Those pre-Holiday toy catalogs too overwhelming? Keep up with us here at District Speech and Language Therapy as we guide you through the stacks of junk mail and examine the toys and games your child will enjoy and learn from this season. Today, we celebrate our countdown’s half way mark (ALREADY?!) with another great and engaging toy that promotes your child’s speech and language! This Week: Alpha-Bots We were recently introduced to this toy by members of the special education team at Two Rivers Charter School (Thanks Shannon and Guye!). On first look, it just appears to be colorful letters of the alphabet… BUT these letters are EXTRAORDINARY! They transform into……ROBOTS. We know. Our minds were blown as well. After using this toy in a couple of sessions with our kiddos, we quickly learned that it is incredibly engaging and interactive AND promotes more than just speech and language development. Alpha-Bots is amazing because it does the following: \tPromotes early literacy skills (e.g., letter/sound corresponded, letter knowledge). \tEncourages development of fine motor skills since children have to manipulate the letters with their hands to turn them into robots. \tPromotes cognitive development, as children have to problem-solve and use critical thinking skills to manipulate the letters into robots. We have used this toy with children as young as 2 and as old as 10. At home or in the clinic, you can do the following with your client, student or child: \tArticulation: If you are working on articulation of a specific sound, you can use the Alpha-Bot in conjunction with a speech production practice and increase the child’s print awareness and letter sound correspondence, in addition to articulation. More bang for your buck! \tPretend Play: Once the child turns a couple of letters into robots, they can pretend to be robots protecting the planet. \tExpressive and Receptive Language: Play “the teacher game”. Tell your child that they are going to be the teacher and give you directions. The directions can be “Pick up the red E and the blue B”. This will encourage your child’s use of adjectives (e.g., colors) and their use of expanded utterances. Once you have followed all the directions, tell them it’s your turn to be teacher and give them the directions, either simple or more complex, depending on your child’s level of comprehension. Now, we’ll go on our way transforming into next week’s blog post…on to #6! Have a great week! If you live in the D.C. area and have concerns about your child’s language or articulation and would like to seek additional help beyond what your school based speech language pathologist may be able to provide, visit https://districtspeech.com for more information on our assessment and therapy services for children of all ages.