Holiday Gift Guide For Kids With Special Needs (Part 5 of 5)

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By Nancianne Chin

As we round up our 5-part blog series we take a look at gifts that focus on literacy, an incredibly important life-skill. We’ve complied some great reads for children of different ages. But don’t worry we haven’t forgotten about the parents – we encourage you to check out  a couple highly-recommended books in Part 3 of our holiday blog series.

While shopping for gifts this holiday season, remember that children learn through their play. Which means parents don’t need to feel guilty if they choose to sneak a little bit of education onto the Christmas wish lists. Here are a few gift suggestions for targeting literacy.

Ages 0-2 

For children ages 0-2 literacy is about exposure to books and letters. Visit the 0-2 year old section of your local book store and you’ll find Peek-a-Boo books with flaps to move for any child who likes exploring, and Touch and Feel books to support children who enjoy a sensory experience. These are great for showing little ones that books can be fun. To build on alphabet familiarity choose toys that sing the alphabet, or giant blocks with letters on each one will help your child learn while they build, bang and chew away.

Peekaboo
Peek-a-Boo books

Ages 3-5

For ages 3-5, kids are learning the alphabet and that letters make sounds. Try LeapFrog Alphabet Pal Caterpillar for a many footed friend. A letter sits on each one of this caterpillar’s feet and says the letter’s sound when pushed. LeapFrog also makes Word Whammer Fridge Phonics Set. Magnetic letters that move around, and can be placed in the set to sound out your letters, read your words, and provide positive verbal praise.

LeapFrog-Alphabet-Pal-Caterpillar-Colors-May-Vary-3
The Leap Frog Alphabet Pal Caterpillar

Older Children

In kindergarten, literacy ability ranges across the classroom. Some kids are learning letter names and sounds, others are learning site words, and sounding out 3 letter words, while some kids will be reading simple sentences. Boggle Junior and Scrabble Junior are nice games for this age group. Both involve searching for letters that match the given 3-4 letter words with their brightly coloured pictures.

Boggle Jr.
Boggle Jr. is a great game for older children!

Books continue to be good for all age groups. Some kids prefer stories, while others prefer pictures of items of interest. Try a book on pigs for the piggy lover, a book with many tractors for the car lover, or Charlie Brown’s Encyclopedia for the child who generally likes to learn. Starting the tradition now of giving your child a book now will definitely benefit them today, tomorrow and in the future.

Speech Therapy & Literacy

This post was written by Nancianne Chin.

Most of us are familiar with Speech-Language Pathologists (S-LP’s) as professionals who teach children how to pronounce that ‘r’ sound, or help late talkers begin talking. Did you know that S-LPs help children with reading skills too?

S-LPs have received extensive training in sound awareness, which means they can help children learn to rhyme, count beats in words, blend sounds, and connect letters with the sounds those letters make. They also help support story comprehension, retelling of stories, coming up with language to describe pictures, and identifying the main components of a story. The tools and methods used by SL-Ps are in line with research from the National Institute for Child Health and Human Development, which determined the best way to teach children to read.

Summer is the perfect time for your child to work on their literacy skills to ensure that they are ready for the new school year. The S-LPs at Canoe Therapy are excited to offer intensive 1-week groups this summer for kids in JK-grade 1 where they’ll practice and improve their reading comprehension skills in a fun, exciting environment! Groups are 2 hours per day for 5 days and run Monday-Friday over select weeks this coming July and August.

Contact Us

If you are interested in signing up for or have any questions about our summer programs or any of our other therapies, please contact our Burlington clinic. Our team of speech pathologists is dedicated and passionate about helping children grow and succeed. Our comprehensive approach ensures that your child will receive the best treatment possible.