Give us a 'T', give us an "A'................. read below, to see what happens in our fun filled classes!!
T is for TIME - good communication and language development doesn't happen overnight, that's why we encourage you to come along for at least 3 or 4 consecutive classes. Think about how long it takes to ride a bike or learn a musical instrument... Try to spend a few minutes each day with your little one either reading, talking or playing a game to boost their listening and attention skills. Repetition and explanation isn't wasted time - it's how our little ones learn and develop.
A is for ALLITERATION - the use of the same sound at the start of words that appear together e.g. Charlie Chimp Chews. It's one of the things we cover in our Sparklers class (for 3 & 4 yrs) It's a great way to encourage initial sounds in a fun way. See if you can think of some at home with your little one...
L is for LISTENING - a key skill we encourage throughout Talking Tots. Good listening and attention skills make it easier for children to develop confident communication and tackle more challenging pre-literacy activities. Listening effectively can give your child a head start at school but is often a skill teachers say is lacking in the early years.
K is for KEEN -We love working with pre-schoolers as they're like little sponges, so keen to learn and discover new things. It makes our job easier and is great to see their excitement when they get an activity right, learn a new word or just get confident enough to collect their sticker! We're not naive enough to think this lasts forever (it's usually the opposite when they hit teenage years!) but as parents, grandparents and carers we think it's our responsibility to keep them keen for as long as possible.
I is for ILLUSTRATIONS - we have a lovely illustrator who produces all the artwork at Talking Tots. This makes our language activities even more engaging with bright colours and simple pictures. Look out for these ones in a couple of weeks when we'll be introducing word associations and categories.
N is for NATIONAL - Talking Tots is a national organisation, founded by paediatric speech and language therapists,with links to speech and language experts and communication charities like ICAN.
G is for GAMES - you'll find plenty of these at our Talking Tots classes. From the usual Ready, Steady, Go game (with different toys and props every week!) and Totsy's Ball to our unique language activities. Plus we've always got lots of ideas for games to try at home on our Facebook page and Totsy's blog.
T is for for TALK - every child is different but around their first birthday you're likely to hear their first words. Around 18 months, they'll have about 20 words for common things, used every day e.g. milk, bye-bye, bus. The sound of these words will still be child like and you may need to listen carefully to hear them clearly. Even at this age a child can understand many more words than they can say so keep talking to them.
O is for OPPORTUNITY - would you like to help children communicate confidently and encourage their listening and attention skills? Are you keen to have a better work/life balance to suit your family's needs? Have you considered a Talking Tots franchise? You can find more details on our website under the 'Franchise' tab.
T is for TIDY UP TIME - at the start of classes we have 5-10mins of free play until everyone arrives and gets settled. Then it's 'TIDY UP TIME' and all the little ones put away the toys and join the circle to start class. It can take a bit of time for children to get used to putting toys away (and again at the end of each activity) but it's a great way to encourage their listening and attention skills. Plus it helps with sharing and turn-taking. After a few weeks they're quite happy to tidy up - if only it was that easy at home too!
S is for SPEECH SOUNDS - we introduce these in our Sparklers class (for 3/4 year olds). We encourage recognising sounds rather than actual letters (which tends to come later at primary school). One of our favourite games is the 'P for Pirate' and 'S for Sock' game. And our sounds may be at the start or end of words. These pre-literacy skills help prepare your little ones for school and encourage concentrated or group listening.
A BIG thank you to Jen, our franchisee in Edinburgh for this post!