June 16, 2015
cleaning up

How to Make Cleaning Up with Your Toddler a Listening Activity

SING A SONG: Pick a song to sing with your toddler each time you clean up. Over time, as you start to sing, stop before the last word and use auditory closure to allow the child to finish singing the song.

SORT BY COLORS: Have your toddler clean up sorting by colors. Encourage them to find only one color first while you find another.

AUDITORY MEMORY: Ask your child to find two or three objects to put away first. Continue to have them listen for which objects they can bring you. (Ex. "Can you put the lion and the monkey in the box?")

TRY NOT TO POINT! Give your child directions but try to do so through listening first then if they need a visual you can show them by pointing or gesturing.

SEQUENCE THE EVENTS: Give your toddler the sequence of events so they can begin to learn the order and understand what comes next. Ex. "First, we are going to clean up our play dough, then we have to wash our hands and after we can have a little snack."

May 11, 2015
pilot cap

4 Ways to Help Keep Baby’s Hearing Aid or Implant On

It’s critical for babies and toddlers to wear their hearing devices as often as possible, yet we face one obstacle - keeping them on! Little ones are constantly exploring and on-the-go, and since there’s no stopping that, here are some ways to help keep their hearing aids/ implants on.

1. Bonnets/Pilot Caps

A pilot cap or bonnet prevents a baby from being able to take their hearing aids out. Companies specialize in making them for hearing aids and cochlear implants so that they are designed to not cause feedback. Some websites include www.hearinghenry.com and www.silkawear.com.

2. Wig Tape

Wig tape can be used on a cochlear implant or hearing aid and is safe for skin. Wig tape may only last for a few hours and must be changed everyday.

3. Lanyards

A lanyard is attached to the child’s shirt with a small loop around the hearing aid or implant. Although this does not help keep the hearing aids or implant on the ear, it does prevent the aid from being lost for an active infant or toddler.

4. Huggie Aids

A “Huggie Aid” is a rubber ring that is attached to the aid and wraps around the ear to keep it secure.






April 6, 2015

3 Ways You Can Promote Language Through Reading

Sound Start teachers reading aloud to students

Sound Start teachers reading aloud to students

Reading or looking at picture books with your children will encourage natural language learning. Reading a book together gives your child practice sharing joint attention or a common focus with you, which is precursor to language development.

Reading with young children also helps them to develop pre-reading skills (holding a book right side up, turning the pages sequentially), which gives them a strong foundation to become readers themselves.

Below are 3 tips to maximize your child’s language learning through reading.

  1. Talk about pictures.
    While the text in many books may be simple enough to read as written, you may choose to “read” with your child by simply commenting on the pictures as you turn the pages. Use language that is age-appropriate for your child, modeling single words or short phrases to describe illustrations. Focus on giving her language for the pictures she sees rather than asking questions.
  2. Follow your child’s lead.
    Take notice of the pictures that catch your child’s attention. Label the illustrations that your child points to, acknowledging her interest. Provide your child with the words to help her express herself. Take cues from your child to know when she is finished reading a particular book or done participating in the activity.
  3. Use repetition.
    Although you may get bored of reading the same book over and over again, repetition is key to learning language. Given frequent opportunities to read the same book, your child may begin to show you what she’s learned by pointing to pictures that you name or by labeling them herself!

Helpful Websites

Milestones of Literacy Development

More Suggestions for Reading to Young Children

Source - My Baby and Me: A Book About Teaching Your Child to Talk (Betsy Moog Brooks)

March 13, 2015

5 Ways to Promote Language with Your Toddler at Snack Time

Your busy schedule and an on-the-go mindset can make it hard to set aside time for language and listening development. Snack time is a great time to take a few extra minutes to sit with your toddler and encourage language.

Here are five ways to help make snack time into a language activity.

  1. Give Two Options.
    Ex. “Do you want an apple or a banana?” Provide your toddler the opportunity to name the food item rather than a simple yes or no question.
  2. Sabotage.
    Give your toddler the snack in a child-proof container or the wrong snack. This will encourage him to ask for help, to open, or tell you that it’s not the snack he wanted.
  3. A Little Bit at a Time. 
    If possible, give a few pieces at a time. Help your toddler count the pieces. Then, wait until he asks or vocalizes for more before giving it to him.
  4. Self-Talk.
    Model the step-by-step of getting ready for snack so she’s exposed to more language. (Ex. “First, we are going to wash our hands. Then we will get your apple and I will cut it up for you. Do you want to put it on your Elmo or Mickey plate?”)
  5. Clean Up.
    Have your child help you clean up to develop independence skills and responsibility. Make cleaning up into a listening activity. (Ex. “Give Mommy your fork and throw your napkin in the garbage.”)