24 Months – Narrating One’s Own Actions During Play

Roman lining up his toys in pretend play Your child has come to a point where they can play independently and it is time for them to join their play with words. At first, they may be labeling objects they’re picking up or see. Let’s say they’re in their play kitchen and they say “banana”. You can expand on it by creating a phrase “Let’s PEEL the banana”. Emphasize novel words and unique parts of a phrase to allow it to stand out to your child.  

It’s all about input they are receiving. The more verbal modeling that you provide during play, everyday errands, etc. the more likely they are to start narrating their own actions. Feel free to initiate structured play with them.  For instance, grab a tea set and start setting it up by saying phrases such as “Here’s a plate”. Then, take the teapot and say “Pouring tea”, pretend to drink it and say “Drinking tea” or “Wow!  It’s hot!”, etc.  

Another alternative is to chime in when they have already initiated play with an item on their own. “Oh the car is going up up up the garage!”, “The car needs gas!”, “We’re driving fast!”, etc.  They do not have to repeat everything you are saying, but you are giving their actions words and meaning. You are also adding new vocabulary to their repertoire.  For example, they may already know “car”, but “gas” might be a new word. To give it extra meaning, talk about getting gas when you’re actually at the gas station.  Real life situations will encourage them to make more connections and make them more apt to using new words and longer phrases when on their own.  

Hands-On Speech & Social Development Workshop Series

We are very excited to announce that we are teaming up with @six_degreesofmom to bring to you the Exclusive Hands-On Speech & Social Development Workshop Series. It’s a 3-day workshop for Moms & Babies (6-14 months) and Moms & Toddlers (15-24 Months). We will focus on functional activities for #expressivelanguage #receptivelanguageand #play!

Moms & Babies (6-14 months) 

11 AM -12 PM Wednesdays (6-14 months)

2/24   Week 1:  Functional Activities for Expressive Language.  Imitation and turn-taking with sounds and motor actions (clapping, arms up), teaching gestures (waving, shaking head “no”), how to use sounds to request, how to encourage babbling/jargon/first words, going over “first sounds” (m, b, p) and tactile cues you can use on the face.

3/2 Week 2:  Functional Activities for Receptive Language.  How to get your baby to respond to their name, encouraging recognition of common words/people (shoe, ball, mama), following simple commands (“give me”) and basic concepts (“no”, “hot”).

3/9  Week 3:  Functional Activities for Social Skills/Play.  How to teach functional play (banging a drum), playing social games such as “peek a boo” and “hide and seek”.


Toddlers (15-24 months)

11 AM -12 PM Fridays (15-24 Months)

2/26 Week 1:  Functional Activities for Expressive Language.  How to encourage sounds effects (animal sounds) and common first words (“milk”, “juice”, “me”, “bye”, “hi”,” no”), promote 2-word phrases (“mama juice”, “daddy up”), teach intonation for basic questions, going over normal articulation errors (final consonant deletion)

3/4 Week 2:  Functional Activities for Receptive Language.  How to follow 1-2 step basic and more complex commands (“Give me the ball” to “Take the book and give it to mommy”), learning body parts, identifying common objects in the environment, answering basic questions such as “What’s that?”, teaching basic quantity concepts “one” (“give me one block”)

3/11 Week 3:  Functional Activities for Social Skills/Play.  How to teach self-directed play (feeding mommy with a spoon), encourage relational play (puts passenger in car and pushes it, uses spoon to feed baby doll), pretend play performing action sequences (kisses the doll and then puts doll to bed), parallel play, importance of problem-solving toys (stacking blocks, shape sorter, nesting cups,), problem solving when an object is missing (let’s mix the food, but no spoon is provided), encouraging a sense of humor, favorite turn-taking activities (rolling the ball back and forth).

Sign-up requires a member referral so anyone who wants to join they can email invite@sixdegreesofmom.com with your name and Six Degress of Mom will send to you the JOIN instructions.

West Village NYC Workshop Series held by www.sixdegreesofmom.com

13 Months 3 Weeks -Unique Experiences for Toddlers that Encourage Language

TAGNow that your toddler is crawling and walking all about this is the best time to try a few unique experiences with them.  Before you head out, think of some target words that you want them to learn throughout the experience.  For instance, if you are going to a farm you can name farm animals, the food that is in season, actions that the animals are doing, novel words such as wagon or flowers, etc.  Here are a few fun places we think encourage the most language… they might not be new to us, but for them it’s very exciting!  Let your kids explore and go wild – of course without getting into any trouble!             

Roman at the zoo watching seals. 



– Amusement Park                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

– Fire Station

– Museums

– Playgrounds

– Post Office

Roman at FAO toy store. 



– Toy Store                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

Roman in supermarket 


– Supermarket                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

Roman at the zoo watching seals. 


– Zoos                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

Roman at resturant with family.  



13 Month 2 Weeks – Pretend Play Involving Actions

Roman swimming As you know our children are big time sponges! They try to do everything we do, imitate actions of items, etc. Our motto is let them be little and use their imagination. You don’t always need toys for imaginative play – you can use your own body! With this increased pretend play will come more sound effects, language, and more! Here are some beginning actions you can encourage your child to imitate:                                                                                                                                                       

– Spreading both arms out and flying like a plane                                                                                                                            

Roman pretending to drive 

– Making a “wheel” with both hands and pretending to drive                                                                                                                                                 

– Making an L with your arm and going “choo choo” around the room                                                                                                   

Roman pretending to sleep 

– Putting your head on a pillow and pretending to sleep while snoring                                                                                                                          

– Putting your fist up to your ear and pretending it’s a phone

– Bending down and jumping around like a frog

– Spinning around like a wheel

– Blowing on “hot food” Making a “cup” with your hand and pretending to drink

Roman pretending to eat  

– Making a pincer grasp with your finger and pretending to eat food off the table

13 Months 1 Week – Learning Language Through Music

Roman dancing.Many children like Roman are very responsive to the beats of music!  We always encourage parents to use music as a means to teach language.  It is always wise to take something that is already motivating to teach a skill that is new.  There are many ways you can use music to do this… check them out below!                                                                                                                          

Turn up the Music – Carve out a certain time of day where you turn the music… you can even use a good old-fashioned radio (we know how obsessed kids are with technology these days so it’s a good way to avoid smart phones or tablets).  Whether it be morning, noon, or night have a dance party – it lets them create their own moves and get out a ton of energy!  Let their imagination run wild!                                       

Use Dancing to work on Imitation – During your dance parties or the classes you attend, dancing is the perfect opportunity to imitate motor actions. Imitation is the basis for speech!  For example, you can target raising shoulders, clapping hands, raising arms, spinning, raising the roof, and much more.  

Using Consistent Music – We of course recommend exposing your child to new music, but there is a huge benefit in playing the same songs!  This way your child really gets to know the rhythm and lyrics… it becomes ingrained in them. The more they hear the same song the more likely they will begin singing along.   For example, after a hundred times of singing “The Wheels on the Bus” your child may finally imitate or approximate “round and round”.  

Create your own songs – If there is a melody that your child is familiar with you can replace the words/lyrics and sing your own song.  We often use familiar songs such as “Wheels on the Bus”, “Twinkle Twinkle”, etc.  For instance, we may say “The wheels on the car go round and round”.  The kids recognize the melody and are more likely to join in and sing a duet!

Gift of Gab Resources is a ASHA 2015 Sponsor!

Proud to announce that we are #ASHA2015 #sponsors! We look forward to #Colorado! #slpeeps Thank you @Speechtacular!


Visit us at our Booth 348.