Featuring: Haley Libman, S-LP(C), Speech Stars; Speech-Language Pathologist
Early verbal skills are linked to reading, spelling and academic achievement. Children with weaker verbal abilities are more likely to experience difficulties learning to read and write. There are many ways you can stimulate your child’s verbal skills at home.
Strategies to Stimulate Early Literacy Skills:
(1) Play with Words
- Identify words that “sound the same at the end”
- Sing nursery rhymes and talk about the words that rhyme
- Create lists of words that rhyme for example, “let’s think of words that rhyme with hat….bat, mat, pat.”
- Clap/ stomp/ hop out syllables in words
- Blend sounds into words. For example, “/b/, /a/, /t/ make bat”
- Identifying first sounds in words and last sounds in words
- For example, “mouse starts with the /m/ sound”
- Play I spy and focus on words that begin with different sounds. For example, “I spy something that starts with the /m/ sound”
- Talk about the sounds at the beginning of words. For example, “teddy starts with the t-t-t sound, let’s think of other words that start with the /t/ sound, “tummy, tall, tail, team….”
(2) Alphabet Knowledge
- Sing the alphabet song
- Talk about the letters in your child’s name, and look for the letters in your environment
(3) Expose your child to print:
- Play with alphabet magnets on your fridge, talk about the letters and their sounds
- Read books (not just your I-phone) in front of your child
- Read with your child, and track the words with your finger
- Create shopping lists with your child, and let your child hold the list when you shop together
- Point out street signs
- Point out familiar signs like Starbucks and McDonalds
- Visit your library
You Can Do These Activities Anywhere:
- Many of these activities are talking games – they can be done anywhere!
- You can play rhyming games in the car, or on the way to soccer practice. You can talk about your shopping list as you are shopping with your child. You can point out signs as you walk to the park.
Make it fun and enjoy.
About Haley Libman, S-LP(C), Founder of Speech Stars
Haley is a registered Speech-Language Pathologist who received her Master of Clinical Sciences Degree in Speech-Language Pathology from the University of Western Ontario. She is registered with the College of Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists of Ontario (CASLPO) as well as Speech-Language and Audiology Canada (SAC). Haley has worked at The Hospital for Sick Children (Sick Kids), The Speech and Stuttering Institute and within various schools. Clients range in age from infancy to adulthood. Haley is an enthusiastic clinical educator for students in the profession and has lectured about stuttering to speech-language pathology students at The University of Toronto.
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Reference: Anderson,N., and Shames, G. Human Communication Disorders. An Introduction. Seventh Edition. Boston: Pearson Education, Inc., 2006. Print.