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Sound Show and Tell

Who doesn't love Show and Tell? Growing up, Show and Tell was the day that you never missed at school. Excitement brewed over the unlimited possibilities. Kids whispered days in advanced as they narrowed their selections.

"K" at the beginning of words includes couch, cookie, crayon, card, comb, kazoo, cup, cone, can, compass, coin, carrot, corn, kaleidoscope, cauliflower, cake, and cup cake

Working with preschoolers, I was always trying to find new ways to increase parent participation and bridge the communication gap between therapy and home. When working on articulation skills during therapy, you send home your word lists, activity sheets, and art projects, but do they really increase parent/child practice at home? Do notes home and a weekly newsletter facilitate greater parent involvement? For some it did, but the hustle and bustle of daily life always impacts your efforts. I understand that families are busy. There are play dates, community based preschool, birthday parties, family trips, and the bustle of everyday happenings. But the magic of communication is that it knows no boundaries and can be learned and practiced in any context, situation, or location.

Then came the bag that changed it all! I found these super cute book bags at the teacher supply store and they were one of best impulse buys. They reminded me of the ones that you would find at the library way back when, containing the book and audiobook read-along sets. First of all the kids loved them. They came in various designs but the poke-a-dots caught their eye instantly and appealed to both the boys and girls. Functionally, they worked perfect for Sound Show and Tell. They were unique enough that they weren't mistaken for classroom homework, durable, fit in a variety of backpacks, were easy to carry, and sealed at the tops keeping treasured items safe and sound.

The kids were excited about them, which meant that they generally came back on the designated day with the activity completed. For our little preschool speech class, we decided to send the bag home with one student each week. The first day of class the bag went home and at the end of the week, the bag came back for Sound Show and Tell. Such an arrangement worked for us for several reasons. First we we could easily keep track of who had the bag. By limiting the activity to one child, it kept the kids interested as they patiently waited for their week to take the bag home in turn ensuring that it would be completed and returned. Taking the bag home once every few weeks was more manageable for busy families instead of filling it every week. Finally, when it was Sound Show and Tell day, our activity blended well into circle time without dominating or overshadowing other activities. The key to this and any other home activity is individualizing it to meet the needs of your kids and their families.

When the time arrived, the lucky child would open his or her bag and carefully show the item or items to everyone. As a group we practiced hearing and saying our target sound as we examined each item carefully. Some kids brought one item while others would fill the bag.

"L" Blend items include Clock, Blocks, Flower, Blue, and Black

I made a simple label for the front of each bag stating the necessary details. It should include the details most pertinent for your use, making this an easy and successful take home activity.

- What the activity is

- Who it needs to be returned to (helpful if it gets lost on campus)

- When they need to return it

- A space to write the goal of Sound Show and Tell

I used clear packing tape to attach the labels to the bags and it has worked perfectly. They haven't frayed, discolored, or come off after a full year in use. The tape also provided the perfect way to easily write on the label using a Vis-i-Vis overhead marker. It stayed on the bag and wiped off with a wet paper towel, making it easy to write the next Sound Show and Tell sound.

Each week, we rotated target sounds, selecting a sound that matched the speech sound we were working on. Therefore Sound Show and Tell featured "G" at the beginning of words, "-PS" at the end of words, and 3 syllable words. Some weeks were easier than others as it didn't take one long to find items that began with the "K" sound. If it was a trickier target such as "-KS" at the end of words, I also included a generic word list with example items to give parents a few ideas.

The key to good home practice is integration into a family's daily life. Speech and language can easily be practiced in meaningful and engaging ways while in the car, story time, visiting the grocery store, the park, and even the swimming pool. Routine based activities, such as dressing, meals, bath time, and getting ready for bed offer young children consistent opportunities for exposure and practice pairing verbal information with visual cues. Regardless of where and when you practice communication skills, a fun and motivating activity generally offers the best results. So next time you are hauling out a favorite toy, book, game, or piece of digital media, think about the possibilities.

Get started with our starter pack filled with labels, organizational tools, parent information sheets, and student worksheets.

#earlychildhood #slps #articulation #parents #play #takehome #notech #speech

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