Yes! Yes! Yes! Anytime you create shared enjoyment with your little ones…think big belly laughs here, you’re on to something! If attention is the biggest factor and your child is a bit more active, take elements from the book that your child enjoys and add them into a play experience with your child instead of sitting down and reading through the book. Books can be great guides for building play experiences and movement with your little ones!
So “Does Reading Books Help With Speech Delay?”
Strategies for Reading Books to Support Speech/Language Development
One of the best book strategies is taking those fun, exclamatory words like Whoosh, Crash, Tsk, Achoo, etc.! from the books you are reading and embedding them into some sort of play sequence with your children. Here are some fun examples to use books for amazing communication interactions with children.
- Build the Book into a Playful Movement Experience
So if you’re looking through a book about bears and supporting your child’s understanding of “up,” you can say the word up with a higher-pitch vocal tone and pair it with the sign for “up” (point you finger up). Take a bear and have the bear walk up the wall and say/sign, “up, up, up.” Throw the bear up in the air for your child to see and say, “up, up, up” while pointing up. If your child reaches for the bear, give your child the bear and see what they do with the bear. Follow their lead and add the words/signs together in the play experience. Wait for them to look at your face and then say/gesture, “Up, up, up.” Begin to build “up” into different contexts of play and into everyday routines to help your child better understand the concept.
Looking for an inspirational speech/language book?
Check out Tucker’s Tracks! It comes with a DIY Tucker Bear for Teaching the Concepts of Up/Down, Vocabulary Tracking Sheets, and tons of interactive fun!
2. Set up an Anticipatory Event from the story
My favorite sequence is “Ready, Set….Go!
It might feel repetitive to you, but children need to learn speech/language concepts in a consistent manner. Variety and repetition are important here.
Find a sequence in a story book. For example, washing cars has a simple three-step sequence.
- Take a toy car and say ready, set, go and wash the car making fun swish, swish sounds. Then say, all done washing with the sign (waving hands side to side). Do this again if your child is showing interest (laughing, saying/vocalizing sounds, moving hands to wash the car).
- Say, “Time for Rinsing. Ready, Set, Go.” Act like you’re spraying the car down to rinse it. Spritz, Spritz, Spritz. Then say, “All Done Rinsing” with the all done sign. Do this again if your child is showing interest (laughing, saying/vocalizing sounds, moving hands to spray the car).
- Say, “Time for Drying. Ready, Set, Go.” Act like you’re drying the car and say Pat, Pat, Pat. Then say, all done drying with the all done sign. Do this again if your child is showing interest (laughing, saying/vocalizing sounds, moving hands to pat/dry the car).
Tips to Remember:
Say, “Ready, Set…(wait for your child to look at your face) and then say “GO” and make something exciting happen. This is great to also use with wind-up toys. Find a wind-up toy around the house and make an anticipatory event occur. Say “Ready, Set, Go” and have the car start going everywhere. Chances are your child is going to want to chase it and try and figure out how to make that happen. They may give you the car or they may throw it on the ground in frustration since they can’t make it work. Go get that car and do it again. Say, Ready, Set (wait for them to look at you), Go! And make that car go again. Pair the word Go with the sign for Go (put your pointer finger out in the direction the item or you’re going).
Think about other ways to make the anticipatory event happen (think bath time by pushing cars off the edge into the bathtub to make a splash sound), etc.
Looking for an inspirational speech/language book?
Check out “Griffin’s Garage: Speech/Language Book on Everything Cars, Sequencing, Functions, and Songs.
3. Embed Concepts while Out and About
Take the concepts from the books and use them while out and about. For example, while working on positional words like in, on, & under, look for these concepts in the fun activities you’re already doing. For example, while at the pumpkin patch, say “Let’s put our pumpkin in the wagon” and/or “See that spider is on the pumpkin” and/or “Let’s look under the wagon.” Find other contexts to work on these concepts within a natural setting!
Hide items around the house while working on positional words. Maybe a fun playset that hasn’t been played with in awhile can be dusted off for a scavenger hunt. Hide the items around the house and give your child hints about where each one is to help them find it. “The doggy is hiding under the table,” and/or “The cat is on the table” and/or “The fish is in the sink.”
Looking for an inspirational speech/language book? Check out Bruno’s Ball on Positional Words.
Click Here to View Bruno’s Ball on Amazon
This article contains general information and any material and content contained in this article is for informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your qualified healthcare provider and/or local Speech-Language Therapist with any questions you may have regarding your child’s development.