Monday, August 8, 2011

Another Whiteboard Idea

(A quick, yet hopefully helpful, interruption to my camp posts)

I've realised recently that many children with language delay have difficulty talking about the home. Areas of difficulty seem to be questions such as:
  • What are the different rooms?
  • What kinds of furniture/items do you find in each room?
  • What are some of the actions that you do in each room? etc.
I had a 5 year old who, when asked to tell me some of the things he might find in the bathroom, could only name his bath toys. I found this quite interesting, as these rooms, and the items within them form part of our daily living and interaction.

After some careful thought, I got to work yesterday doing some drawing on my whiteboard, and some printing cutting and laminating. My final product looked like this (please don't laugh I am not an artist):
I found some cliparts of furniture and different objects for each room, printed, cut, laminated, and stuck magnetic backing on them. Children today got to pull each object from the bag and say which room it belonged to then stick it on. They really enjoyed this. Some of the questions that came up in addition to the above ones included:
  • How are the kitchen and bathroom same/different?
  • Why wouldn't you put the toilet in the living room, bed in the kitchen etc?
  • Function questions for each object pulled.
  • What other items might you find in the bedroom, living room, etc?
  • If you wanted to bake a cake which room would you go to (and similar questions)?
I also recently found an amazing app called My Play Home, which is the best $2.99 I have ever spent. It allows you to interact with objects in different rooms across the house and I'm amazed every time I use it with clients. It's the one app they always ask for. My favourite part is getting the family to eat all the food in the kitchen :).

Let me know if you try out the house on the magnetic whiteboard, and as usual if you email me I can send you the furniture and items I found online so you can save on some of the prep work.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Water World (Camp Week 2)

If you thought Camp Week 1 was fun. Week 2 was even better!

All activities were planned around a 'water' theme and each day ended with waterplay in my big turtle sand/water pit. This was definitely the highlight of the day. At the end of each day I was soaked, which was a sure sign that everyone had fun.

Our story for the week was from an interactive app called "I Like Water" by grasshopper apps. This was a great one for showing all the different places you could find water. Circle time also included songs such as "If all the raindrops", "Row row row your boat", "This is the way we wash our hands" etc.

As you may remember from previous posts the camp was broken
into 5 groups. Many activities were the same or quite similar across groups this week. The first section focused on direct speech & language tasks, while the second section was waterplay. Each child was asked to bring a water toy for 'show and tell', then everyone got to share and take turns with all of the toys.

Explorers & Busy Bees

Water Listening Bingo - Listening for the name of the water related picture (Swimming pool, tap, toilet etc.) and covering it with a magnetic (chipper chat) chip, then picking up all at the end with the magnetic wand. I also asked questions like "What does it look like?" "Where would you find it?" etc.

Water actions card game- This one was my favourite, as it worked on building vocab, sentence structure and pronouns in one activity. Each child had 8 cards with pictures of people doing actions related to the water theme (fishing, drinking, surfing etc.). I put down a card and said the full sentence e.g "He is drinking water". The first person to find his matching card and say the full sentence correctly won the round and got a sticker on his card. Everyone else got a stamp on their card after for saying the sentence with or without prompting. I modified this a bit with the Busy bees according to language level.

Yes and No questions- I used the same action pictures to work on answering yes/no questions using either speech or some form of AAC.

Prepositions- Under the sea magnetic puzzle: Fishing for sea creature then putting them on vs under bowl.

Skill Builders
Listening bingo (higher level)- Similar to earlier task but finding the correct picture in response to description clues.

'Wh' waterdrops- Another favourite of mine. I put short passages on waterdrops and cut out and laminated them. I then punched holes in each waterdrop. The children answered 'wh' questions about each passage then strung them onto a piece of twine and tied it together. They really loved this one.


Silly splashing-Target sound /k/: Each child took turns throwing items that began with /k/ into the water (cat, cow, corn, key etc.). Then said "uh oh, the ..... fell into the water" "silly.....". This brought lots of giggles.

They also played water bingo, focusing on each child's target sounds.
Another enjoyable week, with many skills gained while having fun.

If any of you readers would like any of the picture materials I mentioned e.g listening bingo, action pictures, etc. Feel free to email me at

Coming next....Movement week!