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
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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 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

Teaching & Talking Tips: 

Hush Little Possum by P. Crumble

Hush Little Possum Educational Resource

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Teaching & Talking Tips: 

If You're Happy and You Know It! by P. Crumble

If your happy and you know it Educational Resource

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More Free Printables to come!

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Keep reading for More Educational Teaching & Talking Resources

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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Implications of an Expressive Language Delay

language delay

Implications of an Expressive Language Delay

​Delays in Expressive language skills have been shown to impact on:

Learning problems

Early spoken language delays have been linked to increased difficulties in learning to read and write. Difficulties expressing ideas at school can reduced to poor marks in any subject that requires written answers or assignments.

Behaviour concerns

If children cannot express their feelings or give explanations for what happened to result in negative behaviours (e.g., biting, hitting, fighting, being late for class) the behaviours can continue or even escalate. Young children with expressive language delays (e.g., late talkers) frequent show frustration in their inability to indicate their wants and needs).

Low self-esteem and potential Social Problems

If children have difficulties asking and answering questions, find it difficult to recall names of people and places, poorly express themselves by using the wrong word in the wrong context, they can show embarrassment and/or distress.

language delay

How to assist Children with Expressive Language Delays.

The first step to obtain an investigation as to what are the exact expressive language problems and to determine if there are other concerns that could be resulting in the delayed expressive skills (e.g., autism, hearing difficulties/ ear infections, dyspraxia).

An assessment by a qualified Speech Pathologist is always a good start. If other areas of assessment are needed (e.g., IQ assessments or auditory processing screens) the speech-language pathologist will advise you.

Remember sometimes expressive language problems do not emerge until primary and high school years when learning pressures increase and independent leaning is expected.

SpeechNet Speech Pathology believe that children are never too young or too old for expressive language assessments to be conducted and for help to be sought. First words  is really part of expressive language as is high school assignment writing. SpeechNet has speech pathologists experienced working with children from infants to 18 years. Feel free to contact via our website to ask any questions you may have.

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See how Focus on Toddler Talk can Start Boosting your child's Speech and Language today!

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Contact Us 

Contact us and an experienced Speech Pathologist will answer. We are here to help!

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Early Intervention Activities, Resources & Ideas for home. 

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Checklists 

Developmental Milestones & Online Checklists 

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Games & Toys 

Educational Games and Toys.  With Printables!

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