I spent a couple of hours alone with the newest addition to the Mejia family, my niece. She’s only 3 weeks old, but I can’t help but think about her future.
“Do you want to be a news anchor, Delilah? Or some type of therapist like your mom and auntie?” I asked her as we watched the local news.
I swear she smiled when I asked her about being a therapist!
Then it got quiet. Hmmm… I don’t know what to talk about. What does Delilah need to learn at a very young age?
I counted all of her 10 little toes and 10 long skinny fingers. I sang the Phonics Song 2 that I sing with my students to her, which goes over the alphabet and sounds. I pointed out her physical features, such as her eyes, arms, feet, etc.
“Make sure you're looking at my lips, too, Delilah. That’s very important for you to see now so you can learn how to produce sounds,” I told her as I pointed to my lips and exaggerated my speech.
I’m going to start charging my brother and sister-in-law for speech therapy lessons! There was still more time for me to solely take care of Delilah as my sister-in-law went grocery shopping and my brother went to work.
I decided to turn on my MareBear playlist, which my husband created for me. We’ve added a lot of love songs from Smokey Robinson, Janet Jackson and Whitney Houston to the playlist, so Delilah and I were jamming out as I sang to her.
“I’m your auntie tonight!” I sang to her, as Whitney Houston sang “I’m Your Baby Tonight” in the background.
“Next time I come over to watch you, I’m going to be more prepared,” I told her as I laid her down to sleep.
I decided to refresh my memory on the developmental stages of speech growth in children during the infant stage to know what kind of fun activities I should be doing with Delilah. I want to ensure Delilah can communicate very well as she gets older. (I’m sure every speech therapist can relate). I went to the American Speech-Language Association as my resource, which is available to everyone.
I came up with 5 important activities to do with Delilah before she turns 6 months old. You may want to give them a tr:
Do- re- mi- fa- so- la- ti- do
I decided this would be a cool way to introduce vowel sounds. I get to practice on my vocals, too.
Softly say her name with a smile every time she cries
This is so she gets in the habit of always smiling when her name is spoken.
Rattle a baby toy or keys.
This to make sure she is looking at and acknowledging sounds.
Play with sock puppets!!
This is my silly way of entertaining myself while I make funny voices, so she can begin acknowledging shifts in my voice.
Jam out to some baby nursery rhymes and THEN my favorite jams.
Hey, I have to make it fun for me, too! Nursery rhymes are a great way to introduce simple sounds made with your lips, such as P, B, M. We call these sounds bilabial sounds in the speech world. Music is an awesome tool to use for teaching, so always be careful to what you’re listening to around our children.