EGWs6uuBZ3pp-zGuVVdmeLgkJG4 Across the Avenue

Thursday, April 8, 2021

Educational Learning Games for Fun at Home or On the Go! #Giveaway!

With Spring Break here and summer just around the corner, we're excited to share about three new learning games that our kids love! On Track, Gemz!, and Lava Lizards have kept our family very entertained. As parents, we love that they promote academic skills in a really fun way and at $9.99 per game, the price can't be beat! Even better, the size makes them ideal for travel, so toss them in your bag for fun on the go. Check out each of the games below and be sure to enter our giveaway for a chance to win one for yourself!

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Language Building Blocks: The Importance of Opposites #LearningFUN

Providing little ones with exposure to a varied vocabulary is important from a young age. Those of you who follow us often know that we discuss basic language concepts frequently because of the important role they play in children's development. Basic concepts are words that kids need to understand in order to participate in daily routines, follow directions, and participate successfully in conversations. Studies have shown a link between the ability of young children to understand and name these concepts and their future academic success. 

Opposites fall under the 'Basic Concepts' umbrella because they allow kids to understand and describe objects and events, help to develop comparing and contrasting skills,  and support listening and reading comprehension. Once kids develop a strong understanding of opposites, it also allows them to expand their vocabulary to include what we call  'shades of meaning'.

Thursday, April 1, 2021

Travel: Disney's Victoria and Albert's Restaurant #GrandFloridian

My husband and I were in Orlando to visit family and as a little gift to ourselves we reserved a table at one of Disney's high-end restaurant's, Victoria and Albert's. We had heard fantastic reviews from friends and coworkers for quite some time and were anxious to try it for ourselves.

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Supporting the Oral Sensory Need to Chew #ARKTherapeuticProducts #selfregulation #speechtherapy

This week I've been looking for a safe outlet for one of my teen clients who has a significant sensory need to chew. Although it is important for his self-regulation, it can seriously impede our speech-language therapy sessions. I've tried oral chewing tubes found in my local stores, but he's made short work of them and my wallet can't afford to keep up with replacements. The hunt has been on for an alternative that can withstand his level of need. Thankfully, ARK Therapeutic has come to my rescue. They offer an incredible variety of sensory chews with different toughness levels. After talking with a very helpful representative about my sensory-seeking friend, she was able to recommend the XT, Medium-Firm Chewy for him. I really appreciate that ARK Therapeutic was developed by an experienced speech-language pathologist who understands firsthand the needs that clinicians are trying to meet. Check out the sensory chew necklaces I've been trialing this week...

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Travel: VooDoo Donuts #PortlandOregon #OregonTourist

There is a recipe for deliciousness that goes like this: take a pretty regular donut, batter either baked or fried, and just dump a ton of oh so sweet awesome toppings on of it.  Serve to clientele.  Voodoo donuts has perfected this process.

Being in Portland we wandered in to Voodoo Too, the second shop set up by the most infamous donut makers in the Pacific Northwest, actually probably the world, since aside from the Fred the Baker of Dunkin Donuts fame, I can't think of another famous donut ANYTHING. Shop or ad (No wait, Lard Lad on the Simpsons.)  We knew the line at the regular Voodoo Donuts over on the west side of the Willamette River tended to stretch out the door and around the block, and since we were headed to the big mall on the east side anyway, we cruised by Voodoo Too to check out the goods.  There WAS a line, but that turned out to be a good thing since the menu was drawn on chalk boards up on the walls, a bit far for me to make out, and there weren't descriptions to go with the cool names: Bacon Maple Bar, Captain My Captain, Diablos Rex, Marshall Mathers, and the like. Intriguing names, to be sure, but what are the toppings on a Memphis Mafia donut?

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Family Game Night: Spy Alley #SpyAlleyPartners

We've been trying to find fun ways to facilitate strategic thinking for kids, so we when we came across the Spy Alley board game, we were excited to add it to our family game night. The team at Spy Alley Partners have designed an excellent 'bluffing' board game with a backbone of logic and deduction that is perfect for kids under 12 to learn, and fun for teenagers and adults just to play!

Saturday, March 13, 2021

Educational Apps for Kids: Tiny Hands Super Bundle #languageskills #speechapps

Looking for ways to practice beginner language skills? The Tiny Hands Super Bundle offers ten different learning apps to support learning of colors, shapes, first words, matching, categorization and logical thinking. Each app is super colorful and engaging for little ones and the games are a fun way for adult and child to interact together. Learning through play can be so powerful and Kids Academy kept this philosophy in mind when they developed their Tiny Hands apps. Their mission is to help identify and nurture the talents of children at the earliest stage, boost their academic abilities and give them a head start in the world. Check out my thoughts on each app in the bundle below!

Friday, March 5, 2021

STEM Toys for Kids: Counting and Sorting Bears by SET4Kids #SpeechLanguageTherapy #OccupationalTherapy

Over the past few months, home schooling has become the new normal. While it's definitely a daunting task, it can be made so much easier with high quality, ready-made materials. Those of you who follow us often know that we love to share about exceptional educational resources for kids. This week we are excited to spread the word about a few amazing STEM resources from SET4kids (Smart Educational Toys for Kids). They promote the engagement, movement, and hands-on learning that kids need now more than ever. Check out each set below!

Saturday, February 27, 2021

Explaining Foster Care Adoption thru Storybooks: Elliot by Julie Pearson #adoptionpicturebooks

Some of you may know that our family has begun navigating our way through the adoption process. We've decided to adopt through the foster care system, which is as exciting as it is daunting. With as many questions as we cross off the list, it still manages to grow longer rather than shorter. One critical question we're focusing on this week is:

How do we help our children feel secure in their foster care adoption story? 

Saturday, February 13, 2021

Educational Apps for Kids: Speech Tutor Pro #speechapps #articulation #SynapseApps

The Speech Tutor Pro app is one of my go-to apps to introduce oral movements for sound formation. What's great about this app is that it covers a wide variety of articulation concerns in a way that is technical enough for speech-language pathologists to score clients in-depth, but accessible enough for parents to use on a basic level as well. (As an SLP, I definitely geeked out a bit over the target sound options in the card deck section and the articulation screener.) The $39.99 price tag may seem a bit steep at first glance, but for those of you with articulation clients, this app is well worth the investment. Speech Tutor Pro describes the app as a culmination of nearly a decade's worth of work designing apps for speech therapy, bringing together the content from 5 of the most well-known apps in the industry. It's no surprise after seeing all of the detail that went into this app. Check out my experience with it below...