It’s that time of year, when parents dread covering all the school books (i.e. me!) and go about buying uniforms that are three sizes too big. Some of our little people are super excited about starting school, while others may quietly voice their concerns, or not voice them at all. What we do know, is that books are great ‘mirrors and windows’ – a metaphor initially conceived by Rudine Sims Bishop, Professor Emerita of Education at Ohio State University, who specialised in African American children’s literature. Books can be windows, offering new experiences and views of the world that are real, imagined or unfamiliar. They can also be mirrors, where the story is reflection of your own life and experiences.Continue reading “6 Books about Starting School”
Every baby I know has a range of single word non-fiction books in their home, often ranging from different categories like ‘transport’, ‘shapes’ and ‘bath time’. The brightly coloured pictures of simple objects are a staple of every young family’s bookshelf. But how many of them do you really need and are they helpful to language development? Continue reading “Single word books – yay or nay?”
One of our primary goals at Little Birdie Books is to make it easy for families to have great books in their home. We want books that will capture your child’s interest and encourage them to engage and communicate. As speech language pathologists, we are particularly passionate about finding books that promote language learning.Continue reading “Which books are best?”
As a fellow parent of a three year old, I can relate to the wonder of 3 year olds – their amazing imagination, playfulness, ability to hold a conversation and of course, their skills in an ultimate stand-off with their parent when they just DO NOT want to do something. But what are the typical play and communication skills we look for in a three year old? And what can you do as a parent to continue to foster their development?Continue reading “A speech pathologist’s tips for your 3 year old”
Four year olds are fascinating! A year that’s full of building on old skills while picking up brand-new ones at breakneck speed. Four is typically a lively, energetic, and sociable year. Confident about basics like speaking, running, drawing, and building things, your child is ready to use these skills to the fullest. Even more reserved four year olds tend to enjoy the company of adults and children of all ages. Everybody seems fascinating now, from the postman to cousins to random new faces on the playground. But what do speech pathologist’s look for in a four year old?Continue reading “4 year olds in the eyes of a speech pathologist”
This blog follows on from our previous one on The Simple View of Reading. Everything will make more sense if you read that one first!
Check out the audio blog here
So, if we know that Language Comprehension is essential for reading, we need to understand what it is. This is where we can refer back to the Reading Rope (Scarborough, 2001).
Let’s break down the first strand of language comprehension and talk about how you can support these in your everyday interactions with your child.Continue reading “Background Knowledge – The Glue That Makes Learning Stick”
As parents, we are well equipped in planning the food, the sights and the packing situation when we take our kids out for day trips or road trips but what about the car ride?
By popular request, we’ve compiled a combination of current favourite fiction and nonfiction podcasts for kids under 7 based on suitability of content, length and their ability to hold the attention of little ones! Let’s get to it:
It is a well-established fact that a ‘good parent’ reads to their child. Many of us are familiar with Albert Einstein’s quote that “If you want your child to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want your child to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.”
What many parents don’t know is that the most powerful storyteller in the house is the one who brings the story to life through conversation and play. In fact, research shows that:
“Reading is most valuable when it is accompanied by interactive discussion, including questions to invite responses and opinions.” (Morrow & Gambrell, 2004; Storch & Whitehurts, 2002)
Below are 4 reasons why the most effective reader in your house is the person who doesn’t just read the words on the page, instead they turn ‘book-reading into a conversation’. Here’s why:Continue reading “Just read the words Mum”
Parents love first words. This milestone is one of the most exciting because all of a sudden your baby has become a real little person. It is the icing on the cake when the first word is also your name. “Dada” (heart melts). As speech pathologists, we are often asked when should my child say their first words?
Well the short answer is at about their first birthday but what many of us don’t realise is that there is a set of skills known as ‘pre-language’ that develop well before they are of ‘speaking age’. In fact, there’s a lot you can be ‘looking’ for when you are busy ‘listening’ for first words. Here are our top 3 ‘look fors’ before first words:
Kids love cooking. Well let me re-phrase, kids love food! So without further adieu, here are our top 5 cooking-themed books where the recipe for language learning is… just right!Continue reading “Delicious and Nutritious: Our Top 5 Cooking-themed Picture Books”
Many of us are allowing screentime more than ever before – if you are a parent who is working from home, or supervising school-aged children who are learning at home, chances are, you may have a little one under 5 who is demanding your attention more than ever before. While a common mantra amongst parents, educators and speech pathologist is “There is no app to replace your lap.”, the reality of the current situation during COVID-19 has seen some of you ask us for apps we would recommend as speech pathologists that are not ‘just games’ and may benefit your child’s learning. So here is our wrap-up of 5 apps and websites suitable for kids under 5.Continue reading “Apps and websites for kids under 5”
Life may never be the same again. As adults, we will remember 2020 for the rest of our lives. In fact, the COVID-19 pandemic will become a page in history for future generations.
But how will our children remember it?Continue reading “Picture Books for a Pandemic: Our Top 3”
You may have seen that the teaching of reading has recently been brought back into the media spotlight with various camps arguing about the key elements of reading instruction. We are not here to argue those specific approaches however we ARE about bringing the science of reading to a wider audience. So let us introduce you to the The Simple View of Reading because knowing this will empower you as parents to start your children on the path to reading success BEFORE they receive reading instruction. And no, it does not involve learning the alphabet and sight word flashcards!Continue reading “The Simple View of Reading”
To say the task of ‘parenting’ is overwhelming, would be a gross understatement. Behaviour management is a complicated beast: Rules vs Freedom. Boundaries vs Flexibility. Bully vs. Pushover. This is all in a day’s work. But what if we took the emotion out of the equation and just examined behaviour through a ‘language lens’? Could it be as simple as a ‘game of semantics’? Let’s look a little closer at what this ‘language of behaviour’ involves:Continue reading “Language of Behaviour: How to use the power of words to parent”
‘I spy with my little eye’ another parent resorting to screen time to avoid the overplayed car games or backseat arguments between siblings on long car trips. Guilty! As a child, I remember playing “punch buggy” which involved hitting your sibling when you spotted a VW, this was before devices of course. This generations’ version of ‘punch buggy’ is known as ‘Spotto’ and involves counting yellow cars (with no punching involved). While many car games like ‘Spotto’, ‘Punch buggy’ or ‘I spy’ are observation games, these car trips are also an opportune time for your children to practice their vocabulary and word finding skills. So when you have the energy these holidays, here are three easy and fun word games to play with your little people in the car that will build their vocabulary skills (plus you can rest assured that you will be setting your child up for literacy and life!)
Continue reading “Tripping in the car with kids?”