One of the Most Versatile Tools in an SLP’s Toolbox: Books

Books are one of my favorite tools as an SLP to use during any session. Whether I am working on articulation, language, fluency or social communication skills, incorporating literacy into a session is a great way to target goals. Not only are books one of my favorite tools to use in therapy but I believe they are one of the best activities parents can use to generalize skills we are targeting in the therapy sessions. Parents can work on developing the child’s vocabulary, phonological awareness, expanding their spoken language, using directional and spatial terms, answering wh-questions, inferring what others are thinking and feeling, and so much more!

Parents are probably doing most of these things already when they read with their child. By asking your child questions or giving them simple directions to point out items, you are working on their receptive language skills. By encouraging them to talk about all the different things they see you are strengthening their expressive language skills. Letting your child talk about what’s going on in the picture is arguably more important than the words on each page. Especially when children are too young to read, you are encouraging so much growth in imagination while modeling language use.

Reading with your child provides great moments to explicitly teach or model language in a structured setting, however to the child it doesn’t seem like work. For children who aren’t yet readers, parents can choose books that don’t have too many words on each page. Having less words on a page gives the child more of a chance to comprehend what is happening on each page, but also allows the child to talk about the pictures more. By allowing the child to use their imagination and create their own storyline it allows them to describe the characters and objects they see on each page, practice inferring what they characters are thinking or feeling, explore the setting of the story, and identify any problems or solutions that are occurring. Additionally, it allows the child to lead the activity. For older children, books are a great way to work on sequencing language, summarizing information and discussing the main idea with supporting details.

Some of my favorite books to use with preschool-aged children and kindergarteners:

  • Pete the Cat – James Dean
  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar – Eric Carle
  • The Rainbow Fish – Marcus Pfister
  • Dragons Love Tacos – Adam Rubin

When a Dragon Moves In – Jodi Moore

Some of my favorite books to use with early elementary-aged children:

  • Crazy Hair Day – Barney Saltzberg
  • How I Became a Pirate- Melinda Long
  • Where the Wild Things Are – Maurice Sendak
  • The Good Egg – Jory John

These are just some of my go-to books that I have been using most recently, but websites like the Conscious Kid and the Brown Bookshelf are great places to find book recommendations that are engaging and representative of diverse cultures. In addition to finding new reads to have at home, since we are in the age of technology, I have found that read aloud videos are another great resource to incorporate literature into different activities. One of my favorites read aloud sites is Storyline Online or you can find a wide variety of options on YouTube.

#SpeechTherapy #TherapyMaterials #Books #LanguageDevelopment #Language&Literacy #TreatmentPlanning #AtHomeTips