ideas borrowed, ideas new

My baby boy has turned into this beautiful toddler, and along with that comes the need for some more sophisticated language activities. I've been a busy, crafty mommy lately! I've been partly motivated by lots of great ideas from my blogging mommy friends, and partly motivated by my need to be extra organized and on-top-of-things with my new work schedule. Here's a list of new activities in our home, hopefully giving credit where credit's due!!!

I cleaned off the top half of our refrigerator and created our "family work board". Right now, it just has the list of strategies that we're supposed to be working on for the week with each of his therapists, and also the summary sheets for the week and/or the handouts we get from them. I picked up the white board and the cork board at the Dollar Tree. I got this idea from Briggs' mom originally, and here's another great example from Aiden's mom. I really like Tammy's idea about the ling sounds, and moving them as you get a response to each one throughout the day. I hope to expand this area with other ideas. But for now, it helps us focus on our strategies for the week.

I also decided, that with a change in Lucas's schedule, I should start a calendar with him, to help him prepare for what tomorrow will bring. He is still a bit young for this, but I know that he will quickly grow into it, and that his language will catch up with it, just like it has with everything else. I originally got the calendar idea from Ben's mom, but then I got the exact calendar idea from Tayten's mom. Here's another variation on the calendar idea from Nolan's mom. You can find that calendar here from the Listening Room, which has a host of other GREAT activities.

Also from the Listening Room, I found these two great posters. This one is for focusing on nursery rhymes and songs, and this one is a game for practicing the learn to listen sounds. We've really been enjoying these. Just today, when I started to sing "Twinkle, twinkle, little star," Lucas touched the star right away. I was so excited! Here are pictures of these two posters, that I've hung in our dining room and playroom, respectively.

Reciting nursery rhymes with Lucas twice a day is one of our strategies for this week. So, I took a clear plastic box (that I found at the Dollar Tree), put in all of the books that we have with nursery rhymes and added the handout on nursery rhymes, so that everything is in reach. Here's what the handout looks like, if you're interested:

We're also working really hard to condition Lucas to the Ling sounds. I feel we're past just waiting for a behavioral response (like Lucas looking up or pausing) and we should be able to get a conditioned response from him, like pointing to his ear or the sound association. I know it's possible, and Aiden has given me some extra motivation! So, I'm using 2 different activities to work on that. One activity is a meal mat from the Listening Room (there are 3 others, if you're interested). I learned about these from Alexander's mom, who apparently got it from Marielle's mom! I say the ling sound, put a piece of food on the appropriate picture, and say it again.. Sometimes I have Lucas try to put it on the right picture. He's been pretty accurate so far. Here's what it looks like:
I soon hope to graduate to this great resource. I used speaker cover material, that I got at the local fabric store, glued it between the two pieces of paper, and voila! Those are the same pictures as the meal mat, and I'm hoping he will start pointing to them soon. Here's what that looks like:

Lastly, I've created quite a few experience books. Lucas's teacher of the deaf has talked about them, I saw some examples at Great Start, and also got ideas from Drew's mom and Peas' mom. I made two of them on Snapfish. They're the flipbooks - you can write one short sentence on each picture, and they're pretty cheap. The other ones I made with photo albums from the Dollar Tree and flashcards with great pictures on them. The two flipbooks are called "Let's go to the petting zoo" and "Let's go to the pool."

The other photo books are "Lucas & family," "my favorite things," "food and animals," "my body parts," and "Lucas' ABC book" (I ran out of pages, so I had to make 2 books). Here's what the books look like (inside too).

While I was looking for links to all of these resources, I found this new activity that I'm going to go print now. How fun! Another source that I'd like to check out is Tune Ups (again from the Listening Room). I called to order it when Drew's mom first posted about it, but it hasn't come yet, so I think my order got lost somewhere. I will have to try again.

Thanks to all of my blog friends for all of the wonderful ideas! Sorry for the super long post. I hope I was able to share some new ideas too! And, I think we're set for a while. Do you have any other ideas you'd like to share?