Play & Learn Educational Toys: Walkie Talkie

Play & Learn Educational Toys: Walkie Talkie

play learn educational toys walkie talkie
play learn educational toys walkie talkie

Let's Talk Walkie Talkies

 FOCUS: Walkie Talkies 

Speech Therapist      Dr Sandra McMahon PhD

If you are wanting children to talk then a toy that is ALL about TALKING has to be a winner. Kids love the mystery and feeling like they have a secret way to talk. This is a great indoor and outdoor toy. Play hide and seek around the house or at the park.  They can copy their super heroes, pretend to be police, fireman or the mysterious voice heard in shopping centres! They often have interesting buttons too! Nowadays they come in all different versions – old fashion Walkie Talkies, pretend watch Walkie Talkies or toy mobile phones. 

oBSERVE


With new toys it is always great to watch what children do without any directions or suggestions! (if safe of course). What do they do? What sounds, exclamations or words to they make? Do they recognise it? Do they just listen or to they make sounds/ say words too.

play learn educational toys walkie talkie

Communicating with others


Learning social interactional skills can take time. Modelling, what to do and saying things they can copy, is a great way to build game resilience. Walkie Talkies are great to encourage the following skills:

Building Early 

Conversational Skills


My turn to speak / your turn to speak or listen. This is the foundation of conversations. This is how Walkie Talkies work! Many late talkers do not respond when asked a question. They may show you things with pointing or their bodies but do not always start a "conversation".

If you are in one room with your child and maybe Daddy is in another room – then pointing isn’t going to work! You can say “but Daddy can’t see you! Let’s say Hi! etc.). Some children might make lots of noises and words that don’t always make sense – encouraging them to stop and listen encourages then to particulate in both sides of a conversation. 

Turn - Taking Skills


As noted the whole concept of Walkie Talkies is that people take turns to listen and talk. They are not fun if you want to do all the talking or nobody is waiting to hear you.

understanding of language comes before talking


If you want to encourage talking skills one of the foundation pre-speech skills is “auditory attention”. Children’s hearing might be fine but it doesn’t mean they are good at “listening”. Our FREE AUDITORY ATTENTION ONLINE SCREEN looks at whether children are building auditory attention skills. "Really listening" is important for learning.

​By the nature of Walkie talkies, if you are not in the room, children cannot “guess” what you are asking them. Often parents accidentally give clues by looking or pointing at things rather than encouraging toddlers to use their “listening skills” (e.g. asking them to give you the book – when it’s bed time and you’re also reaching for the book doesn’t mean they are listening to your request for the book – they could be just “guessing” what you want). ​

play learn educational toys walkie talkie

​If you are in another room and ask “bring me a book” – there are no clues. This can be a fun game. One adult is in a room and says can you bring me a “pencil” and the child can excitedly run it to them then back to see what they will ask for next. Have another adult with younger children or those that may need help to “listen” to the request. This adult can encourage them to listen to the request and follow through with the instruction. Start with really easy requests– just call their name through the Walkie talkie and encourage them to make some kind of vocal response (an exclamation! Oh! a laugh, a Hi). Reward them by getting excited ("wow I can hear you! You laughed!!!). The requests or instructions can also get more and more complex (e.g. “Can you bring me something you cuddle at night”, Find a ball and superman”).

​The use of Walkie Talkies can also help with Cause & Effect skills. This is another pre-speech foundation skill. This refers to building an understanding that “what I say and do will impact on things or people”. Playing the hide and seek by using the age old game “hot” and “cold” can help the child learn to infer if they are close or not by the “clue” given through the Walkie talkie. You could be hiding or you could hide a treat or snack. The child has to listen to see if they are “hot “or “cold” depending on where they go.​

spoken Speech & Language


Toys like the walkie talkie are great for encouraging  vocalisations – sometimes it might just be a grunt as they experiment with talking “into” the device. A giggle or a silly noise. All should be encourage as once vocalisations are made you can shape them into words.

For Children not really saying words, imitation is an important real key skill to develop. Some children might imitate physical actions but just not spoken words. Our FREE IMITATION SKILLS ONLINE SCREEN can indicate what imitation skills your child is using. This can inform you how to adapt your walkie talkie game to get the most out of the toy.


*Encourage them imitate your actions Pushing buttons, listen then talk

*Encourage them to copy Exclamations: OOH (when they hear a noise), beeeep when device indicates there is someone talking

*Imitating funny noises – aarrrh (like a pirate), blowing into the device

*Imitating animal noises – you could incorporate this into the finding gain describe above – you could have a box of toy animals and say “get the Mooooo” –What are you looking for ..is it a baa or a mooo?

Building new words & Sentences


Take a look in the “understanding section” and encourage the child to repeat back the instruction before they do it. Incorporate into the game that they “check” they heard by saying it too. Where did I say I was? “you tell me ‘in kitchen’).

For children using little sentences you can encourage early questions in the above hide and seek games (e.g., Are you in the ____; Is it big? Where is the ball?). Learning to use questions can really reduce that whinging and tantrums. If they can “ask for what they want” the whinging can really go down (even if it’s a simple form e.g. Where Teddy?). 

Speech Therapist      Dr Sandra McMahon PhD

Walkie Talkies are great for early narrative or story telling too. You can encourage them to give a blow by blow description of what they can see or are doing e.g., Tell me what you can see in the park/ in your room/ etc.).  

Speech TherapistDr Sandra McMahon PhD

Pretend play can build talking skills. Let’s pretend there is a fire. You sit here with the fire engine. Wait to see where the fire is. You can then call the “fireman” to tell them the fire is in the TV room – they can ask some questions e.g. is it a big fire, is the TV on fire or the lounge?) and come with their toy fire engine to “put out the fire”. If you swap roles you can model good examples of language. Even if their talking is limited reduce to down to “go, go truckie” or even just the “fire engine sound” as their way of telling you the fire engine is coming.

Speech TherapistDr Sandra McMahon PhD

And let’s not forget vocabulary – all the in, on, under, "next to" kinds of words can be incorporated into walkie talkie play. As you can’t use pointing as much the importance of these words are exaggerated! It is "under the couch, next to the tap" etc.

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Phlat Ball – Speech Therapy Toys & How To Use Them

Phlat Ball - Speech Therapy Toys & How To Use Them!

Let's Talk 

​Phlat Ball

Focus: Phlat ball  

Speech              Therapist            Dr Sandra McMahon PhD
Phlat balls are flat discs that pop up into a ball shape. They are made of soft plastic and the “pop” time is random which adds to the fun of the game. Can be used as a Frisbee with a twist or just a fun ball. I like to place light soft toys or picture/ letter/ sight word cards on top so that the toy flies into the air when the toy pops – it encourage fun anticipation waiting for it to pop! If you put a couple of toys or cards on you can see who can catch one and they can tell you what the toy/letter/word is that they caught. If a child hasn’t seen one before you may need to demonstrate the toy as they often want to grab disc while it is flat and do not realise it will pop up.Main themes – waiting, changing shapes, motor skills (catching & throwing action words)

observe


Observe what they do with the toy when first given to them and before you start to play. It may not be obvious how “to play with them” at first. Do they notice they attach? Do they look at why it attached? 

What do they spontaneously “say” when they play with the toy? Do they have a “word” or way of describing how the ball changes (a surprised face, a wow, ooooh, look!, pop, ball now, flat now.

Do they think it’s funny or a bit scary when it pops?

Do they inspect it to try to see how it works?

Do they try different things with it? (sit on it, roll it like a wheel, try to bounce it, throw it up or forward)Can they push it hard enough to work or do they look puzzled if they don’t push it hard enough and it stays as a ball?

communicating with others


Communication: how the themes/ ideas of the toy encourages or give opportunities to practise social interactions

*Do they want you to look at the ball changing?

*Do they ask questions about how it works or ask for help? (hand it to you to make it pop again or uses words to ask for help)

*Do they communicate the emotions the ball evokes? (surprise, scare, delighted, excited)

*Can they wait patiently for the ball to pop or do they want to grab at it? This is a great game to encourage attention, waiting and turn taking skills. These are all skills we need to use when having a “conversation” with someone.

understanding of lanuage comes before talking


Understanding skills – words, sentences, ideas/themes/concepts, reading/literacy skills

Action words – suggest different things they can do with the ball and see if they change their actions accordingly eg push, roll, throw, kick, make it a wheel, waiting, tossing, releasing, changing

Similarities and differences of the ball as it changes (Does it change shape or colour?), it’s like a ball vs like a wheel

Gestures – do they show anticipation gestures – looking intently, jiggling or jumping as it gets more likely to pop, surprise gestures, pointing gestures to show they noticed the change or where it changed (eg pointing in the air)

Concepts: shapes flat vs round; time concepts: now, soon, later, nearly

Cognition: Count how long it takes to pop. Remember that number and see if the next one takes a longer or shorter time to pop.

Problem solving - Enocourages an understanding of “cause and effect” – if you push it goes flat, if you wait it pops; Can roll the ball easily because it is round but not so easy when it is flat.

Numbers: Time concepts and counting as wait for the ball to pop. See how many steps or how far it can roll before it pops.

spoken speech & language


Speech: saying sounds, exclamations, words, sentences, stories. Making gestures & facial expressions.

saying sounds


Pop, boom, wee, (as the Phlat ball pops up)

Speech Clarity


/p/ is an early developing sound and so words like “pop” are great first words to encourage. Encourage them to look at how your lips are squeezed together as you are “busting” to say “pop” as you are waiting for the ball to pop. /p/ is said with a build of air pressure behind the lips and so “holding” it back before popping out the /p/ sound encourages this sound pressure. Simliarly you can use a phrase “pop up” to encourage more /p/ sounds. Also early words like “go” are great as lots of children under three will say a /d/ for a /g/ sound – “go” -> “do”… You can model or practise the /g/ sound by repeating the/g/ sound as you are anticipating the ball to pop: “g,g,g,g,g,g,…GO”;

Saying words


Names of the things: ball, Frisbee, button

Names of action words: see above (rolling, tossing, flicking, exploding, changing, waiting)

Describing words: hard, flat, not bouncy, round, colours,

Other words: now, soon, going to, nearly, yet

  • Saying Sentences: Encourage them to repeat sentences at a length that matches their ability after you say it – after a few times of reading the book can they say the words and sentences by themselves?
  • By choosing words with different endings will help build spoken grammatical words eg popping, flatter, edges (word endings –ing, -er, plural ‘s’). These can then be put into sentences: rolling the ball (action word + a thing)The ball IS flat, The ball IS NOT popping (important little words – “is; pronouns – “he”)The ball popped in the air. The ball IS taking a long time. (encouraging longer sentences by adding a thing or a place)Sentences like "If I push it hard, it will take a long time", "It won’t roll because it is flat" helps develop the use of joining words ( e.g, “and”, “because”, “so”, If)
  • Saying more: Explain why they think it stays flat. Explain why it takes sometimes a long time and sometimes a short time to pop. Predict what might happen if we put something on top of the flat ball. What might happen if we put our fingers in the spaces when it is flat? What things are round and what things are flat.

Toy Teaching & Talking Tips Downloads 

EDUCATIONAL TEACHING & TALKING RESOURCES

Teaching & Talking Tips: Toys

DEVELOPING SPEECH, LANGUAGE & LITERACY SKILLS WHILE PLAYING  WITH A PHLAT BALL

 An Educational Teaching & Talking Tips PDF  jam packed full of ideas to help boost speech, language and literacy skills while playing with a Phlat Ball.  

BOOSTING SPEECH, LANGUAGE & LITERACY SKILLS WHILE BUILDING  WITH A MAGNETIC CONSTRUCTION KIT. 

 An Educational Teaching & Talking Tips PDF  jam packed full of ideas to help boost speech, language and literacy skills while building with a Magnetic Construction Kit.

Phlat Ball V3 RandomPhlat Ball Tornado Football - YellowTucker V2 TU85010 Phlat Ball

Speech Therapy Teaching & Talking Tips, Activities + Printables

Speech Therapy Teaching & Talking Tips, Activities + Printables

speech therapy teaching & talking tips activities printables

SpeechNet has a growing number of Speech Therapy based Teaching & Talking Tips, Activities and Printables for parents and educators.  The activities have an easy to follow printable to help guide the play to boost speech and language skills. If you are concerned or have a question about your child's speech and language development please feel free to send your question through our contact page and a speech therapist will answer.  

FREE Educational Toy Teaching & Talking Tips

Let's Focus On Bubbles


An action packed PDF showing how to use bubbles to build Social Communication Skills, Understanding of Language and Speech (sounds, words & sentences). FREE bubble recipes included! This FREE download is linked with our Bubbles Blog

Boosting Language with Skittles


An action packed PDF showing how to use SKITTLES to build Social Communication Skills, Understanding of Language and Speech (sounds, words & sentences). This FREE download is linked with our SKITTLES VIDEO BLOG

Encouraging Questions with Trains


An explanation and age appropriate examples of Encouraging Questions. Use this informative PDF to show you how to Encourage Questions while playing with TRAINS with your child. Take a look at the 4 levels of questions and how you can help encourage your child's question skills. This Free Printable is linked to our Encouraging Questions Train Blog

Developing Maths Vocabulary with Sand Toys


 Maths has a very specific vocabulary! Use this printable to get a jump start on your toddler's later maths success. With this informative Printable and Maths Vocabulary Chart you can help develop your child's Maths Vocabulary while playing with Sand Toys. This Free Printable is linked to our Maths Vocabulary Sand Play Video Blog

Educational Teaching & Talking Resources

Developing Speech, Language & Literacy Skills: Phlat Ball 


 An Educational Teaching & Talking Tips PDF jam packed full of ideas to help boost speech, language and literacy skills while playing with a Phlat Ball.

Developing Speech, Language & Literacy Skills: Magnetic Kit


 An Educational Teaching & Talking Tips PDF jam packed full of ideas to help boost speech, language and literacy skills while building with a Magnetic Construction Kit.

Developing Speech, Language & Literacy Skills: Where's My Teddy by Jex Smith


 An Educational Teaching & Talking Tips PDF jam packed full of ideas to help boost speech, language and literacy skills while reading.

Developing Speech, Language & Literacy Skills: The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle


 An Educational Teaching & Talking Tips PDF jam packed full of ideas to help boost speech, language and literacy skills while reading.

At Home Everyday Routines: Video Blogs + FREE Printables

Building Language Moments At Home: Let's Talk Tooth Brushing


 This VIDEO blog guides you through the everyday tooth brushing routine. It takes ONE simple MOMENT in that routine to boost speech and language development. Along with the video it has a FREE PRINTABLE that parents can use as a prompt. Visit the Tooth Brushing Video Blog 

Building Language Moments At Home: Let's Talk Sunscreen


 This VIDEO blog guides you through the everyday applying sunscreen routine. It takes ONE simple MOMENT in that routine to boost speech and language development. Along with the video it has a FREE PRINTABLE that parents can use as a prompt. Visit the Sunscreen Video Blog

FREE Spelling List Helper Package

 How to HELP with Weekly Spelling Lists


 ARRGHHHH!! Weekly Spelling Lists!!

A blog series + Helper Package on how to HELP with Spelling and NOT just memorising skills.  Are you looking for a better way to REALLY help your child learn spelling. Something better than having the children memorize words for a Friday Spelling test only for them to forget them next week. They can write them in the list but can't seem to spell the very same words in a sentence! visit our spelling blog

What is an Augmentative or Alternative Communication System (AAC)

What is an Augmentative or Alternative Communication System (AAC)

augmentative, alternative communication, communication

If it appears a child may take some time to learn to speak or may find speech is not an option, then Augmentative or Alternative Communication (AAC) systems may need to be put into place. AAC communication methods are used to supplement or replace speech. It does not mean that speech or vocalisation goals cannot be included in communication goals. The AAC system allows the child to use and develop expressive language skills.

Helping a Child to Communicates is the most important goal and AAC can assist this goal.

It is important that children have an opportunity to communicate their needs, wants and ideas. This allows them to be part of the family and community around them. It is also essential for new and ongoing learning.

​Generally verbal or speech is an end goal for many children and families. However, for some children this can be something that will take a long time to achieve. Some children may not develop “functional” speech skills.

What is an Augmentative or Alternative Communication system (AAC)

AAC is the term used for all communication that is not speech. It is used to enhance or to replace speech. An AAC System means the whole range or combination of methods used for communication, for example,

  • gestures,
  • eye pointing at objects/symbols/pictures
  • modified vocalizations,
  • pointing to pictures or symbols,
  • developing sign language skills and/or
  • using specific devices/ systems
    • PECs (Picture Exchange Communication)
    • PODD
    • iPad Apps/ electronic devices.

Myths about AAC stopping or preventing speech to develop

Romski and Sevcik (2005) provide some myths or barriers to the success of any AAC that sometimes surround successful AAC implementation.

Myth: AAC is a “last resort” and means a child will never “talk”: There much evidence demonstrating the interaction between AAC and speech, language and literacy development. (Millar, Light, & Schlosser, 2006; Schlosser & Wendt, 2008).
Myth: Children must have a certain set of skills to be able to benefit from AAC: for people with significant motor or neurological difficulties, they may not be able to express themselves until they have a functional AAC. Children may incorporate AAC into their language systems from young ages but older children can be ready at later stages,
SpeechNet aims to support families to investigate the best options to assist them to communicate with their child and for them to be able to interact and learn from one other.

We liaise with schools, carers, occupational therapists and other members of the child’s support team to decide on options. We are NDIS providers and can assist in planning your child’s needs.

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Age by Age Guide to Expressive Language

augmentative, alternative communication, communication
augmentative, alternative communication, communication
augmentative, alternative communication, communication
augmentative, alternative communication, communication
augmentative, alternative communication, communication
augmentative, alternative communication, communication

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What is an Expressive Language Delay in children (DELD)?

What is an Expressive Language Delay in children (DELD)?

expressive delay expressive language delay

Many speech pathology assessment reports will conclude a child has an expressive language delay. However, what is an expressive language delay?

​Expressive language delay is actually a broad term that simply means that a child is having trouble using their expressive language skills to communicate with others and to learn (e.g., delays in saying words, vocabulary, talking and writing in sentences, pointing, gesturing and/ or signing).

​Expressive Language Delay in children is also know by a number of terms such as:

  • ELD - Expressive Language Delay
  • DELD – Developmental Expressive Language Delay
  • LLD – Late Language Development (see late talkers)
  • Expressive Delays

Why does every child that is given a diagnosis of an Expressive Language Delay Present Differently?

​Every child given a diagnosis of expressive delay will present differently. This is because it is such a wide sweeping term with some children having trouble saying words, others might be poor at saying sentences and other still may have to use Alternative or Augmentative Communication (AAC) systems to “express themselves”. In addition, some children may have mild expressive language delays and some may have very severe expressive delays. Some children may also have other factors impacting on how their expressive language delay will present (see Autism, Late Talkers, Twin Development).

​Role of the Speech Pathologist with Children with Expressive Language Delays.

The role of the speech pathologist is to work out why a child is not able to communicate with others and how to then help them manage the expressive delays. Children with DELD will present with different strengths and gaps in their expressive skills. How an expressive language delay presents will be different depending on the child’s age. (see our age by age guide to expressive language below or our menu for expressive language for the different age groups).

expressive delay expressive language delay
​Common areas of expressive delays include:
  • Reduced expressive vocabulary (e.g. number and type of words used when talking and writing, word finding difficulties),
  • Difficulties putting words together to form sentences (immature sentences, poorly written sentences and assignments).
  • Difficulties with grammatic formats (e.g. he vs him, grammatical markers like possessives “Dad’s key”)
  • Difficulties sequencing information together into a logical order (e.g., word order at sentence level or logical sequence of events in a re-tell of a story).
  • Difficulties in other areas that reduces the child’s ability to express themselves. Generally. a child is not going to speak or say a word if they do not understand the word/s. (e.g., reduce Receptive Language . Some children may not be able to produce speech sound clearly and this can reduce their expressive language skills (e.g., speech disorders ).

The implications of an Expressive Language Delay can be far reaching. Assessment and treatment can be obtained from a qualified speech-language pathologists and this is strongly recommended if a child is presenting with difficulties communicating or having difficulties at school.

Age by Age Guide to Expressive Language

expressive delay expressive language delay
expressive delay expressive language delay
expressive delay expressive language delay
expressive delay expressive language delay
expressive delay expressive language delay

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expressive delay expressive language delay

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expressive delay expressive language delay

Ideas for Home

Early Intervention Activities, Resources & Ideas for home. 

expressive delay expressive language delay

Checklists 

Developmental Milestones & Online Checklists 

expressive delay expressive language delay

Games & Toys 

Educational Games and Toys.  With Printables!

expressive delay expressive language delay

Books 

Educational Book resources with Printables 

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