Little’s “Lovies”

Board books that “tell” familiar childhood songs are fantastic additions to your infant and toddler’s reading routine because they provide opportunities for early language use within a fun and predictable routine. One especially good song board book is Ten in the Bed by Penny Dale.

In this sweet tale, a child tosses his stuffed animals out of bed, only to find that he misses them once they are gone. While reading this book to your child, leave out words—in particular, “roll over” and “fell out”—and see if he can fill in what is missing.

Our children’s stuffed animals and blankets play an important role in our daily lives. However, these animals often have names that are challenging for young toddlers to say due to still-developing speech skills and challenging sounds combinations. By giving simple names to your child’s favorite “lovies,” you are adding more variety to your young child’s repertoire of sound combinations and increased opportunities for spontaneous language use. Below is a list of names comprised of early developing sounds and sound combinations I use to help my clients feel successful naming and talking about their various lovies.

Once Ten in the Bed is familiar to your child, “play out” the song with your child’s own stuffed animals. Leave off words of the song, or the stuffed animal’s name, and wait to see if you child will fill in the missing words on his own. Be prepared to try this activity several times over a few days and watch your toddler’s enthusiasm and endurance build.

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