Canton, OH 44708
Although these are just a few therapy ideas,
you can make Auditory-Verbal therapy at home fun! Newer and more recent
therapy ideas are at the top of the list.
BUGGO is a Ravensburger game where you turn over tiles revealing a number
of bugs...1, 2, 3, or 4. You need to get up to or close to 5 in 2 tiles. If
you go over the tiles stay put, if you get 5 you keep the tiles. That is the
basic gist of the game and it combines learning with memory.
TUTTI FRUTTI by Patch is fun. There are two levels of this game. It comes
with a metal bell (the kind you tap when you want to get someone's attention
at a desk) and the cards have different numbers of fruit on them. Each
player takes turns turning a card over from their stack and the first person
to see 5 of the same fruit rings the bell and then keeps the stack. The
second set of cards has some rotten fruit on it and the fruits are mixed on
DOG DICE is by Gamewright and it is a Bingo style game with bones for the
pieces and two dice. One dice has a picture of one of 4 dogs and the second
dice has a picture of a boy, dish, bone, the word trouble, or dog gone. So
you look at the combination you throw on the dice and then look for it on
your bingo card.
SUDS by Gamewright is a sequence game but it moves fast. The cards have a
picture of one of six pieces of "laundry" and you try to build the sequence
all at the same time so you throw down a hat to start then you just try to
complete the sequence quickly with the cards in your hand. There is a wild
card and there may be more than just one pile going at a time.
There are great math puzzles by SCHUBI where you solve math problems to
solve the puzzle. The problem is on the puzzle piece and the answers are on
a small board. Then, when you are done, you have a great photographed
There is also a game called ALIEN HOT SHOTS by Gamewright. It is a game
like War but there are some fun cards within the deck like space germs and
odd/even eaters. This is probably more for the 8/9 and older crowd but it
was quite a bit of fun.
GREAT IDEAS FOR TEACHING are good books which help with auditory
sequencing and inferences. An example of an exercise from the book is :
1. Find the picture of Billy fixing his wagon and put it in box 2.
2. Find the picture of Billy raking leaves and put it in box 4.
3. Find the picture of Billy taking out the garbage and put it in box 6.
Plant flowers or vegetables with your child. You can teach
children many words as well as concepts of biology -from colors to
photosynthesis. You can talk about vines, bushes, different kinds of
vegetables. You can harvest the vegetables and preserve some of them.
Cut some flowers and make flowers arrangements, add ferns, baby's breath and
ivies. Visit a flower shop and ask thoughts provoking questions such as how
does flowers stay fresh during shipments. Where does flowers come from
Save an egg carton and collect 12 plastic eggs. Mark the
inside bottom of the egg carton with the numbers 1-12. Mark the outside of
the eggs with the numbers 1-12 and fill them with corresponding objects.
Cotton balls, coins, large dried beans, beads, etc. Hide them around the
house or outside. First have an egg hunt. Then sit down and shake the eggs
to see if they make sound. Open the eggs, count the items, discuss their
qualities. Then put the items back in the egg and find the corresponding
space in the carton.
Crafts from your Favorite Fairy Tales by
Kathy Ross a Scholastic Publication
Support crafts for 20 different Tales including : The Princess and the Pea,
The Frog Prince, The Little Mermaid, Hansel and Gretl and more.
Choose a story and stretch a couple days worth of langauge and lessons from
it. Start by making the trip to the library and learning how to find books
via the computer. Depending on the age of the child and his/her reading
level you can look for tales that you read to them or ones that may have
been adapted for younger children. (For example, Little Red Riding Hood was
adapted by Mercer Mayer as a lift the flap story and is very easy for young
children). This may also be a great time to have your child sign up for a
Reading is so important, so make it fun by using exaggerated inflection and
appropriate voice changes. If the child is reading, you may still want to
read the story to them and then stop to ask questions, try to predict what
will happen, discuss the feelings of the characters etc. Then have the child
read the story to the other parent, a grandparent or caregiver. You may want
to incorporate the story into the experience book or if the child is
journaling himself (the step after the experience book) have him do a few
pages on the characters, the best part of the story or perhaps even change
The crafts really stretch the story. Check in advance that you have all of
the supplies needed so that when you go over the list with your child you
will be sure to find everything right at home. Many of the activies use
supplies you have at home. In the event that you need styrafoam balls,
fiberfill or another supply, make the list the night before and plan a trip
to the craft store.
A couple of the crafts need items that you may have to save up or ask a
grandparent or friend to help, such as paper towel/toilet papers rolls or 9
You may even want to "perform" the fairy tale. If you have siblings to
include or a play group, what fun it would be to get some simple costumes
together and act out the story.
Make a batch of plaster of paris and head outside looking for various animal
tracks. Pour the plaster of paris over the track and dig out the track or go
back the next day when the plaster of paris has dried. You can keep them for
years and expand the language each time you examine the piece.
A nature box is a good place to store your tracks and other goodies. Bird
nests, cicada shells, honey combs, pine cones etc. Kids will love revisiting
the items they have collected over the years.
For Ohio residents the book "Kids Love Ohio" is a great rersource of places
to visit in the state. The book lists parks, amusement parks, museums,
festivals and more. Phone numbers, hours, costs and location are listed.
Many of these places make great day trips.
Since this is the year of the Census, a great
way to teach counting and language is by conducting a census. The
family could have the child do the census and then have siblings do the
census at grandparents, cousins or neighbors house. The graph can be used to
teach data collection, estimation, graphing or just for fun.
1. How many of each live in your home? boys........ girls.......
2. How many people in your house go to school?..........
3. How many people work outside your home?........
4. How many pets are in your house?
5. How many clocks in your house?
6. How many tv's in your house?
7. How many telephones in your house?
8. How many beds in your house?
9. How many steps in your house?
10. How many doorknobs in your house?
11. How many mirrors in your house?
12. How many languages are spoken in your house?
13. How many people in your house were NOT born in Ohio?
14. Do you have a computer in your house?
Fall is a wonderful time of year. You have a host of topics you can
choose to work on during this time of year. The weather varies from frost to
hurricanes and the weather is usually conducive to nature walks or small
A fun way to incorporate your autumn theme is to have a scavenger hunt.
Use a toy squirrel or one cut from paper and make up a little story about
Sammy the Squirrel hunting for 6 (or whatever is appropriate for your
child's level) acorns. You can hide real or paper acorns through out your
home (or outdoors) and have your child try to collect all 6. You can
incorporate prepositions, colors, rooms of the house, pieces of furniture
and/or outdoor locations in this exercise. For example, Your first clue
could read, "The first acorn is behind the rocking chair in the living
room". Give the clue auditorily and allow the child to run and find the
acorn and the next clue. You can make the directions as simple or complex as
you like. If your child is too old to play the game but has younger siblings
prepare the game with the older child and have him come up with the clues
and hide them through the house.
A fun way to introduce prepositions is through photographs. Go to your
own backyard or to a park and take pictures of your child behind a tree, in
a pile of leaves, beside a scarecrow, on a bale of hay, between two pumpkins
etc. Mount the photos on half pieces of construction paper or 5X7 notecards
with the appropriate sentence and then bind the pages together with a hole
punch and a piece of yarn. You will have an opportunity to discuss the
prepositions as well as some of the beautiful attributes of autumn.
For children just learning to listen or just old enough to experience
autumn and Halloween you can go to a party supply store and purchase small,
inexpensive halloween items. Finger puppets, characters in pumpkins,
erasers, etc. These items are typically 4 for a dollar or sometimes 6 or
more for a dollar. Try to buy two of each item. Once you have introduced the
items and labeled them with sounds (boooo for the ghost, or heee hee for the
witch) or by name you can play different listening games with them. For
example, for a barrier game you could draw two matching pictures of a
halloween scene. Make it simple. Perhaps a moon in the sky, a corn stalk, a
pumpkin and a not so scary haunted house. Then each of you take a set of the
halloween items. Place a barrier between you (a three ring binder works
well) and offer auditory directions like, "Put the ghost on the moon. Put
the black cat next to the house etc." You can lift the barrier after each
turn or after several turns. See if both of your pictures match; if not
discuss what is different. "Oh, you put your cat on the house. It should
have gone next to the house."
With Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas coming up you may want to
think of creative ways to count down to these special events. A paper chain
made of colors corresponding to the holiday is a fun way for kids to grasp
how much longer until the fun begins. You can count from the beginning of
the month or as many weeks as you feel is appropriate for your child. You
can number the links to introduce the concept of numbers and then everyday
you let the child pull off one of the links.
For Halloween you may want to place numbered Halloween characters(bats,
ghosts, pumpkins etc.) on the child's bedroom door and pull one off every
day until the 31st.
You can make candy apples or caramel apples. Grocery stores usually have
candy apple or caramel apple mix. Follow the instructions for making the
apples, and decorate them with candy: make faces out of the candy and talk
about what you are decorating them with.
Sequencing is another important skill to cultivate. You can use
photographs or hand drawn pictures on 4X6 cards index cards for this
activity. Prepare sequencing cards in sets of 3 or up to 6 depending on your
child's skill level. You can use pumpkin picking, dressing up in a costume,
apple picking, or raking leaves just to name a few. For a beginner you can
make the pictures simple and the story short. For example, Draw a picture of
a pumpkin, the next picture showing a knife with the top of the pumpkin cut
off and some seeds in a pile and then the third picture would be of a
fiished jack-o-lantern. For a more complex sequence you could show the
pumpkin seed being planted in the dirt, then a vine with the flower, then a
small pumpkin, next a big pumpkin, then a jack-lantern. If your child is
getting ready for a costume party (as a clown) take a picture of him before
he begins to get ready, then with his costume on, then applying clown
make-up, then putting on his clown hat and then one in his costume.
Once you have the pictures you can narrate the story showing each picture
after you finish describing it. You can have the child guess the end before
you show the last card, you can ask him to tell the story on his own, you
can have him close his eyes, turn one card over and ask him what part of the
sequence is missing, or mix up all the cards and have him put them in the
right order while telling the story in his words. This activity is a good
pre-reading activity as it works from left to right, it strengthens story
telling skills and helps prepare the child for listening to stories in the
classroom when they are expected sequence pictures at school. Don't forget
to take the pictures to grandma's or your therapy session so your child can
share his story with others.
If your child has more language you could hide items in a margarine
container and take turns giving each other clues. "I have something that is
black, has wings and sleeps all day and flies around at night".......a bat.
Have children cut out pictures of things they are thankful for from
magazines. Talk about why they are thankful about those things.
Trace your hands and make a turkey out of the tracing. You can use this
to talk about the fingers (thumb, index, middle, ring, and pinky). You can
also decorate the turkey with different colors or feathers!
If your child is older or enjoys writing and coloring you can purchase
blank calendars that come with markers and stickers so your child can fill
in the months and dates and personalize the calendar to events in his life.
If you are working on colors with a young child, you may want to spend
some time on orange, red and yellow for the fall. Pick a color of the day
and try to work it into your day in as many ways as you can. For example,
wear something orange, drink orange juice for breakfast,eat orange slices
for lunch and orange gelatin for dessert (which you made together of
course), go pumpkin picking, look for orange leaves, or make pumpkins with
orange play dough. If you want to incorporate shapes into your theme then
make a pan of orange jell-o jigglers and cut them out with a variety of
cookie cutters. You can use the top of a margarine or cool-whip container to
make a stencil of a jack-o-lantern face: triangles for eyes, a circle nose
and a series of squares for a mouth. (carefully cut out the shapes with a
sharp knife or x-acto blade ahead of time) Then draw a pumpkin onto paper
and let the child paint a face onto the pumpkin with the stencil.
Cut out pictures of Halloween costumes from newspaper ads or magazines.
Talk about the costumes. For example: Talk about what kinds of costumes they
are (princess, ballerina, ghost, etc). Also, you can talk about where
princesses live, what countries have princesses, what they do.
Make Halloween cards together. You can draw a cat in the right hand
corner, or a ghost in the middle of the page next to a broom. You can talk
about folding the paper in half, coloring the pictures on the card, what is
drawn or written on the card, and who the card is for, etc.
If you get a great deal of rain in your area you can make a rain gauge
and keep track of how much rain you got over a period of time. Which
day/week had the most rain? Which week was the driest. How many days of rain
versus the days of sunshine. Or chart the temperature and watch how summer
slowly gives way to the cool days of fall. You may want to check the weather
map in your newspaper and compare the temperature in your area with areas
further north, south east or west of you.
Make up a silly story using Halloween words such as spooky, eerie, ghost,
witch. A parent and the child can take turns making up a paragraph of the
story. See where the story ends!
Take a trip to a park and don't forget to bring a bag. This is a great
time to collect a variety of leaves, acorns and nuts. You may be fortunate
enough to observe squirrels or deer. Collect your autumn leaves in a bag to
examine when you get home. Then you can glue them onto construction paper
for a fun autumn collage or put the leaves between two sheets of wax paper,
iron (low heat) and use them as sun catchers or attach to a hanger to make a
mobile. You can sort the leaves by size or color. Discuss which leaf is the
biggest/smallest. Raking leaves into big piles, throwing them up and
watching them fall to the ground or stuffing them into bags will be a great
way to enjoy the autumn weather AND get something done in the yard!!
Collecting acorns can be fun. Each of you take a bucket and find as many
acorns as you can. You can count them, see who has more, who has the most
and how many do you have altogether. You may be able to introduce some early
math with an older child: if I have 5 acorns and you have 3 how many do we
You can also collect items with different textures, such as moss, bark,
pine cones, nuts, fungi, pine needles, rocks, etc. make a "feeling box" that
can be used to talk about different textures such as hard, rough, smooth,
bumpy, soft, hard. Different shapes and sizes can be discussed as well.
On the nature walk itself, you can discuss different things. For example,
if you see a creek, you can talk about how deep or shallow the stream is,
how wide it is, etc.
Make a haunted house with secret doors and windows. You talk about what
kind of haunted house you are making (a 2-story haunted house, a 3-story
haunted house, a house with shutters, a house with a porch, a house with
shutters, etc.) Inside each door or window are pumpkins, ghosts, witches,
cats, etc. Take turns asking each other to open the third window from the
left, the window above the door, etc.
Pumpkin picking is equally as fun. Local farms may allow you to pick your
own or to choose from hundreds they have displayed. Hay rides and hay mazes
are always a favorite. If you can find a farm hosting a fall festival you
may be able to enjoy a petting farm as well as buy some from fresh farm
A good auditory memory game is describing Halloween related words. For
example, you can say, "I have something orange. It is round and has a stem."
Put it on top of your child's head, lap, hand, etc., and ask, "Where did I
put the pumpkin (or cat, etc)?"
Apple picking at a local apple orchard is a great autumn activity. Some
orchards have apple festivals which allow you to pick your own apples, watch
a variety of demonstrations as well as try a variety of apple goodies: apple
butter, apple cider, carmel or candy apples. Don't forget to document the
fun in your child's experience book.
Look at the differences between the colors of the apples and their names.
Count the seeds in the apples and plant them!
Bake an apple pie. Talk about cutting the apples, putting different
spices in the pie, baking it, etc.
Apples are especially fun because you can cut them in half through the
middle and look for the star shape inside. You can use the cut apples to
make apple prints with paint. You can sort the apples by color, red, yellow
and green. Make applesauce or apple pie. Kids love being in the kitchen and
having a hand in what is being served for lunch or dinner. If you have an
apple peeler/corer/slicer you can make apple rings for a snack and serve
them with cinnamon sugar. Measure how long the apple skin is that comes off
of the peeler. It is much longer and thinner than the apple.
You may want to spend some time discovering seeds with your child. Gather
a variety of different fruits and take time to observe, smell, and touch the
fruits before cutting them. Discuss the size, texture and weight of the
fruits and where they grow. Which are sweet which are sour? Then cut the
fruits in half and search for the seeds. Some fruits have one big "pit" and
others have small seeds that need to be scooped out. You can wash the seeds
and save them to discuss with another family member later or glue them onto
a chart. Then compare tastes of the different fruits. If the child is a bit
older and you have a "child safe" knife allow him to help you cut the fruit
and make a fruit salad for dessert. (A few examples of fruits to use:
apples, peaches, cherries, melons, and strawberries.)
Talk about the change in season. For example, you can talk about why
there is fog or why it is colder outside, and why the leaves change color.
You can also talk about harvesting and what kinds of fruits and vegetables
are ready in the Fall.
Introduce different Halloween vocabulary such as treats, jack o'lantern,
skeleton, mummy, black cat, haunted house, goblin, vampire, candy corn,
ghoul, witch brew, spooky, Halloween, costumes, cauldron, party, ghosts,
cobwebs, monsters, etc.
Rake leaves together. Children can use smaller rakes, or help put the
leaves in a bag. If you have a compost heap, talk about putting the leaves
in the compost heap, talk about what happens to the leaves in the compost
heap, and what they are used for in the spring!
Collect leaves and talk about the types of trees they come from.
Two of the major harvest crops include apples and pumpkins. If you were
really on top of things in the spring you planted your pumpkin seeds and are
getting ready to pick a beautiful orange pumpkin right about now. If not,
remember to save your pumpkin seeds from this year's jack-o-lantern or buy a
package in the spring.
Make homemade stuffing. Go to the library, look for recipes for different
stuffings. Talk about different seasonings. Pick one and make it.
Make a jack o'lantern. Talk about how the pumpkin feels. Scoop up the
seeds. Dry them and make a collage with them. You can also plant some seeds
and watch them grow. Talk about how they grow (they need light and water,
etc). You can also bake pumpkin seeds and eat them afterward.
Make pumpkins with different facial expressions (happy, sad, angry, etc).
Talk about why they may be happy, sad, or angry. Make some pumpkins with no
eyebrows, droopy mouths, slanty eyes, etc.
Make a cornucopia. have different fruits (either real or fake) Workon
auditory memory by giving instructions such as "put the grapes, pear, and
corn in the basket" or "before you put the corn in the cornucopia, put in
the squash." You can also hide the fruit and give verbal clues to fill the
baskets. Then pull off a piece everyday or do it in reverse and add a piece
everyday. This is a fine time to introduce fruits and vegetables, the
harvest and the meaning of the cornucopia. You could also make a large
turkey and add a colorful feather everyday.
Blowing is a great way to build breath support. There are a variety of
ways to do this. One such way to build breath support is to use instruments
such as recorders, kazoos, harmonicas, and whistles. Another way to work on
improving breath support is to use paper wrapped straws (like those from
fast-food restaurants), tear off the top of the wrapper, and blow the paper
wrapper across the table. After doing this, you can do more activities with
the straw. Get some paper and watercolors. Put a some watercolors on the
paper and "paint" by blowing through the straw.
Stickers can be used to learn body parts. One
such way to do this is to have a sticker and tell the child, "Put the
sticker on your hand", "Put the sticker on Daddy's nose", etc. Progress to
saying, "Put two stickers on your knee", "Put the red sticker on your foot",
Put the big sticker on your right elbow", etc.
Make masks. Use paper, tissues, tissue paper,
cloth, etc. to do this. Cut out holes for the eyes, nose, and mouth. You can
talk about the shapes of the holes (round, square, rectangular, oval, etc.)
and the parts of the face (eyes, nose, mouth). You can color the mask or
draw on it.
One of the best ways to develop your child's
language is by creating an experience book. This can be any kind of
book -- a spiral notebook, a three-ring binder, or a sketchbook that you and
your child fill up with pictures, drawings, souvenirs, and writings about
your child's day. Don't worry if you can't draw -- you can fill up the pages
with clippings from magazines and newspapers, photographs, your child's
artwork, or simple stick figures. You and your child can "recreate" the
events of the day through discussion and talking about the experiences you
have put in your child's book.
If you have dolls or action figures, you can
play with them, feed them, put them to sleep, or invent skits and situations
for the characters to act out.
Use everyday household chores to expand
language. Sort laundry by color and type (shirts, pants, socks, etc.) See
whose clothes are the biggest. The child can out the laundry away in
specific places (in Billy's room, in the top drawer, in the closet, etc.)
Sing, sing, sing! Sing children's songs and sing during
everyday routines during the first months or year of amplification. Children
love to hear the melodic voices of their parents so sing while you are
"Stirring the oatmeal, stirring the oatmeal, round and round!"
Save margarine tubs and use for memory games or guessing games as the
child gets older. Begin with just two and help the child determine the
presence or absence of sound. As they mature, put little animals or learning
to listen toys inside and take a peek and say "moo" and see if the child can
identify the animal. Then it is their turn to peek. You can then hide three
to seven things and then take one away and guess what is missing. As they
get older you can vary the toys inside and make the clues harder: "I have a
land vehicle with two wheels and a motor."
Cooking and doing dishes is another fun, hands on way for
kids to learn and listen.
Stickers are inexpensive and are great motivators. They can
be used for listening games or to make Lotto and Go Fish cards. Stickers can
also be purchased in themes: animals, holidays, food, vehicles, etc. Use 3 x
5 cards to make go fish cards or cut the cards in half to make memory cards.
You need to be sure you have 2 of each to get pairs. It is a great way to
introduce and reinforce vocabulary. If working on plurals, you can put one
sticker on some cards then two or more on others so when asking, the child
must say, "do you have two dogs?" etc.
Comic books can be a good source of therapy fun. They can be used to
model intonation, idioms, or current sayings and to build a sense of humor.