I am a brainstormer. Every year at Christmas I make lists and then more lists, on how to create the perfect holiday experience for my family. Yes, this is stressful and I wish my personality type allowed me to just chill. And yes, every year I say that I won’t do it again next year, but then always a few days before, when I can see the finish line over the horizon, I start feeling like all the work was worth it (maybe).
This year, my iPhone tightened the reigns on my crazed list making. Instead of having lists tucked in my jeans, my nightstand, my office drawer, and in the car, I consolidated it on my phone and each time I would think of something, I would text it in. In addition to the usual holiday chores, I brainstorm on good gifts to buy my children. No, I don’t get my kids all the presents I come up with, but it does give my family members and I ideas to choose from.
Games have been a huge motivator for Jake to say his sounds/words in speech therapy over the past three months. In public therapy, he plays games with two other children and they love them too. It’s also an added bonus that he’s learning numbers, colors, shapes, and counting from these games. At one point, I thought I shouldn’t work on this early learning stuff with him because he couldn’t talk. Then, I realized he could learn it in his head, he just couldn’t verbally express it. With any of these games, always get your child to say a set of words or sounds before each turn or it may work out better to drill all the words at one time with the reward being to play the game in its entirety. You don’t always have to follow the directions perfectly and all games can be adjusted to any child’s level. Here’s my master list for 2011-2012 …
- ThinkFun Zingo
- Any Melissa & Doug toys – This year I chose the See & Spell Puzzle, but I highly recommend the Alphabet Train Floor Puzzle for boys. They love it! (Tip-Before giving them each piece, make them say the letter and sound. When they get bored, I start sliding the pieces across the floor after they say the letter so they can run and get it before attaching it.)
- Uno Moo Game
- Richard Scarry Busy Town Game
- Cootie Game
- Flyin’ Frogs Game
- Super Why ABC Letter Preschool Game
- Lauri Toys Peggy Back Game (similar to Candy Land only bigger spaces and a big dice)
- Pop Up Pirate Game
- Kids’ Express Train KET SET 1 (www.expresstrain.org)- Pricey, but awesome music CDs that our speech therapist uses
- Books- Especially lift-the-flap kind
- Baby Babble Speech-Enhancing Video (Jake has this now and it is recommended for ages 3 to 30 months. I got it over the summer and even though he was technically too old for it, it was PERFECT for him. He loved watching it and he learned a lot of basic sounds).
- Stocking Stuffer “treat” ideas for the food-allergy conscious family: Rice Krispie Treats, Oreos, bananas, suckers
I know it’s a little late in the year to be buying Christmas presents, but this post got out later than I planned. Go figure! So, Merry Christmas and happy birthday buying!