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Holiday Blog

The holiday season quickly approached! Need some last minute gift ideas?? Need some ideas for what to do with the presents that have already arrived?? Read on!

Pretend play items are always a great choice for younger ages, such as a Supermarket Cash register. This toy can be used for a wide range of skills including play, receptive language, expressive language, auditory processing, memory, basic concepts.....sky is the limit! Add in a shopping cart and transform your basement into a grocery store.  If you are working on the concept of "except," you may ask "I would like all of the cans except the red one." If you are working on memory, pretend to send your child to the store and ask for 3 items (don't forget to have them rehearse them!) (www.cptoys.com has a comprehensive one). **If you are buying a toy that the child does not have a lot of experience with, such as a vet play set, then read a book first from the library to set the stage. 

Pretend play ideas do not always have to be a fancy, expensive toy! Often a unique blankey with the child's name on it is a perfect gift. It can turn into a magical flying carpet or a cape! Where will it take you? What are you going to see? Who will be there? Stay at your child's level.

Books are great for building pretend play or ideation! "From Head to Toe" by Eric Carle is a good one to help children realize that they can "pretend" to move like animals. Say & Play Storytelling Boxes (www.lakeshorelearning.com) are good for adding manipulatives to a story and/or adding their own unique spin on the story. 

Games are great gifts for all ages! They can double as pretend play toys as well! Operation is a good example. Playing the game by the directions is great for working on turn taking, fine motor skills, and coordination. It can also be turned into a real patient who comes in complaining of certain ailments (e.g., "My knee is hurting. Can you help me doctor?". Have your child inference into what may have happened. 

Social pragmatic language and expressing ones emotions can be targeted using "Let's Talk! Conversation Starters (5 & up) (www.lakeshorelearning.com). Great game to help the transition to bedtime as one last time to connect before bed OR if you have a morning little person, try it after breakfast.

Cooking kits are great for ages 2 and up! Work at your child's level.  Build vocabulary (i.e., pour, measure, flour, butter, etc). Develop expressive language skills (e.g., Child says "First measure the flour and pour it in the bowl"). Target receptive language skills (e.g., Find the big spoon. Mix the batter). Whatever the age or skill targeted, you are bound to wind up with a tasty treat!

Please consult with your therapist for additional ideas specific to your child. Have a very fun, safe holiday season!





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