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Speech therapists recommended books and activities: January 2024

Updated: Jan 3

Our monthly spotlight on Brooklyn and Lower Manhattan community events, books, or toys we love as speech therapists.

Community- Based activities in Brooklyn this January for kids:

brooklyn bridge

Rolie Polie Guacamole

Where: Jalopy Theatre

Neighborhood: Columbia Street Waterfront, very close to Red Hook, Carroll Gardens and Cobble Hill, Brooklyn

When: January 6, 2024

Highlights: Many kids are drawn to the rhythm and melody of music. Music is a powerful tool for capturing a child's attention. There are also many benefits of incorporating music into learning- it often incorporates concepts such as rhyming and alliteration and introduces new vocabulary. Gestalt Language Processors, who are also referred to as Intonation Babies, are particularly attuned to the rhythm and intonation of music. Oftentimes initial gestalts used by Gestalt Language Processors are from musical experiences. Watching this Brooklyn- based group sounds like a fun activity to start the new year!

Nets Basketball Game with a Team Roster coloring book giveaway for kids

Where: The Barclays Center

Neighborhood: Park Slope/Prospect Heights/Fort Greene

When: January 7, 2024

Highlights: The Greyson Mathews Sensory Room is a space at The Barclays Center for people who would benefit from a quieter, cozier area from which to watch the game. We think this space would be ideal for kids who find loud noises and crowds overwhelming, but want to experience a sporting event!

BAM Kids Celebrates MLK Day- Free Art Event

Where: Peter Jay Sharp Building, BAM

Neighborhood: Fort Greene, Brooklyn

When: January 15, 2024

Highlights: Art is a creative and sensory experience that many children gravitate towards. This free event provides an opportunity for children to engage in art activities as a way of learning about acts of service. Learning about the experiences of others builds empathy and perspective-taking.

Space Club NYC- Indoor Playground

Neighborhood: Greenpoint, Brooklyn

When: ongoing, they are open 24/7, 365

Highlights: I've had a few clients rave about Space recently. It's an indoor playground with a bouncy house, ball pit, and swings, among many other activities. Space Club invites kids and adults of all ages and offers classes for members.

A simple language-rich activity we love:

Scavengar Hunt

Scavenger Hunts!

We've created a free scavenger hunt for you to try this month. Scavenger hunts are a language-rich and engaging activity for kids. Some language concepts that can be incorporated into a scavenger hunt are:

  • Introducing new vocabulary

  • Using new and increasingly complex describing language (e.g., "We found a straight slide, maybe we can also find a spiral slide.")

  • Problem-solving (e.g., "We haven't found a bridge, where should we walk to find it?")

  • Download it here!

Book Recommendation:

Mind in the Making book cover

Mind in the Making: Seven Essential Life Skills Every Child Needs

This book shares research-based information on supporting children in developing "life skills." Meghan initially read this in her second year of teaching pre-kindergarten and has referred back to different chapters in years after. Each chapter offers suggestions for activities to do with children to target skills, allowing for immediate implementation of the strategies shared. The chapters on executive functions and communication are two of Meghan's favorites, as a speech therapist!


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