23 Months 3 Weeks – Playing Doctor & How to Encourage Language

Roman loves flowers By this time your toddler is really getting a handle of basic body parts such as eyes, nose, mouth, legs, etc.  It’s a perfect time to build on that during play.  For instance, you can use it while playing a game of tickling, modified Simon Says, or our favorite pretend play with a doctor kit.

A medical kit contains a ton of items such as a bandaid, stethoscope, needle, thermometer, etc. and it gives your child a chance to act out a familiar routine.  If your child is labeling individual body parts, you can use the pretend play to expand to 2-3 word phrases.  If you’re focused on your nose you can say “Uh Oh!  Nose (is) broken!” or “Oh no!  (My) nose hurts!  Many children find it funny when “something goes wrong”, so the language will stand out to them!

Later on, you can expand work on more advanced body parts such as “elbow” and requesting specific items such as “shot”.  It’s also a way to work on initiating questions such as “Are you okay?”, “What hurts?”, “What happened?”, etc.  You can even work on commenting using temperature such as “You feel hot”.  It even works on the skills of empathy and how others could be feeling.  All in all, it’s a great way to expand their imagination and may even make them less scared of going to the real doctor!  

22 Months – Encouraging “I feel…” Sentences

Roman is happy. The world is an exciting place and it comes with lots of feelings for little ones (and adults), so we have to make sure we give them a voice to talk about how they feel.  For instance, my son is starting to get the concept of “scary” if it’s a ghost, lion, etc. and he will comment saying phrases such as “ghost scary”.

TAG We recommend starting off with basic feelings such as happy vs. sad.  You can practice smiling and frowning in front of the mirror and labeling the feelings with one word.  We also started by looking at pictures of babies in Mrs. Mustard’s Baby Feelings book and our Baby Feeling ibook since they are clear depictions of happy vs. sad.  We also talked about feelings while watching videos or television shows to make screen time an interactive experience.

You can also talk about feelings as they happen since this is the prime age for tantrums!  For instance, if someone took their toy away you can label the feeling with a sentence such as “I know that makes you feel SAD”.  As they get the hang of it, you can add more complicated feelings in such as excited, scary, surprised, etc.  They love imitating your facial expressions and even pretending!  For instance, you can do role-play with dinosaurs and pretend to hide under a blanket or pillows to pretend to be very scared!  Targeting feelings through story time and art are also fantastic ways to go over feelings and using that starter phrase “I feel ____”, “She feels ____”, “He feels ____”, “They feel ____”, etc.  Have a HAPPY day! ☺

Auditory Sensitivity CD

Sound-Eaze

This auditory sensitivity CD totally works! One of our kiddos has difficulty focusing in the presence of noise, so the OT on our team recommended sound-eaze from http://www.therapyshoppe.com. It helps densentisize kids to environmental noises such as toilets flushing, vacuum cleaners, babies crying, thunder, phones ringing, sirens, fire alarms, lawn mowers, dogs barking, and more! Great for children who are afraid of loud noises too!

Traveling Speech Exercise

Traveling - Food Exercise

Ciao! One of our kids is going off to Sicily with his family, so this whole week we’ve been preparing for the trip – sequencing the steps to traveling, pretending to order Italian food, and practicing asking for directions. For our last session of the day we made spaghetti & meatballs!