Putting Therapy Into Practice
Sit down with your child and make a summer calendar. Discuss what you will do, where you will go, who you will see. Find a picture that represents the activity (i.e. a photograph of Grandma and Grandpa when you are going to visit the grandparents) and place it on the calendar. After the activity occurs, discuss what you did, where you went, who you saw.
Fourth of July Pinwheel
You will need:
- 2 pieces of lightweight paper
- hole punch
- pipe cleaner
- blue and red crayons/markers/stamps
- cut a square from a piece of paper
- fold the square into a triangle
- fold the triangle in half and unfold the paper
- decorate with crayons/markers/stamps
- cut along the folded lines (do not cut all the way to the center)
- punch a hole in each corner
- carefully take each of the 4 points to the center (don’t crease the paper!) and staple
- tightly wrap the pipe cleaner around the straw
- thread the other end of the pipe cleaner into the pin wheel and attach
- how to make the pinwheel move: blow on it, flick it
- speed of the movement: fast, slow
- now, take it outside and observe:
- does it move?
- why is it moving?
- why is it not moving?
Sandy’s Recommended Activity
Birthday Party Fun
Summer brings us more time to play at home and when coming up with engaging pretend play activities, birthday party scenarios take the cake. Use stuffed animals as guests, paper goods from around the house, and a prefabricated wooden cake set. If you don’t have a cake set, substituting items such as Playdough and Legos for cake, topping, and candles works well. Ideas to incorporate these skills are as follows:
- Vocabulary: As you create or put the cake together, provide a model and chance for your child to imitate the labels of the parts of the cake, the decorations, the utensils being used, the colors on the hats. Talk about these items in groups so your child can begin to learn categories without even realizing it. For example: Let’s get out the toppings…what do we have?” and then proceed to label the different candies or fruit as they appear.
- Answering questions: In order to build comprehension and to increase engagement in the back and forth exchange of conversation, ask your child yes/no and multiple choice questions about which decorations to use or who will come to the party. Your child will be motivated as his responses are being incorporated into the activity.
- Use of pronouns and verb tenses: While handing out the plates, cups, napkins, and pieces of cake, model pronouns such as me/my, you/your, I, he, she, his, hers, it, them. For example: Your piece looks yummy! Is this piece for me? Also model verb present or past tense. For example: Look, Pooh is eating his piece! or We ate it! Now it’s time to open the presents!
- Social Pragmatics: Make sure to move slowly enough through the game to talk about whose turn it is to put a decoration on, or to cut the cake, or who gets the first, second or third piece. Ask or state how the guests at the party might be feeling while they are waiting for the cake. Are they hungry? excited? Did a guest not get a piece? How might they feel if they are left out? Keep the vocabulary of emotions at the level your child can understand and model use of those words. For example: Tigger is sad that there is no more cake. Ask your child for ideas on how to solve this problem. Offer choices such as: Can someone share? Or maybe we can cut the cake into smaller pieces. Which do you want to do?
- Motor Speech Control: Speak with your PROMPT© trained clinician to determine which words to incorporate into the game. This activity can be used for several stages on the Motor Speech Hierarchy. Some lexicon ideas: mmm, you do it, put it on, cut it, take a piece, whose is it?, it’s for her/him.
- July 4th: 11:45 AM National Independence Day Parade on Constitution Avenue
- July 4th: several parades in Arlington
- through July 5th: World Police and Fire Games in Fairfax
- July 11th: 6:30-10:00 PM Alexandria Birthday Celebration
- July 20th-August 10th: Screen on the Green