Hands up who wants a free gift! I have one just for you! In a previous blog, I mentioned how important it was to encourage children to think critically and included a link to an article on critical thinking published by the Hanen Centre in Toronto (a not for profit organisation dedicated to improving communication outcomes for children). In response, the Hanen Centre have sent me a few copies of their 2016 Critical Thinking Edition calendar as a gift to my readers. Designed as an evidence based tool to support language development, this is a calendar with a difference. It is packed with language ideas and tips for parents and educators and this year, the focus is on critical thinking. We need critical thinking in order to evaluate information and make decisions. This habit can be nurtured from an early age and Hanen’s 2016 calendar shows how to do that every month of the year in situations such as pretend play, daily activities, book reading and on the go. The calendar has an extra four months and begins in September 15. For this month (October), the theme is “Keep the conversation going”. One of the suggested activities is to set up a space station and to encourage conversation on what the children would need to take into space and why they would need it. I trialled this activity over three individual sessions with three children of very different ages: Ed (3 years 10 months), Henry (5 years 2 months) and Nat (9 years) [not their real names].
The first thing we did was to look around the clinic for toys/objects that might make a suitable space station. We found quite a few, including a space monster who seems ready to gobble up one of our astronauts…
Looking for language tips, activities and ideas? This blog is for parents, speech pathologists, teachers, educators and anyone with an interest in speech and language.