 3-4 word phrases? Single words at a time? Not even that? If your child is only speaking in single words, you should only be saying 2-3 words at a time. This way it's easier to imitate you and understand.

2. Don't read books. Talk about what's in the book in a fun and simple way. Point to the ball and say "ball!" Make animal noises when you see an animal instead of just labeling it. Use picture books with simple pictures with simple backgrounds.

3. Be as fun, animated, and childlike as you can. Be fun, be loud, be over the top!

4. Play with your child at least one hour a day. Put your phone away, turn off the TV, offer undivided attention, listen, respond, interact, laugh, tickle, cuddle, smile, etc. This is like getting therapy all week long for your child when done correctly.

5. Start a log of your child's new behaviors, sounds, and words. This will help you and your therapist keep track of progress and discuss new targeted sounds, words, or behaviors. Start it and commit to keeping up with it. Keep it with you at all times. Keep it in a folder along with handouts given to you by your therapist. Keep a list of questions as you think of them for your therapist.

6. Offer new and fun experiences often to encourage new language such as walks outside, trips to the zoo and grocery store, wash the car or go through an automatic, cook together and eat, build something, make music, go to the park and library, have play dates, walk through sand and grass barefoot, ride in an elevator or train, build a snowman or decorate the tree, look at the clouds, make tents and forts out of couch cushions and blankets, look around the house with a flashlight, blow up a balloon or bubbles, rip pages from old magazines before you trash them, feed the birds, take a bike or wagon ride, etc.

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