Today's Christmas idea comes from Melissa & Doug. No, they are not my best friends (although that would be nice). Melissa & Doug is a company that makes all kinds of wooden children's toys. They have wooden puzzles, fake food sets, trains, etc. I'm going to talk about my favorite M & D toy - their sound blocks!!
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Pictured here, we have two of their sets - animals & transportation. The animals sounds included are: dog, pig, cow, rooster, sheep, and horse. The transportation sounds included are: fire engine, motorcycle, ambulance, tug boat, airplane, and train.  These toys are great for pre talkers, early language users, or kids working on listening comprehension.

Read below for ideas!

Pre talkers and early language: the child can request which animal or transportation sound he wants to hear. If your child is a pre talker, then pointing or picking up the block is sufficient. Once an animal or transportation vehicle has been chosen you can tell the child the name of it, color, where you see it, what it eats (animals only), etc. there is so much language! You could even ask your early language user what he/she knows.  If your child can put together simple puzzles, then have your child put the blocks together appropriately.

Listening comprehension: first, you always want to TEACH the sounds before you start quizzing the child. Let the child listen to one of the sounds and tell him/her the name of the animal or vehicle he/she is listening to. It may take a few weeks for your child to really learn the sounds and language needed. Once that has happened, then you are ready to test his/ her knowledge. Have your child close his/her eyes and play a sound. The child will say what he/she thinks he/she hears. By opening his/her eyes, the child is able to see if his/her answer was correct.

These toys are great for pre talkers, early language users, or kids working on listening comprehension.

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