4 year olds in the eyes of a speech pathologist

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?

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What do I need to know about 5 year olds?

Between the ages of 4 and 5, your child will conquer one huge milestone: starting school. What speech, language, play and social skills do they need to know? We get asked by many parents whether they need to know their alphabet, or how to read before they get to school. Let’s see what communication and play skills 5 year olds should demonstrate and how you can continue supporting your child’s learning. Keep reading or listen to the blog below:

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Background Knowledge – The Glue That Makes Learning Stick

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!

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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.

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Why first words don’t come first

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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?  

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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:

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Delicious and Nutritious: Our Top 5 Cooking-themed Picture Books

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! 

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Apps and websites for kids under 5

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.

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