Joanne Laflamme & Valerie Downs- Speech and Language

Dear Families,

Spring has sprung! Here at Goodyear Early Childhood Center spring is an exciting time filled with learning about changes to the environment; how plants and animals grow and develop; and new activities for warmer weather.  As always, we remain committed to supporting you and your children as they develop and achieve their speech and language goals.

The warmer weather means new activities that also support speech and language development for you and your children to enjoy.  It's time to enjoy being outside, and there are many ways you can encourage speech and language development by looking around your yard, playing at the park, or digging around in the garden.  Some ideas include labeling items on a nature walk, talking about what you and your children are planting, and sharing books about all the changes spring brings.  

This page of the Killingly Public Schools website is a great resource for books, fun activities, and parent strategies that encourage communication, language, and speech development.  However, the most important tool for encouraging communication remains engaging your children in play and conversation.  So, be sure to enjoy some time exploring their interests and sharing toys and books.  Use the maroon buttons on the right to access helpful resources.  

If you have any questions, please reach out to us at  Happy spring, and know that we are so happy to continue supporting you and your children.

Best regards,

Joanne Laflamme, M.S., CCC-SLP                                           Valerie Downs, C-SLPA

Spring and Summer Books and Activities

Click on the underlined book titles for read aloud experiences.

Over and Under the Pond by Kate Messner - read aloud

Up in the Garden, and Down in the Dirt by Kate Messner - read aloud

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

Froggy Learns to Swim by Jonathan London   

Llama Llama Learns to Swim by Anna Dewdney 

Summer by Alice Low  

Maizy Makes Lemonade by Lucy Collins 

Summer Days and Nights by Wong Herbert Yee   

Pinkalicious and the Pink Drink by Victoria Karr  


Scavenger Hunts for Speech and Language

Spring's warmer weather and vibrant colors open a whole new set of things to see and do, and you can even take language learning outside.  Scavenger hunts are very popular with preschool students, and doing them together provides many communication opportunities; having a conversation, investigating nature, and labeling new spring items.  You can include articulation, vocabulary development, comparing and contrasting, answering “wh” questions, and more skills in the activity.  Click the buttons below for directions and  printable scavenger hunt sheets to use in this fun and versatile activity. 

Scavenger Hunting at Home for Speech

Scavenger Hunting in Nature for Speech

Phonological and Phonemic Awareness - A Foundation for Communication

When houses are built, they need a solid foundation.  If you think of language and communication as a house, phonemic and phonological awareness make-up its foundation.  They need to be strong, or the best efforts to build the house will fail.

Phonemic awareness is the ability to hear and use individual speech sounds.  Phonological awareness goes one step further to also include hearing and playing with larger units of sound like syllables, repeating beginning sounds, and rhyming to form meaningful language and communication.

Many traditional games and activities for young children focus on developing phonemic and phonological awareness in your child.  Think about your child's favorite games, songs, and activities, and you will likely find a tool to teach skills like rhyming, alliteration, and breaking words into syllables.  

Communication Temptations They Can't Resist!

Ever just couldn’t resist that delicious looking cookie?  That is temptation in action, and you gave in!  Communication Temptations are specially constructed situations that encourage, or tempt, your child to communicate – not grab a cookie. 

Simple things throughout your daily routine can become too tempting for your child to ignore.  For example, leave a step out of a familiar routine; fix a favorite snack, but leave it out of reach on the counter; or put a favorite toy inside a clear, difficult to open container.  Your child will be tempted to communicate about the situation with a preferred means – verbalization, vocalization, gestures, facial expression, eye gaze, picture exchange, or talker.  They’re all good!


Books That Encourage Communication

These five books have features including repetition, opposites, sequencing, following directions, and vocabulary words that support speech and language development and your child's IEP goals and objectives.  Click a button for a read-aloud of a book.

Goodnight GorillaBrown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?What's Up Duck?Little Blue TruckGoing On A Bear Hunt

Mrs. Laflamme

Speech and Language Pathologist

Mrs. Downs

Speech and Language Pathology Assistant