I love when people contact me about how they use my products. Going to ASHA this year was so affirming. Tons of SLPS told me how my songs, books, and Blast Off Board products have been crucial to their work with young children. Thank you to all who share your feedback with me.
One person who has used social media to share my Blast Off Board products is Krystle Garza, a pediatric bilingual speech-language pathologist from Texas. She recently wrote a review of my board and language set. After a few months of using it, she chose the Blast Off Board as one of her favorites of 2022. Thank you Krystle, for being an incredible advocate for helping kids!
To listen to Krystle’s favorites, go to her You Tube channel, Sweet Talk SLP, here. She discusses my board at 3:05 minutes. You can also follow her on Instagram at Sweettalkslp.
Have you tried the Blast Off Board?
Here are some suggestions that will help you get the most of our Blast Off Board. (Attention: The Blast Off Board has two sides, which will be referred to as the Matching side and the Push side. We also have additional overlays and magnets that can be used with this board. Please go to our website, here, to see the additional overlay/magnet sets).
- Following a Point – Does your child need to work on visually following you when you point to things? If so, start by pointing to a magnet piece on the Matching side. Push the piece out, so that it flies to your child. Keep pointing to the pieces one by one as your child follows your pointing. Give your child a basket or bucket to catch the pieces as they fly.
- Learning to Point – Does your child need practice pointing to objects upon request or pointing to get someone to look at something in their environment? As you demonstrate how to push the pieces out of the board, it won’t be long before your child will want to start pushing the pieces out instead of watching you do it.
- Continue working on having your child follow your pointing. Turn the board to the Push side and point to the picture you want your child to push. Some children have difficulty pushing the piece YOU want and not just random pointing. Children benefit from attending to the requests of others by following a point. They also benefit from responding to specific names of objects and pushing the one you are requesting such as, “Where is the monkey? or “Push the car.” Both are forms of direction following.
- After your child is able to push out the magnet pieces that you point to, give verbal directions such as, “Push the ball.” or “Where’s the ball?” If the child is not responding correctly, give the added pointing cue. Give the cues needed to be successful in pushing the one you have requested. (You may also need to help your child develop a pointing response by physically guiding his/her pointer finger.)
- Completing the matching side of the board – There are many ways to stimulate language when completing the board.
- Following directions: Hold up two magnet pieces and ask your child to “Take the______.” If he/she attempts to grab both objects, offer only the one you named.
- Teaching choice questions: Ask questions such as “Do you want the _____ or _____?” and either show the objects or give just the verbal question to see if he/she will answer with a verbal response.
Choice questions often work better to get verbalizations from children than a request to imitate words. Requests to imitate often cause a child to shut-down.
- Teaching Wh questions: “Where does this go?” is an excellent question to teach a child. Encourage your child to scan for the correct shape/color, to match the objects, and then to point to indicate the correct location.Answering “What’s this?” and imitating object names. Our song, “What’s That?” from our Song Set, Rock and Roll with a Language Goal, was written to help children learn to answer the What’s that question. Go to our website to listen to a sample of this song, so that you can incorporate this tune while naming pictures. You can also purchase this song set for 50% off by using the coupon code, Songs50, at check-out. This song set includes the What’s That? song as well as the Instrumental track to sing your own lyrics to the song.More complex questions can also be asked while completing this puzzle. Some of those include asking about functions of objects. Some questions include: “Which one flies in the sky?” and “What do we eat?
- Talk about the pictures: When looking at the Push side of the board, comment about the pictures and about what is happening in the picture. Relate the picture to your real life if possible. Tell your child about parts of the objects and how they are different or similar to other objects.
- Taking Turns with a Scarf – Does your child understand the process of taking turns talking? Using a scarf can teach children in a visual way how to take turns – the important “give and take” of communication. When the pieces are out of the board, use a scarf and put it through one of the holes on the board. Name the object and ask your child to pull it through the hole. Now your child can take his/her turn by putting a piece of the scarf through one of the holes. See how long your child will go back and forth with this “visual conversation”. This simple task can be the beginning of taking verbal turns.
- Other Activities: Put magnet pieces in a bag. Take turns pulling the pieces out of the bag. Hold each piece up to your face and name the object you are holding. This gives your child the needed visual cues to improve imitation skills. Magnetized pieces. Because these pieces are magnetized, they work nicely on the refrigerator or on a cookie sheet.
I hope you enjoy our Blast Off Board as much as I do.