EGWs6uuBZ3pp-zGuVVdmeLgkJG4 Across the Avenue

Friday, July 30, 2021

Increase Reading Skills with Zingo! Sight Words #ReadingGames #Thinkfun

Parents, teachers, and speech-language pathologists will all tell you that Zingo! games are a must! We have used the original Zingo! board game in our therapy clinic for years as an engaging way to target language skills related to naming of common objects, matching, turn-taking, requesting, formulating sentences, and so much more. Knowing how much we love original Zingo!, when Thinkfun allowed us the opportunity to review the Zingo! Sight Words board game, we jumped at the opportunity. If you haven't added it to your own collection already, check out our post below to understand why it's one of our top learning games.

Saturday, July 24, 2021

The Scoop on The Toy Insider Summer 2021 Virtual Toy Event! #SweetSuiteatHome

We'd been anxiously awaiting The Toy Insider Summer virtual event for weeks and we're so excited to share with you about all of the fun we had and the amazing toys and games on the market right now! We had the opportunity to chat with some of our favorite brands and discovered new favorites as well. Read on for some first hand information about the latest and greatest toys and games you can find in stores this season!

Saturday, July 3, 2021

Create Back-to-School Book Traditions #RichardScarry #AlphabetBooks #kidsbooks

Back-to-School sales have begun and it's already time to start loading up on supplies. But Back-to-School shopping doesn't have to focus only on supplies! In addition to picking out the basics, our family has had a long tradition of book gifting for the first day of school. It's a great way to get kids excited about the school year and promote reading while building special memories. This year, we have two little ones starting pre-K and Kindergarten in our family. One of my favorite authors at that age was Richard Scarry, so I wanted try to foster that same love with two fantastic Richard Scarry books.

Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Building Literacy Skills: A Hands-On Approach with Junior Learning CVC ToolBox

Phonological and phonemic awareness skills are key to building a solid reading foundation. We're always looking for engaging, tactile approaches to help kids improve these skills and this week we are really excited to share about a fantastic set called the CVC Toolbox by Junior Learning. We love this kit because it provides hands-on learning activities and can be used as a direct instruction tool or an independent activity. Check out the CVC Toolbox below, as well as a brief explanation about literacy development and how to enhance your child's reading abilities.

Friday, June 25, 2021

Explaining Adoption through Storybooks: 'ABC Adoption & Me' by Gayle Swift #adoptionpicturebooks

For those of you who follow us often, you know that our family is on an adoption journey that has had many twists and turns. We are part of a strong network of adoptive families and how to talk to your child about their adoption story is one of the number one topics that comes up time and time again. We want to be open and honest with our child about how adoption has formed our family and we hope that talking about it from a young age through storybooks and age-appropriate discussion will help to create a sense of security. We are always on the look out for quality books about adoption and as it stands, we are a little disappointed in the amount of picture books that represent this genre. When we come across a story that addresses adoption in a sensitive and uplifting way, it's such an exciting win for us that we want to share it with everyone! "ABC Adoption and Me" by Gayle H. Swift and Casey H. Swift is just that sort of picture book. Whether you're an adoptive family or are looking for a special book to gift to a family you know, we think you'll like it as much as we do! 

Thursday, June 10, 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? 

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Improve Pragmatics Skills with Chat Chains: Social-Emotional Learning Game! #GIVEAWAY

As a pediatric specialist, one of the questions I hear most often from parents of school-age kids is: "How can I get my child to talk to me about their day?" It's an important question. How many times have you asked your child how their day was, only to receive "fine" in response? Ever ask "What did you do today?" and receive the good ole "I don't know" response? We are quick to help our children learn basic math and reading skills, but direct practice of social-emotional skills can be overlooked in the home and sometimes even in the classroom. 

I'm a huge fan of using games to target goals because it builds relationships with kids and keeps them engaged — two important elements to successful instruction. This week, I was introduced to a new social-emotional learning game called Chat Chains and I'm very excited to share about it! It's a fantastic tool to practice waiting and listening skills, conversational interaction, social awareness, expressing emotions and more. Check it out in detail below...

Sunday, May 23, 2021

Reduce Blue Light Exposure with JINS Glasses


We've all heard the complaints: my eyes hurt, I'm getting more headaches working at home, I'm sick of staring at this screen all day. And the most likely cause? Blue light. The highest energy of all visible light, penetrating deep into the back of the eye. It's only a problem when generated from unnatural sources over a prolonged period of time (eReaders, laptops, smartphones, etc.). JINS has come up with three solutions based on your individual need: their Daily Use model blocks 25% of blue light for typical users, while Heavy Use blocks 40% for those doing extended screen time, and Night Use blocks 60% via amber tints to help you get to sleep faster. For a limited time, JINS is offering FREE blue light lenses added to your purchase of any frames of your choice from their extensive stock!

Friday, May 14, 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...

Thursday, April 29, 2021

Travel: Crayola Experience in Plano, TX...Giveaway!

COVID vaccines are steadily rolling out and families like ours are definitely looking to get out of the house and back into some normal, fun, family activities! On a visit to Texas we found the exact thing we wanted in Plano at the Crayola Experience in The Shops at Willow Bend mall. Larger than a football field, full of fun stations for kids and adults to explore all sides of their own creativity! Like to draw? To color? To work with clay? You can even design colorful cars and clothes and see them projected onto huge wall screens. And it's all COVID safe!