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Although these are just a few therapy ideas, you can make Auditory-Verbal therapy at home fun! Newer and more recent therapy ideas are at the top of the list.


BUGGO is a Ravensburger game where you turn over tiles revealing a number of bugs...1, 2, 3, or 4. You need to get up to or close to 5 in 2 tiles. If you go over the tiles stay put, if you get 5 you keep the tiles. That is the basic gist of the game and it combines learning with memory.

TUTTI FRUTTI by Patch is fun. There are two levels of this game. It comes with a metal bell (the kind you tap when you want to get someone's attention at a desk) and the cards have different numbers of fruit on them. Each player takes turns turning a card over from their stack and the first person to see 5 of the same fruit rings the bell and then keeps the stack. The second set of cards has some rotten fruit on it and the fruits are mixed on the cards.

DOG DICE is by Gamewright and it is a Bingo style game with bones for the pieces and two dice. One dice has a picture of one of 4 dogs and the second dice has a picture of a boy, dish, bone, the word trouble, or dog gone. So you look at the combination you throw on the dice and then look for it on your bingo card.

SUDS by Gamewright is a sequence game but it moves fast. The cards have a picture of one of six pieces of "laundry" and you try to build the sequence all at the same time so you throw down a hat to start then you just try to complete the sequence quickly with the cards in your hand. There is a wild card and there may be more than just one pile going at a time.

There are great math puzzles by SCHUBI where you solve math problems to solve the puzzle. The problem is on the puzzle piece and the answers are on a small board. Then, when you are done, you have a great photographed picture.

There is also a game called ALIEN HOT SHOTS by Gamewright. It is a game like War but there are some fun cards within the deck like space germs and odd/even eaters. This is probably more for the 8/9 and older crowd but it was quite a bit of fun.

GREAT IDEAS FOR TEACHING are good books which help with auditory sequencing and inferences. An example of an exercise from the book is :
1. Find the picture of Billy fixing his wagon and put it in box 2.
2. Find the picture of Billy raking leaves and put it in box 4.
3. Find the picture of Billy taking out the garbage and put it in box 6.

Plant flowers or vegetables with your child. You can teach children many words as well as concepts of biology -from colors to photosynthesis. You can talk about vines, bushes, different kinds of vegetables. You can harvest the vegetables and preserve some of them.

Cut some flowers and make flowers arrangements, add ferns, baby's breath and ivies. Visit a flower shop and ask thoughts provoking questions such as how does flowers stay fresh during shipments. Where does flowers come from during winter.

Save an egg carton and collect 12 plastic eggs. Mark the inside bottom of the egg carton with the numbers 1-12. Mark the outside of the eggs with the numbers 1-12 and fill them with corresponding objects. Cotton balls, coins, large dried beans, beads, etc. Hide them around the house or outside. First have an egg hunt. Then sit down and shake the eggs to see if they make sound. Open the eggs, count the items, discuss their qualities. Then put the items back in the egg and find the corresponding space in the carton.

Crafts from your Favorite Fairy Tales by Kathy Ross a Scholastic Publication

Support crafts for 20 different Tales including : The Princess and the Pea, The Frog Prince, The Little Mermaid, Hansel and Gretl and more.

Choose a story and stretch a couple days worth of langauge and lessons from it. Start by making the trip to the library and learning how to find books via the computer. Depending on the age of the child and his/her reading level you can look for tales that you read to them or ones that may have been adapted for younger children. (For example, Little Red Riding Hood was adapted by Mercer Mayer as a lift the flap story and is very easy for young children). This may also be a great time to have your child sign up for a library card!!

Reading is so important, so make it fun by using exaggerated inflection and appropriate voice changes. If the child is reading, you may still want to read the story to them and then stop to ask questions, try to predict what will happen, discuss the feelings of the characters etc. Then have the child read the story to the other parent, a grandparent or caregiver. You may want to incorporate the story into the experience book or if the child is journaling himself (the step after the experience book) have him do a few pages on the characters, the best part of the story or perhaps even change the ending!

The crafts really stretch the story. Check in advance that you have all of the supplies needed so that when you go over the list with your child you will be sure to find everything right at home. Many of the activies use supplies you have at home. In the event that you need styrafoam balls, fiberfill or another supply, make the list the night before and plan a trip to the craft store.

A couple of the crafts need items that you may have to save up or ask a grandparent or friend to help, such as paper towel/toilet papers rolls or 9 pudding/gelatine boxes.

You may even want to "perform" the fairy tale. If you have siblings to include or a play group, what fun it would be to get some simple costumes together and act out the story.

Nature Walk!

Make a batch of plaster of paris and head outside looking for various animal tracks. Pour the plaster of paris over the track and dig out the track or go back the next day when the plaster of paris has dried. You can keep them for years and expand the language each time you examine the piece.

A nature box is a good place to store your tracks and other goodies. Bird nests, cicada shells, honey combs, pine cones etc. Kids will love revisiting the items they have collected over the years.

For Ohio residents the book "Kids Love Ohio" is a great rersource of places to visit in the state. The book lists parks, amusement parks, museums, festivals and more. Phone numbers, hours, costs and location are listed. Many of these places make great day trips.

Since this is the year of the Census, a great way to teach counting and language is by conducting a census. The family could have the  child do the census and then have siblings do the census at grandparents, cousins or neighbors house. The graph can be used to teach data collection, estimation, graphing or just for fun.

1. How many of each live in your home? boys........ girls.......
2. How many people in your house go to school?..........
3. How many people work outside your home?........
4. How many pets are in your house?
5. How many clocks in your house?
6. How many tv's in your house?
7. How many telephones in your house?
8. How many beds in your house?
9. How many steps in your house?
10. How many doorknobs in your house?
11. How many mirrors in your house?
12. How many languages are spoken in your house?
13. How many people in your house were NOT born in Ohio?
14. Do you have a computer in your house?
yes.......... no..........

Fall is a wonderful time of year. You have a host of topics you can choose to work on during this time of year. The weather varies from frost to hurricanes and the weather is usually conducive to nature walks or small family trips.

A fun way to incorporate your autumn theme is to have a scavenger hunt. Use a toy squirrel or one cut from paper and make up a little story about Sammy the Squirrel hunting for 6 (or whatever is appropriate for your child's level) acorns. You can hide real or paper acorns through out your home (or outdoors) and have your child try to collect all 6. You can incorporate prepositions, colors, rooms of the house, pieces of furniture and/or outdoor locations in this exercise. For example, Your first clue could read, "The first acorn is behind the rocking chair in the living room". Give the clue auditorily and allow the child to run and find the acorn and the next clue. You can make the directions as simple or complex as you like. If your child is too old to play the game but has younger siblings prepare the game with the older child and have him come up with the clues and hide them through the house.

A fun way to introduce prepositions is through photographs. Go to your own backyard or to a park and take pictures of your child behind a tree, in a pile of leaves, beside a scarecrow, on a bale of hay, between two pumpkins etc. Mount the photos on half pieces of construction paper or 5X7 notecards with the appropriate sentence and then bind the pages together with a hole punch and a piece of yarn. You will have an opportunity to discuss the prepositions as well as some of the beautiful attributes of autumn.

For children just learning to listen or just old enough to experience autumn and Halloween you can go to a party supply store and purchase small, inexpensive halloween items. Finger puppets, characters in pumpkins, erasers, etc. These items are typically 4 for a dollar or sometimes 6 or more for a dollar. Try to buy two of each item. Once you have introduced the items and labeled them with sounds (boooo for the ghost, or heee hee for the witch) or by name you can play different listening games with them. For example, for a barrier game you could draw two matching pictures of a halloween scene. Make it simple. Perhaps a moon in the sky, a corn stalk, a pumpkin and a not so scary haunted house. Then each of you take a set of the halloween items. Place a barrier between you (a three ring binder works well) and offer auditory directions like, "Put the ghost on the moon. Put the black cat next to the house etc." You can lift the barrier after each turn or after several turns. See if both of your pictures match; if not discuss what is different. "Oh, you put your cat on the house. It should have gone next to the house."

With Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas coming up you may want to think of creative ways to count down to these special events. A paper chain made of colors corresponding to the holiday is a fun way for kids to grasp how much longer until the fun begins. You can count from the beginning of the month or as many weeks as you feel is appropriate for your child. You can number the links to introduce the concept of numbers and then everyday you let the child pull off one of the links.

For Halloween you may want to place numbered Halloween characters(bats, ghosts, pumpkins etc.) on the child's bedroom door and pull one off every day until the 31st.

You can make candy apples or caramel apples. Grocery stores usually have candy apple or caramel apple mix. Follow the instructions for making the apples, and decorate them with candy: make faces out of the candy and talk about what you are decorating them with.

Sequencing is another important skill to cultivate. You can use photographs or hand drawn pictures on 4X6 cards index cards for this activity. Prepare sequencing cards in sets of 3 or up to 6 depending on your child's skill level. You can use pumpkin picking, dressing up in a costume, apple picking, or raking leaves just to name a few. For a beginner you can make the pictures simple and the story short. For example, Draw a picture of a pumpkin, the next picture showing a knife with the top of the pumpkin cut off and some seeds in a pile and then the third picture would be of a fiished jack-o-lantern. For a more complex sequence you could show the pumpkin seed being planted in the dirt, then a vine with the flower, then a small pumpkin, next a big pumpkin, then a jack-lantern. If your child is getting ready for a costume party (as a clown) take a picture of him before he begins to get ready, then with his costume on, then applying clown make-up, then putting on his clown hat and then one in his costume.

Once you have the pictures you can narrate the story showing each picture after you finish describing it. You can have the child guess the end before you show the last card, you can ask him to tell the story on his own, you can have him close his eyes, turn one card over and ask him what part of the sequence is missing, or mix up all the cards and have him put them in the right order while telling the story in his words. This activity is a good pre-reading activity as it works from left to right, it strengthens story telling skills and helps prepare the child for listening to stories in the classroom when they are expected sequence pictures at school. Don't forget to take the pictures to grandma's or your therapy session so your child can share his story with others.

If your child has more language you could hide items in a margarine container and take turns giving each other clues. "I have something that is black, has wings and sleeps all day and flies around at night".......a bat.

Have children cut out pictures of things they are thankful for from magazines. Talk about why they are thankful about those things.

Trace your hands and make a turkey out of the tracing. You can use this to talk about the fingers (thumb, index, middle, ring, and pinky). You can also decorate the turkey with different colors or feathers!

If your child is older or enjoys writing and coloring you can purchase blank calendars that come with markers and stickers so your child can fill in the months and dates and personalize the calendar to events in his life.

If you are working on colors with a young child, you may want to spend some time on orange, red and yellow for the fall. Pick a color of the day and try to work it into your day in as many ways as you can. For example, wear something orange, drink orange juice for breakfast,eat orange slices for lunch and orange gelatin for dessert (which you made together of course), go pumpkin picking, look for orange leaves, or make pumpkins with orange play dough. If you want to incorporate shapes into your theme then make a pan of orange jell-o jigglers and cut them out with a variety of cookie cutters. You can use the top of a margarine or cool-whip container to make a stencil of a jack-o-lantern face: triangles for eyes, a circle nose and a series of squares for a mouth. (carefully cut out the shapes with a sharp knife or x-acto blade ahead of time) Then draw a pumpkin onto paper and let the child paint a face onto the pumpkin with the stencil.

Cut out pictures of Halloween costumes from newspaper ads or magazines. Talk about the costumes. For example: Talk about what kinds of costumes they are (princess, ballerina, ghost, etc). Also, you can talk about where princesses live, what countries have princesses, what they do.

Make Halloween cards together. You can draw a cat in the right hand corner, or a ghost in the middle of the page next to a broom. You can talk about folding the paper in half, coloring the pictures on the card, what is drawn or written on the card, and who the card is for, etc.

If you get a great deal of rain in your area you can make a rain gauge and keep track of how much rain you got over a period of time. Which day/week had the most rain? Which week was the driest. How many days of rain versus the days of sunshine. Or chart the temperature and watch how summer slowly gives way to the cool days of fall. You may want to check the weather map in your newspaper and compare the temperature in your area with areas further north, south east or west of you.

Make up a silly story using Halloween words such as spooky, eerie, ghost, witch. A parent and the child can take turns making up a paragraph of the story. See where the story ends!

Take a trip to a park and don't forget to bring a bag. This is a great time to collect a variety of leaves, acorns and nuts. You may be fortunate enough to observe squirrels or deer. Collect your autumn leaves in a bag to examine when you get home. Then you can glue them onto construction paper for a fun autumn collage or put the leaves between two sheets of wax paper, iron (low heat) and use them as sun catchers or attach to a hanger to make a mobile. You can sort the leaves by size or color. Discuss which leaf is the biggest/smallest. Raking leaves into big piles, throwing them up and watching them fall to the ground or stuffing them into bags will be a great way to enjoy the autumn weather AND get something done in the yard!! Collecting acorns can be fun. Each of you take a bucket and find as many acorns as you can. You can count them, see who has more, who has the most and how many do you have altogether. You may be able to introduce some early math with an older child: if I have 5 acorns and you have 3 how many do we have total?

You can also collect items with different textures, such as moss, bark, pine cones, nuts, fungi, pine needles, rocks, etc. make a "feeling box" that can be used to talk about different textures such as hard, rough, smooth, bumpy, soft, hard. Different shapes and sizes can be discussed as well.

On the nature walk itself, you can discuss different things. For example, if you see a creek, you can talk about how deep or shallow the stream is, how wide it is, etc.

Make a haunted house with secret doors and windows. You talk about what kind of haunted house you are making (a 2-story haunted house, a 3-story haunted house, a house with shutters, a house with a porch, a house with shutters, etc.) Inside each door or window are pumpkins, ghosts, witches, cats, etc. Take turns asking each other to open the third window from the left, the window above the door, etc.

Pumpkin picking is equally as fun. Local farms may allow you to pick your own or to choose from hundreds they have displayed. Hay rides and hay mazes are always a favorite. If you can find a farm hosting a fall festival you may be able to enjoy a petting farm as well as buy some from fresh farm vegetables.

A good auditory memory game is describing Halloween related words. For example, you can say, "I have something orange. It is round and has a stem." Put it on top of your child's head, lap, hand, etc., and ask, "Where did I put the pumpkin (or cat, etc)?"

Apple picking at a local apple orchard is a great autumn activity. Some orchards have apple festivals which allow you to pick your own apples, watch a variety of demonstrations as well as try a variety of apple goodies: apple butter, apple cider, carmel or candy apples. Don't forget to document the fun in your child's experience book.

Look at the differences between the colors of the apples and their names. Count the seeds in the apples and plant them!

Bake an apple pie. Talk about cutting the apples, putting different spices in the pie, baking it, etc.

Apples are especially fun because you can cut them in half through the middle and look for the star shape inside. You can use the cut apples to make apple prints with paint. You can sort the apples by color, red, yellow and green. Make applesauce or apple pie. Kids love being in the kitchen and having a hand in what is being served for lunch or dinner. If you have an apple peeler/corer/slicer you can make apple rings for a snack and serve them with cinnamon sugar. Measure how long the apple skin is that comes off of the peeler. It is much longer and thinner than the apple.

You may want to spend some time discovering seeds with your child. Gather a variety of different fruits and take time to observe, smell, and touch the fruits before cutting them. Discuss the size, texture and weight of the fruits and where they grow. Which are sweet which are sour? Then cut the fruits in half and search for the seeds. Some fruits have one big "pit" and others have small seeds that need to be scooped out. You can wash the seeds and save them to discuss with another family member later or glue them onto a chart. Then compare tastes of the different fruits. If the child is a bit older and you have a "child safe" knife allow him to help you cut the fruit and make a fruit salad for dessert. (A few examples of fruits to use: apples, peaches, cherries, melons, and strawberries.)

Talk about the change in season. For example, you can talk about why there is fog or why it is colder outside, and why the leaves change color. You can also talk about harvesting and what kinds of fruits and vegetables are ready in the Fall.

Introduce different Halloween vocabulary such as treats, jack o'lantern, skeleton, mummy, black cat, haunted house, goblin, vampire, candy corn, ghoul, witch brew, spooky, Halloween, costumes, cauldron, party, ghosts, cobwebs, monsters, etc.

Rake leaves together. Children can use smaller rakes, or help put the leaves in a bag. If you have a compost heap, talk about putting the leaves in the compost heap, talk about what happens to the leaves in the compost heap, and what they are used for in the spring!

Collect leaves and talk about the types of trees they come from.

Two of the major harvest crops include apples and pumpkins. If you were really on top of things in the spring you planted your pumpkin seeds and are getting ready to pick a beautiful orange pumpkin right about now. If not, remember to save your pumpkin seeds from this year's jack-o-lantern or buy a package in the spring.

Make homemade stuffing. Go to the library, look for recipes for different stuffings. Talk about different seasonings. Pick one and make it.

Make a jack o'lantern. Talk about how the pumpkin feels. Scoop up the seeds. Dry them and make a collage with them. You can also plant some seeds and watch them grow. Talk about how they grow (they need light and water, etc). You can also bake pumpkin seeds and eat them afterward.

Make pumpkins with different facial expressions (happy, sad, angry, etc). Talk about why they may be happy, sad, or angry. Make some pumpkins with no eyebrows, droopy mouths, slanty eyes, etc.

Make a cornucopia. have different fruits (either real or fake)   Workon auditory memory by giving instructions such as "put the grapes, pear, and corn in the basket" or "before you put the corn in the cornucopia, put in the squash." You can also hide the fruit and give verbal clues to fill the baskets. Then pull off a piece everyday or do it in reverse and add a piece everyday. This is a fine time to introduce fruits and vegetables, the harvest and the meaning of the cornucopia. You could also make a large turkey and add a colorful feather everyday.

Blowing is a great way to build breath support. There are a variety of ways to do this. One such way to build breath support is to use instruments such as recorders, kazoos, harmonicas, and whistles. Another way to work on improving breath support is to use paper wrapped straws (like those from fast-food restaurants), tear off the top of the wrapper, and blow the paper wrapper across the table. After doing this, you can do more activities with the straw. Get some paper and watercolors. Put a some watercolors on the paper and "paint" by blowing through the straw.

Stickers can be used to learn body parts. One such way to do this is to have a sticker and tell the child, "Put the sticker on your hand", "Put the sticker on Daddy's nose", etc. Progress to saying, "Put two stickers on your knee", "Put the red sticker on your foot", Put the big sticker on your right elbow", etc.

Make masks. Use paper, tissues, tissue paper, cloth, etc. to do this. Cut out holes for the eyes, nose, and mouth. You can talk about the shapes of the holes (round, square, rectangular, oval, etc.) and the parts of the face (eyes, nose, mouth). You can color the mask or draw on it.

One of the best ways to develop your child's language is by creating an experience book. This can be any kind of book -- a spiral notebook, a three-ring binder, or a sketchbook that you and your child fill up with pictures, drawings, souvenirs, and writings about your child's day. Don't worry if you can't draw -- you can fill up the pages with clippings from magazines and newspapers, photographs, your child's artwork, or simple stick figures. You and your child can "recreate" the events of the day through discussion and talking about the experiences you have put in your child's book.

If you have dolls or action figures, you can play with them, feed them, put them to sleep, or invent skits and situations for the characters to act out.

Use everyday household chores to expand language. Sort laundry by  color and type (shirts, pants, socks, etc.) See whose clothes are the biggest. The child can out the laundry away in specific places (in Billy's room, in the top drawer, in the closet, etc.)

Sing, sing, sing! Sing children's songs and sing during everyday routines during the first months or year of amplification. Children love to hear the melodic voices of their parents so sing while you are "Stirring the oatmeal, stirring the oatmeal, round and round!"

Save margarine tubs and use for memory games or guessing games as the child gets older. Begin with just two and help the child determine the presence or absence of sound. As they mature, put little animals or learning to listen toys inside and take a peek and say "moo" and see if the child can identify the animal. Then it is their turn to peek. You can then hide three to seven things and then take one away and guess what is missing. As they get older you can vary the toys inside and make the clues harder: "I have a land vehicle with two wheels and a motor."

Cooking and doing dishes is another fun, hands on way for kids to learn and listen.

Stickers are inexpensive and are great motivators. They can be used for listening games or to make Lotto and Go Fish cards. Stickers can also be purchased in themes: animals, holidays, food, vehicles, etc. Use 3 x 5 cards to make go fish cards or cut the cards in half to make memory cards. You need to be sure you have 2 of each to get pairs. It is a great way to introduce and reinforce vocabulary. If working on plurals, you can put one sticker on some cards then two or more on others so when asking, the child must say, "do you have two dogs?" etc.

Comic books can be a good source of therapy fun. They can be used to model intonation, idioms, or current sayings and to build a sense of humor.



This site was last updated 06/18/09