Vacation Speech Ideas

The following is a link from North Shore Pediatrics Therapy that has great speech/language ideas for the holidays! Since cooking and baking happens so often this time of year why not have your preschooler help. It is a fun way to incorporate speech and language skills such as sequencing, following directions, and recalling information from various recipes. Enjoy!


Stair Climbing Tips

General stair climbing milestones are as follows:
1 year of age: child begins creeping up the stairs on hands and knees
2 years of age: child begins walking up and down non-alternating with a railing or hands held
3 years of age: child begins ascending stairs alternating feet with a railing, descends non-alternating with a railing
4 years of age: child alternates up and down the stairs without support

It is important to remember that every child develops at their own pace and there is a wide variety of typical development. Stair climbing requires many areas of physical development including: balance, coordination, strength, body awareness, and motor planning. Each of these areas has to be well developed to allow for safe, coordinated ascent and descent of stairs with fluidity of movement.

The following are some tips to facilitate stair climbing if you feel your child could use some extra support and encouragement:

1. Practice single limb balance activities such as standing on one foot while playing imitation games, stand with one foot on a step stool or pillow to practice shifting weight more onto one leg, stepping on bubbles, marching, etc.
2. Practice step-ups on a low step stool. Place a puzzle board on one side of the step stool and pieces on the other so your child must obtain a piece, step up onto the step stool, then down to place the piece in the board. Repeat until puzzle is complete. This can be done with any toy with multiple pieces.
3. Place stickers or footprints on the stairs to encourage foot placement and reciprocal movement.
4. Simple verbal cues are often helpful. Some examples include counting “one, two”, “step, step”, “switch”, etc. Find what simple cue works best for your child.
5. Some children respond to tactile input. Try securing fine sandpaper or felt footprints to the stairs and have the child climb barefoot.
6. Place two different stickers on your child’s thighs, i.e. a car and a dinosaur sticker. Cue the child by saying “car leg, dinosaur leg, car leg, dinosaur leg…” to encourage reciprocal motion. This will provide them with both auditory and visual cues.

The most important thing to remember is not to push the child, but to praise and encourage them.