Yesterday, I shared about the one-on-one time I was able to get with my oldest son this past week. Today, I’m sharing how I also spent some time with my daughter. You don’t know this, but my daughter (3 y/o) has been going to speech therapy twice a week, for a few months now. In that time, I’ve been looking for ways to help her at home and I finally found a “tool” that she enjoys!
~I received a sample to help facilitate this post. This post also contains affiliate links, in which I will receive a small commission, at no additional cost to you. As always, opinions are 100% my own.~
It’s been about 8-9 months ago that I started to become concerned about my daughter’s speech development. Don’t get me wrong, she talks all the time. The problem, though, is that it’s often very difficult to understand what exactly she’s saying. It’s usually a case of mom and dad having to translate for her because we’re the only ones who can decipher what she’s trying to say.
She has difficulty with enunciating certain letter sounds, like s, c, k and z, just to name a few. Instead of their actual sounds, she uses the “h” sound in their place. Her older brother plays soccer, so just imagine her saying “soccer” as “hohher.” We understand what she’s trying to say, but no one else does. And there are still times that we don’t understand what she’s trying to say. It can be very frustrating for everyone.
After going through the motions with the pediatrician and insurance process, she’s been going to speech therapy for about 3 months. The progress is slow, but we’re staying positive about it. In addition to the therapy sessions, I knew that I needed to find some way to help her at home.
The therapists have given me some printable tools, but as soon as I pull them out, my daughter knows that I’m trying to help her and she shuts down. She’d rather do it at “school” (that’s what she calls speech therapy) and not at home.
One day, I overheard one of the therapists speaking to another parent about something called Hot Dots by Educational Insights. It’s a tool that they use for older kids in speech therapy, so I thought I’d look into it just to see what it’s about. To my surprise, I found that there’s also Hot Dots Jr., tailored to preschool, pre-K and kindergarten aged kids!
Well, I got one – Hot Dots Jr., Pete the Cat Preschool Rocks! – and my daughter loves it! This is actually the Preschool Level 2 version, but she’s doing a great job.
It has over 200 interactive lessons on letters and sounds, counting and numbers (up to 10), patterns, sequencing, shapes, critical thinking and more. She has been flying through everything except the letters and sounds, but that’s what we’re working on the most.
I love that every lesson or question is an opportunity to help my daughter with her enunciation. Even if the task isn’t letter or sound related, we’re still talking and practicing words that will help her.
Counting is a great example. Just properly enunciating the numbers from 1-10 is a challenge, so every activity is helping in some way. The fact that she’s learning more than just speech related stuff, is just icing on the cake.
Oh, and the fun part for her, is the Pete the Cat pen. You see, I ask her a question from the activity book and the answers are multiple choice. She places Pete the Cat in the answer circle and if the answer if correct, his eyes glow green and he makes a fun little sound. If she chooses the wrong answer, his eyes glow red and he plays an incorrect answer tune. Pete the Cat also pops up in the activities from time to time.
At this point, I’m ready to buy more Hot Dots Jr. books! It’s a fun tool that I’m using to help my daughter with her speech and repetition is key, so I don’t want to lose momentum. I want her to know that we are here to support her as she conquers this hurdle. Besides, one-on-one time with my kids is something I will always cherish.