Month: December 2023

Singing for Speech – Benefits of Singing for Language Development

At any given moment when walking through BDI Playhouse, you may hear a therapist or child singing! Singing is great for both engaging with the child and improving language development! Here are a few benefits of singing for language development. 


  • Singing exposes children to lots of vocabulary! Lyrics often contain a wide range of words and phrases that may not be commonly used in everyday conversation. More exposure to vocabulary can improve expressive language skills. 


  • Singing requires clear articulation and pronunciation to match the rhythm and melody of a song. Practicing songs can help individuals work on their speech sounds. Add in target sounds your child is working on and you get lots of repetition! 

Memory and Recall

  • Melodies and lyrics are easier to remember than spoken words alone. Try singing directions or modeling language to familiar tunes to improve language retention. 

Social Interaction

  • Singing can be a social activity, whether in a choir, “mommy and me” classes, or as a family bonding experience. Social interaction is an important part of language development!

Attention and Focus:

  • Singing requires concentration and attention to the lyrics, melody, and rhythm. This helps children develop their ability to focus, a skill that can benefit other areas of language and communication.

Auditory Discrimination:

  • Singing encourages individuals to pay attention to many different sounds helping to improve auditory discrimination, which can help in recognizing speech sounds. 

Check out your local library or park district to see if there’s a music class available for you and your child! Check in with school to see if choir is an option at their age. Speak with an Speech Language Pathologist about ways to incorporate singing into your daily routines. You can schedule a free 30-minute screening here!


Written By: Shannon Okland, M.S., CCC-SLP 

Therapy Activities for Holiday Break

Therapy Activities for Holiday Break

Stuck at home with the kids during these Holiday weeks and looking for some entertainment ideas or ways to continue to progress their skills during all this down time? Look no further! Here are some therapy activities for holiday break!

  • Let the kids wrap up a small gift for their sibling. There are a few tips to make the unwrapping process by your child easier and more fun for everyone in our Gift Wrapping blog. 
  • Have your child remove tape from the dispenser, while you do the wrapping. 
  • Provide a line visual (can be a bit further than what you actually need to wrap) and have your child be the paper cutter. You can clean up the line later when the child is not around if need be.
  • Do the wrapping but show the child where you want them to place the tape pieces.
  • Have the child create their own ornaments for the tree with paper, hole puncher, and string/ ribbon to hang it.
  • Cut out a paper tree for the wall and have the child focus their attention towards decorating it. Include cutting string and taping it to the tree, making ornaments from paper to work on shape cutting, incorporating coloring, gluing, and stickers into decorating for some fine motor work. 
  • Set up a card making station for your child to create cards for presents to hand to teachers, grandparents, place on Secret Santa gift, etc. This is great to target folding paper, coloring, writing, adding stickers or working on gluing.
  • Have your child be the cookie cutter presser.
  • Require the child to utilize their thumb and pointer finger to lightly place sprinkles onto the cookies.
  • Make a scavenger hunt where the children have to listen to clues and search the house for tiny gifts.
  • Play freeze dance with Holiday music
  • Have your child make their own version of Elf On The Shelf by drawing, coloring, cutting and require them to hide it before they go to bed every night. In the morning, the parents have to find the kid’s hidden elf.

Try to allow your child full creative control on some of these open ended craft activities. This will give you time to focus your attention on other Holiday activities! Still looking for more ideas? Read our winter movement blog for more! Looking to get out into the community? Here are some fun ideas in the Chicago area.

If you notice your child having trouble with some of the fine motor or auditory processing skills listed in the above activities, don’t hesitate to reach out to BDI Playhouse Children’s Therapy. We offer free screenings in Orland Park, IL and Aurora, IL.

Rebecca Brennan, OTR/L