Author: Sharon Powell

Using Bubbles for Language Development

Using Bubbles for Language Development

How can you use bubbles to encourage your toddler’s language development?

 

We use bubbles A LOT in our sessions with young children. It is a great ice breaker activity when getting to know infants and toddlers. However, they are not just a fun activity for the sake of having fun … bubbles are a powerful tool for encouraging many communication skills.

They are motivating for the little ones to communicate because they are so much FUN.

I hope the following ways we use bubbles give parents more ideas of how you can use bubbles at home to promote your little one’s language development.

 

 

  • Using bubbles to encourage eye contact

Build up the anticipation and wait for eye contact from your toddler before you blow more bubbles.

 

  • Using bubbles to encourage your child to make a request
    Blow some bubbles, screw the lid back on tight, and give the bubbles to your child. Wait to see what they do. If, after trying to open the bubbles themselves unsuccessfully, they hand them back to you for help, they have just made a request. Encourage your child to have a turn at blowing bubbles, if they can’t, encourage them to ask for help.

 

  • Using bubbles to teach turn taking
    Bubbles are a fun way to teach ‘my turn’, ‘your turn’. Basic turn taking routines teach kids the underlying skills for later conversational turn taking.

 

  • Using bubbles for vocabulary development

Nouns:                                 bubbles

Describing words:            big, little

Locations:                           up, down, on, under

Actions:                               pop, gone, look, stomp/stamp, kick, find

Questions:                          where

Social                                   mummy’s turn,  …..’s turn

 

  • Using bubbles to practice developing phrases

If your child is beginning to put words together you can encourage your child to use phrases, Eg:

2 words:                            more bubbles,   big bubble,   pop bubble,   where’s bubble,   bubbles gone

3 words:                            I want  bubbles,   look little bubbles,   bubbles go pop,   bubbles go up,

 

  • Using bubbles because they are fun, kids love them and you can have a great time playing together with bubbles.

We tend to just use the basic bubbles  (as we are mostly inside), which the kids love, but here are also so many options on different types of bubbles and bubble blowers.

 

Here are a selection of our bubbles.   I love the non-spill containers – our newest bubble addition. I was a bit skeptical at first, but I haven’t (yet) had it spill.

 

Have fun playing with bubbles!

Time to Talk with Books

Time to Talk with Books

Why is sharing books with your child beneficial?

Even babies love books!

How Using Books Can Help Your Child With Their Speech and Language Therapy and Learning DevelopmentLooking at books with your children, even from a young age, provides opportunities for developing  early communication skills,such as:

Joint attention

Attention and Listening

Vocabulary development

Use of sentences

Conversational skills

Print awareness

Children need to hear many words and often. Books expose children to unfamiliar words that they might not come across in their everyday environment (eg. elephant, castle, skiing, enormous), Books often repeat the same words over and over in the story, this helps develop  vocabulary and understanding of a wider range of words.

What is a ‘good book’?

A ‘good book’ is really any book that your child enjoys! This will depend on the age, and interests of your child.

For babies, a suitable suitable book might have:

Large Colourful, realistic  pictures free of distractions: to capture their attention

Not too many ‘busy’ details: To keep their attention and so your child can match what you are talking about with the picture

Every day words and actions that your baby is familiar with:

Easy to turn pages

Sturdy Books: Use books  made of materials that your child can play and read over and over without tearing or ruining them. Board books (with strong cardboard pages), fabric, or plastic books are all excellent choices for babies and toddlers.

For toddlers, a suitable book might have:

bright, colorful pictures: Before children learn to read, they “read” pictures. Find books with a variety of illustrations and see which ones have the greatest appeal to your toddler

A realistic/familiar story line that they can relate to: This will help your child’s understanding of the story

Simple Text: Fewer words on each page will help your child stay focused as the pages change more frequently, eg. one sentence per page will help hold attention!

Colorful pictures: Simple illustrations will help your child stay focused better than complex or busy pictures.

Repetitive text: Books that have the same phrase over and over will have your toddler joining in the story as you read.

Familiar and interesting  Words: Choose stories with familiar and interesting objects such as farm/zoo animals and stories that contain the everyday routines , activities and experiences (eg going to the park/shops)  that are recognisable to your child.

Interactive parts: books that have lift-a-flaps or textured materials for your toddler to feel help make the book more interesting. Be careful though as some children can get distracted by moving bits and actually attend less to the story.

Sturdy Books: Use books  made of materials that your child can play and read over and over without tearing or ruining them. Board books (with strong cardboard pages), fabric, or plastic books are all excellent choices for babies and toddlers.

 For Pre-schoolers a suitable book might have:

Interesting pictures: that relate closely to the text

A sequence of actions: so you can talk about what is happening in the story with your child

More detailed plot: This might extend their knowledge or introduce an event that is outside of their experience

Surprise: something usual might happen which gives opportunities to talk about why or how something happened

A problem that needs to be solved: This can lead to discussion of how the problem was solved  and why it worked (or not) and you can talk aobut other possible solutions.

Rhyme and rhythm:  Encourage your child to listen to sounds in words and to predict words by using rhyming patterns eg one two three four, I saw teddy knocking on the ….(door)

What funding is available to access private speech therapy services?

What funding is available to access private speech therapy services?

What can I claim back for private speech therapy services?

Private speech pathology services incur a fee. The fee charged will vary depending on the practice and the type of services needed.

 Private Health Funds

You can claim rebates for speech pathology services from you private health fund depending on your level of cover  and the rebates offered by that provider. Contact your own health fund for information regarding your entitlements. If you are eligible for rebates, check that the therapist is a registered provider

Government Funding Initiatives

There are some government initiatives to assist parents with private practice costs, such as:

Chronic Disease Management (Medicare funding)                              

                                                   
Children who have a chronic condition or require complex care that is managed by their GP may be eligible for rebates of  $52.95 for up to 5 sessions. Children need to be under the care of their GP and at least 2 other health care providers (eg. speech pathologist, occupational therapist, psychologist).

Follow-up Allied Health Services for People of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander Descent (Medicare Funding)

For up to 5 sessions each calendar year for people of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Descent who have been referred by their GP.

Medicare items Under the Helping Children with Autism program

A referral (for children under 13 years) by a consultant paediatrician or psychiatrist is needed to access up to 4 diagnostic /assessment and 20 treatment services from a psychologist, speech pathologist, occupational therapist, audiologist, optometrist, orthoptist or physiotherapist .

Other funding schemes:

Helping Children with Autism Early Intervention (FaHCSIA funding)                                            

This is a government funding package for parents to access early intervention services for children with Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD). To be eligible, children need to have had a diagnosis of ASD between the ages of 0-6 years. The funding provides up to $12000 up until the child’s 7th birthday. A maximum of $6000 can be accessed per financial year. This funding can be used to access a range of services such as speech therapy, occupational therapy and psychology. It can also be used for purchasing approved resources/equipment that would assist in providing therapy.

Better Start for Children with a Disability (FaHCSIA funding)                                                        

This is also a government funding package for families to access services for children who have a specific diagnosis of:  Down syndrome, Cerebral palsy, Fragile X Syndrome, Prader Willi syndrome, Williams syndrome, Angelmen syndrome, Kabuki syndrome, Smith-Magenis syndrome, CHARGE syndrome, Cornelia de Lange syndrome, Cri du Chat syndrome, microcephaly, moderate or greater vision or hearing impairment.  The funding provides up to $12000 up until the child’s 7th birthday. A maximum of $6000 can be used per financial year. The funding can be used to access speech therapy, occupational therapy, physiotherapy and psychology, and for purchasing approved resources/equipment.

NB: There will be changes to the FaHCSIA funding over the course of the next 4 years transitioning to the National Disability Insurance Scheme, DisabilityCare Australia.

Tax Offset for Medical Expenses

You can claim a tax offset for eligible medical expenses you’ve paid for the year over a certain level (less any refunds from Medicare or a private health insurer) This amount is indexed each year.