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Parent Reading Tips For All Big W Free Books

Big W Free Books  PLUS FREE Teaching & Talking Tips Download Printables

Focus on Books

Big W is giving away FREE Books for 12 weeks to help impact childhood literacy.  To help boost the impact even further SpeechNet is offering FREE Teaching and Talking Tips downloads for each FREE book.  

Big W Free Books Plus Free Teaching and Talking Tips Download Printables

What is inside each Teaching & Talking Tips Download Printable?

  • Each Teaching & Talking Tips Download is written in our unique FOCUS SYSTEM Format (What is our FOCUS SYSTEM? See below!)
  • Each download is broken down into two levels:
    • 1) Boosting Early Words & Ideas for UNDER 24 MONTHS & LATE TALKERS
    • 2) Boost Speech, Language, Literacy & Cognitive Development from 24 MONTHS to PRIMARY SCHOOL
  • In these downloads you will receive pages++ of information and tips broken down into an easy to read and understand format that will inspire you with ideas that you can put into practice today.
  • Use these Teaching and Talking Tips while reading. The download helps boost speech, language and literacy skills while reading

Children's Books Educational Resources 

Visit this page each week to download all the FREE Teaching & Talking Tips Printables as they are released!

Teaching & Talking Tips: 

Hush Little Possum by P. Crumble

Hush Little Possum Educational Resource

FREE DOWNLOAD

Teaching & Talking Tips: 

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

If your happy and you know it Educational Resource

FREE DOWNLOAD

Stay tuned! 

More Free Printables to come!

Follow us on Facebook to see when they have arrived!

Keep reading for More Ideas & valuable information!

Teaching & Talking Tips:

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle 

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Educational Resource

$2

Teaching & Talking Tips:

Where's My Teddy by Jex Smith

Where's My Teddy Free Educational Resource

$2

What is our Unique FOCUS SYSTEM?
What is our unique FOCUS System

Each letter of the Word "FOCUS" refers to an aspect of communication that is important for communication & learning development.

FOCUS as a word was chosen as itself encompasses what we want carers to do.  We want carers to learn the key ​strategies that help them to "FOCUS" on developing their child's communication and language development at all ages and stages of learning. 

FOCUS

The "F" in FOCUS

Simply refers to the over all goals.  That is, the "focus" is on communication and it's importance.  One or more key learning goals will be identified as the focus for each product or service.

Observation

The "O" in FOCUS

It is important that parents and carers Observe children to help determine the child's "strengths and the potential areas that may benefit from a boost". The "O" for observe also means we need to help a child's ability to observe the things, people and actions in their everyday environment so that  skill at observing the things they see and hear in their environments.  That is, the "Observe" concept encompasses factors that help the carers and child FOCUS on developing Speech and Language at the correct level for their present skills and modelling one level above.  

communication speech and language skills

The "C" in FOCUS

Draws attention to the verbal and non-verbal pragmatics or "use" of communication. The "C" in way refers to the Conversation between people.  It Helps carers develop and boost Social & Self-esteem Skills in children.

Understanding speech and language

The "U" in FOCUS

Puts the FOCUS on Understanding skills - receptive language skills.  Areas that may be highlighted could include: Receptive vocabulary, concept development - logical reasoning, attention skills, following instructions, Blank level of questions, auditory and visual memory skills, 

Speech and Language

The "S" in FOCUS

Concepts encompassed in this letter involve speech sound development, oro-motor skills, expressive language skills (eg., saying sentences).  

The unique FOCUS™ system is at the heart of all our Online Programs, Printables, Books & Apps. It is based on state of the art research and knowledge, and is only available through SpeechNet.

​Specific F, O, C, U, and S components appropriate for each stage of development have been developed in detail by Dr Sandra McMahon, Speech Pathologist, PhD for all of our products.   These have been systematically developed by synthesising the research and knowledge regarding milestones expected at each stage of development, and methods and techniques known to enhance and optimise development of communication at the different ages and stages. See our Online Programs, Printables, Apps and more in our SpeechNet Shop. Pop & Top beautifully illustrated Sound Adventure books are also available for sale at our Shop.

TOddler Talking

Online Program

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

speech and language

Contact Us 

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

Ideas for Home

Early Intervention Activities, Resources & Ideas for home. 

when do children start to talk

Checklists 

Developmental Milestones & Online Checklists 

when do children start to talk

Games & Toys 

Educational Games and Toys.  With Printables!

When do children start to talk

Books 

Educational Book resources with Printables 

Non-Verbal Communication Development in Children: The power of the point

Non-Verbal Communication Development in Children: The power of the point

non-verbal, babies, communication, non-verbal communication

Who has been bossed around by the power of the point! Did you know that if children do not point from an early age, it can be a red flag for later social and/or developmental delays? A point to indicate something or someone specifically is a key non-verbal communication gesture that parents are recommended to look out for. This simple gesture is a foundation expressive language skill for babies and toddlers.

Children are typically pointing from 12 months of age.

non-verbal, babies, communication, non-verbal communication

The point has power!

A point can mean:
  • Look!
  • I want that!
  • Not that one, that one
  • I want you/ I need you
  • That is the same as we saw before
  • Oh, you want me to show you I understood you (Where is the dog?)
  • And SO much more
If by 12 months children are not using the point gesture for all of these social interactional communication intents, then it is important to see if you can boost or encourage this non-verbal communication skill.

Children’s hearing & vision should always be checked to see if there are any reasons for concern!

If children are crying or whinging for something, then manipulate their finger so they are pointing at the thing you have guessed they want.

At the same time as you take their hand to format this important non-verbal gesture, help them point while saying “you want that ____, show me___”.

Play a game saying – “look” and exaggerate your pointing each time you show them something e.g. the light, the flower, the puppy

If they vaguely reach out or half-heartedly point – reward them for “pointing” by getting excited that they “told you something” – “OH you want the cup!!” Good showing me “and move their hand again into a point to reinforce that is was the non-verbal gesture that was good!

For further ideas on how to boost early verbal and non-verbal communication development in children take a look at our “FOCUS on TODDLER TALK” – it has heaps of video of Dr Sandra McMahon, Speech Pathologist, PhD explaining & demonstrating in easy to understand terms early foundation skills for talking and learning.

non-verbal, babies, communication, non-verbal communication

Online Program

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

non-verbal, babies, communication, non-verbal communication

Contact Us 

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

non-verbal, babies, communication, non-verbal communication

Ideas for Home

Early Intervention Activities, Resources & Ideas for home. 

non-verbal, babies, communication, non-verbal communication

Checklists 

Developmental Milestones & Online Checklists 

non-verbal, babies, communication, non-verbal communication

Games & Toys 

Educational Games and Toys.  With Printables!

non-verbal, babies, communication, non-verbal communication

Books 

Educational Book resources with Printables 

You may also be interested in...

non-verbal, babies, communication, non-verbal communication

Take a look at our amazing new eProgram!

A Speech and Language Developmental Program that helps get your 

 Toddler Talking & Learning 

From First Words To Long Sentences

Toddler Talk has over 70 VIDEOS - Videos include: Video tutorials with personal voice over, video examples & explanations from Dr Sandra McMahon PhD, Video demonstrations of games and activities taken from actual speech therapy sessions. Video explanations of goals of each activity and explanations at three different ability levels.

With Toddler Talk Receive Resources.... Worksheets, printables, information printouts, scripts, resources.........

Toddler Talk is Available for you to start right NOW!: Delivered to you through the SpeechNet Portal. This educational Online eProgram is available to you right NOW 24/7!

Work through the program when it suits you no appointments needed. You will have full 24/7 access to the eProgram for 12 months from the date of purchase. Let's get started TODAY!

Why is my 2 year old not talking yet in sentences?

Why is my 2 year old not talking yet in sentences?

2 year old not talking yet, 2 year old, sentences

2 year old not talking yet in sentences even though saying lots of single words?  A large expressive vocabulary burst is typically seen when a child is between 18 months and when they become a two year old. Once approximately 50 spontaneously spoken words are reached, toddlers tend to begin talking in 2 and 3 words sentences. The 50 words however have to come from a range of word categories from things (mum’s bag), actions (mum eat), describing words (yukky) to social modifiers (Ta, here, me, Hello) for sentences to emerge.

Expressive language in the baby period  is known for the start of the first set of clear words that can be functionally used by the baby to Express themselves. Expressive language in the toddler period is then about expanding this spoken vocabulary and it is the beginning of children joining words together to portray more meanings than single words on their own can do. If a two year old is not saying 2 words in a sentence or phrase they may be at risk of being a late talker.

2 year old not talking yet, 2 year old, sentences

Some two year old children can have 50 or even 500 words but are still not using 2-words or 3 words in sentences. When this happens, it is important to consider:

Speech Intelligibility

Expressive language in the toddler period can be closely linked to early speech development. Some children find it difficult to build their sentences when people are not even understanding their single word attempts. Speech delays can impact on grammatical development which is an important aspect of expressive language development. For example, the /s/ sound is important for sentence development. The /s/ sound indicates how many (cat vs cats), ownership (Dad’s keys, tells us an action is happening “The boy’s running”). While two year old children might not be able to say the /s/ sound 100% correctly, they will often have an approximation of the sound to mark grammatical words.

Communicative Intent

One question to ask is whether the two year old or older child is using their spoken words for a range of social needs (e.g., asking questions, telling you things, commenting, rejecting, requesting objects, requesting actions). As social language builds the children need to develop sentences to help express their new ideas. If a child’s social language is not developing (e.g., early signs of autism) to age expected levels, they may not have the drive to build sentence skills.

The Type or Range of Words Being Said May Be Too Narrow

If a 2 year old or older children only say “thing words” (i.e. names objects such as nose, eyes, ball, cup, table, car) it is hard for them to formulate early sentences. You can express a meaning of ownership with two thing words (e.g., car key) however without action words, describing words, pronouns it is hard for them to build their expressive language skills. Just saying “ball” can not express as much even 2-word sentences (kick ball, my ball, bounce ball, big ball, where ball).

How can I check if these skills are developing enough to support a Toddler’s Expressive Language Skills?

  • Speech Development - Check out our speech sounds checklists here
  • Communication Intent - This is covered in our Speech Therapy Based Online Program FOCUS ON TODDLER TALK! 
  • Number & Range of Spoken WordsThe spoken word counter has pictures and videos that you can show your toddler to see just how many words they have. This online checklist will add up the number of words across a range categories so you can see if your toddler is using a range of words they can use to combine into sentences.
  • If you are concerned about a child’s expressive language development it is important to talk to your doctor, paediatrician and/or a child speech pathologist.
2 year old not talking yet, 2 year old, sentences

Online Program

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

2 year old not talking yet, 2 year old, sentences

Contact Us 

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

2 year old not talking yet, 2 year old, sentences

Ideas for Home

Early Intervention Activities, Resources & Ideas for home. 

2 year old not talking yet, 2 year old, sentences

Checklists 

Developmental Milestones & Online Checklists 

2 year old not talking yet, 2 year old, sentences

Games & Toys 

Educational Games and Toys.  With Printables!

2 year old not talking yet, 2 year old, sentences

Books 

Educational Book resources with Printables 

You may also be interested in...

2 year old not talking yet, 2 year old, sentences

Take a look at our amazing new eProgram!

A Speech and Language Developmental Program that helps get your 

 Toddler Talking & Learning 

From First Words To Long Sentences

Toddler Talk has over 70 VIDEOS - Videos include: Video tutorials with personal voice over, video examples & explanations from Dr Sandra McMahon PhD, Video demonstrations of games and activities taken from actual speech therapy sessions. Video explanations of goals of each activity and explanations at three different ability levels.

With Toddler Talk Receive Resources.... Worksheets, printables, information printouts, scripts, resources.........

Toddler Talk is Available for you to start right NOW!: Delivered to you through the SpeechNet Portal. This educational Online eProgram is available to you right NOW 24/7!

Work through the program when it suits you no appointments needed. You will have full 24/7 access to the eProgram for 12 months from the date of purchase. Let's get started TODAY!

Toddler Activities: Encouraging Questions Through Play

toddler activities encouraging questions

Toddler Activities: Encouraging Questions Through Play

toddler activities encouraging questions
 FOCUS: Train sets
Speech PathologistDr Sandra McMahon PhD

Toddler Activities - encouraging questions through play.  Wooden and metal toys resembling trains were first made in Europe in the 1860s and they have never stop delighting generation after generation ever since. They are likely to be in nearly every speech therapy and early child care centre.

Why? The answer is easy. 

Train sets no matter if they are wooden or electronic are great fun and bursting with learning potential. From fine motor skills (putting tracks and trains together), first sound play (choo choo), complex ideas (“if we put the bridge here we can attach the curved track so that ……”) and imaginative play (“Let’s pretend the train didn’t stop at the station so …..”).  There are video series and books galore about trains allowing you to role play the stories watched or read. 

oBSERVE

How interested is your child in trains in general. What is it that they like? Is it that they like to build the set, watch the trains go, imaginative play, the love of the train characters? Is it all of these. By watching what type of play with the trains encourage more vocalisations or words, you can adapt your play to match their particular interests. It can be easy for adults or older children to take over the construction of complex sets. It is important to find a balance between letting them experiment and showing them how pieces can go together.

Communicating with others

Building a train set can require “team work”. Listening to each other’s suggestions and reasons for putting pieces together is important. Countering with different ideas can be stressful for some children if they like to do things “their way”. Taking turns to decide where pieces go or demonstrating but not insisting of changes can provide chances to grow team building skills. In addition building some of these complex train sets can be hard work and so it can build resilience! Train and car sets can also encourage children to identify and find ways to “ask” for help. 

understanding of language comes before talking


Language skills can be boosted while setting up the trainsets and/or playing with he ready-made one – OH that is why it is OK that the play room is often taken up with train sets and train tables! 

toddler activities encouraging questions
Linking early literacy awareness can be achieved when setting up a train or car set.

The way to do this is by pointing out to a toddler the instructions (this is a particularly good idea when there are pictures in the instructions). Even pointing to the picture on the box that they can copy when constructing are early literacy skills.

The link to the “written material” to actions they are interested in can lay foundations for a love of reading. By seeing how good the track can be when the instructions are followed, highlights the importance of learning to ready.

Involving children in the construction is a great way to build auditory attention and the ability to follow instructions.

These can be as easy or as difficult as your toddler can cope with (e.g., “more, more track, more, pass me more track” to “If the next piece is a curved piece then put two more curved pieces together before you add a straight piece”). 

In our FREE DOWNLOAD – HOW TO GROW INSTRUCTIONS AS YOUR TODDLER’S LANGUAGE GROWS – I provide you with examples of questions from Blank Level 1 questions (Where’s the train?) to Level 4 questions (Why do you think this draw bridge has this lever?).  The download gives examples of the types of questions you can use to boost language for children aged between 2 and 5 years of age. The listed questions can be used when building trainsets, playing with them or reading a story about a train.

spoken Speech & Language

Encourage imitation of fine motor skills by modelling how to join pieces together or how to manoeuvre the trains. Imitation of motor actions (things we do with our hands) generally comes before imitation of speech or words.

Encourage exclamations (“uh Oh” when the trains fall off; “bang!” If the trains crash) and of course all the train sounds (choo choo, toot toot)

Encourage responses to questions – this might be pointing, miming, sounds, words or sentences. Some children may use a combination all of these to “answer” a question. See our FREE TRAIN DOWNLOAD to see examples of easier and harder questions you can ask. You might need to say the answers so they can copy you first!

Encourage all the words listed in the vocabulary section below

* Thing/Object words: track, engine, station, all the environmental items in sets (e.g. trees, stop signs, lights, witches hats), carriages, cargo, bridges, overpasses, ticket machine

* Action words – rolling, pushing, driving, attaching, stopping, starting, stuck, broken, joining, falling off track, jumped over

* Describing words – colours of the different trains/carriages, fast, slow, tall, short, long, curved, straight, heavy

* Maths words – size, shape, sequencing of steps (first this then second that), longer, shorter, bigger

* Pronouns/people words: he goes here, She is waiting for the train, your train/ my carriage, 

* Place words: on/off track, over bridge, under overpass, next to crossing,

*Social words: help (if they can’t work out to set up the track ), thank you/ta, please (asking for more track).

* Question words: Which track?, What is this?, Where does it go?, When the train goes over…?, Who is going to have a ride?  Our Train DOWNLOAD in the red box provides ideas of what questions you can ask the child but also praise if you child actually asks you some of these questions.

toddler activities encouraging questions

Online Program

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

toddler activities encouraging questions

Contact Us 

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

toddler activities encouraging questions

Ideas for Home

Early Intervention Activities, Resources & Ideas for home. 

toddler activities encouraging questions

Checklists 

Developmental Milestones & Online Checklists 

toddler activities encouraging questions

Games & Toys 

Educational Games and Toys.  With Printables!

toddler activities encouraging questions

Books 

Educational Book resources with Printables 

toddler activities encouraging questions

Take a look at our amazing new eProgram!

A Speech and Language Developmental Program that helps get your 

 Toddler Talking & Learning 

From First Words To Long Sentences

Toddler Talk has over 70 VIDEOS - Videos include: Video tutorials with personal voice over, video examples & explanations from Dr Sandra McMahon PhD, Video demonstrations of games and activities taken from actual speech therapy sessions. Video explanations of goals of each activity and explanations at three different ability levels.

With Toddler Talk Receive Resources.... Worksheets, printables, information printouts, scripts, resources.........

Toddler Talk is Available for you to start right NOW!: Delivered to you through the SpeechNet Portal. This educational Online eProgram is available to you right NOW 24/7!

Work through the program when it suits you no appointments needed. You will have full 24/7 access to the eProgram for 12 months from the date of purchase. Let's get started TODAY!

SHARE THIS BLOG

With other Parents & Educators.

Tell us in the Comments your ideas for train sets.

Click on the links below to view some of our favourite train sets available from Amazon*.!

LEGO Duplo Train Bridge and Tracks 10872 Playset Toy Melissa & Doug Stacking Train - Classic Wooden Toddler Toy (18 pcs)

NB: *These are just some examples of train sets and are affiliated links. 

Toddler speech therapy activities with trains

Melissa & Doug Stackable Train: Talking with Trains: Sounds. words, questions and more with trains

Toddler talking with Train sets

Everyone can play together with these trains

Red Flags for Receptive Language Delays in Toddlers

Red Flags for Receptive Language Delays in Toddlers

receptive language delays toddlers

As we noted receptive language delays in toddlers are often missed until they start more formal schooling. To really know if a toddler is understanding spoken words, it is important to recognise when they are being good “guesses” rather than showing that they truly understand a word.

Receptive language delays in toddlers can be masked by their clever “detective skills” of reading the clues around them. Toddlers can guess the understanding of words from clues such as:

The situation

(e.g., “come up” as you pick up the keys and get up to move)

Hand Gestures

(e.g., “get the ball” as you point to the object you were playing with; “give it to me” when you have your hand out stretch to receive the object).

Your eye pointing

(e.g., you may glance at the thing you want them to show you)

Body gestures

(e.g., You may give clues by shaking your head “no” as you ask “Is it a dog?)

Obvious next steps in a routine

(e.g., “Shoes off” when you are getting ready for a bath. Are they following the spoken words in the direction or just “understand” what is expected in that situation)?

receptive language delays toddlers

Because of their clever ability to read clues, many parents, without realising, attribute higher understanding skills then they really have.

Looking at the developmental milestones for your child’s age will assist in thinking about whether there are receptive language delays in toddlers. Remember the ages listed below are estimates and also very generous.

These are RED FLAGS meaning the child should have had the skills at earlier ages than listed below.
Flag: Not doing what you ask a lot of the time/ Not Following Directions

1 year old

Not Following 1 step Directions

e.g., Give me the spoon

2-3 year olds

Not Following 2 step Directions

e.g., Find your shoes and give me the bag

Flag: Understanding of words is poor or not progressing (poor Receptive Vocabulary)

1 year old

Doesn’t correctly point or look at named everyday objects, toys or pictures

e.g., I see a bird

2-3 year olds

Doesn’t point or look at less common items

e.g., Find the elephant

Flag: Understanding of Concepts is poor or not progressing

1 year old

Doesn’t complete instructions with early concepts

e.g., Put it in vs on

Flag: Ignores or Poor at Answering Questions

1 year old

Not answering simple Yes/No Questions with head shakes

e.g., More cheese?

2-3 year olds

Ignores or makes errors that involve later concepts

e.g., Put it next to vs under the toy car

receptive language delays toddlers

Receptive language skills are essential for communication because they are foundation skills for learning in all areas of development. Children will present with expressive language difficulties if receptive language delays are not address early.

How to help with Receptive Language Delays in Toddlers

Monitor understanding stills and not just the toddler’s “talking” skills. Keep the “learning” fun and part or your everyday moments. As Toddlers are learning from all their interactions with you grab, some ideas from our “language Moments” video tips for parents, apps and free downloadable ideas.

receptive language delays toddlers

Online Program

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

speech and language

Contact Us 

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

receptive language delays toddlers

Ideas for Home

Early Intervention Activities, Resources & Ideas for home. 

when do children start to talk

Checklists 

Developmental Milestones & Online Checklists 

receptive language delays toddlers

Games & Toys 

Educational Games and Toys.  With Printables!

receptive language delays toddlers

Books 

Educational Book resources with Printables 

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