There are so many wonderful children’s books out there which provide numerous opportunities for speech-language enrichment. We at Susan Cohn and Associates have decided to review some of our all-time favorites and start a Children’s Book Review Series. Many of these books were around when we were young children so we will call them ‘classics’ since they stand the test of time :). It is always our goal to provide our readers with ideas which are low-cost/free and easily obtainable. To celebrate summer officially here and hopefully many visits to the library in store, we thought now is a perfect time to launch this series.
I love books about Spot, the dog, written by Eric Hill! They are traditional lift-the-flap stories great for targeting many speech and language elements! These books are most appropriate for preschool age, but kindergarten age children often enjoy them too. I’ve included ideas to enhance your child’s language and speech when reading “Where’s Spot?”
Language and speech elements that can be addressed are:
•Vocabulary (animal names)
•Prepositions (in the box, under the bed)
•Answering Yes/No questions (“Is he under the bed?”)
•Answering WH questions (“Who was under the bed?” “Where was the monkey hiding?”)
•Asking questions (Drag out the title to “Where is Spot?” and ask it on each page. Then each page asks “Is he ___?”).
•Concepts (big/little, in/out, under/over, behind/in front)
•/s/ and /s/ blends: Spot, snake, s-s-s (snake sound), Sally (Spot’s mom)
•/b/: box, basket, book, blanket, baby, bag, bear
Ask questions and use what the child already knows to add to the discussion, assisting the child in understanding and enjoying the book.
1. Talk to your child about hiding. Look around the room and ask, “Where are places you like to hide in the house?”
2. Look at the cover of the book together: “Is the dog looking for Spot?” “Where are places Spot could hide?” This is a great activity to practice predicting. Also when looking at the cover, discuss the title, author, and illustrator, and what those terms means.
3. Talk about colors, the ones you see on the cover.
1. As you go through the book, ask, “Would this be a good place for Spot to hide?” Have your child lift the flaps.
2. Talk about the animals hiding behind the flaps: What are they doing? How would they sound when they said “no”? Why do you think Spot is hiding?
3. Before you turn a page, ask “Where could Spot hide next?”
4. Talk about the colors: “Is Spot behind the blue door? Is he in the pink piano?”
5. Your clocks and closets may look different from those in the book; talk about the differences, which things might be the same.
1. Play Hide & Seek with items from the book, using either real objects or pictures. Have your child close their eyes, and then hide Spot in different places (under the table, by the chair, behind the sofa, in the box, under the box, etc.). Encourage your child to answer where the item is using appropriate prepositions (e.g., “He’s under the blanket” or “I think he’s in the box”).
Next time you play hide-and-seek, relate it back to the story. “Remember when we read about Spot…”
2. Re-create the story with a stuffed animal, finding new places for “Spot” to hide. You can hide different toys so they’d say “no” when your child tried their locations in her search for Spot.
3. Make a pop-up picture by drawing something and taping a flap over it.
4. Set up a simple obstacle course for your child to follow. Have them go through the tunnel, over the blocks, behind the chairs, under the table, etc.
5. Also check out Spot’s official website: Fun With Spot
Ready, Set, Read (and talk) together!! ~ S
In Memory of Author Eric Hill who passed away June 6, 2014
Eric Hill 1927-2014