Monday, January 21, 2013

My Toddler Talks: A Book Review and Giveaway!

This post was originally published on Pediastaff.

Giveaway from 1/21/2012-1/27/2012! Details for entering are at the end of the post.

I recently had the pleasure of reviewing a new book:  My Toddler Talks, by Kimberly Scanlon, MA, CCC-SLP.  This book promises to provide parents with strategies and activities to promote their child's language development- and it delivers.  After looking through it, I have lots to say about it, the first of which is this: If you like Child Talk, you will love My Toddler Talks.

Those of you who read this blog regularly know that I believe toddler language can be strengthened best inside of daily play and activities.  From sidewalk chalk to bubbles to dishwashers and laundry and grocery shopping, there is little doubt that much language-learning can be woven into the context of meaningful and fun everyday activities. What's more, toddlers learn best when simple, yet specific, language facilitation strategies are integrated into those activities.  Those two things - language-learning strategies and meaningful daily routines - pack a powerful punch.  And it is precisely these two things that make up Kimberly's My Toddler Talks book.

Kimberly first does a beautiful job of describing language modeling techniques and elicitation strategies in a way that is easy for anyone to understand and apply.  Then, she helps out the parent who is stuck, in her chapter: "Troubleshooting Tips: What to Do if the Toddler is Not Imitating You." I can't tell you how many times parents have said to me, "I talk to my toddler all the time- but he just doesn't talk back!"  Kimberly wisely anticipates this and provides parents with some time-tested methods of motivating a child to imitate.  Her other introductory chapters, "The Do Not List" and "Some More Tips: The Five Rs (Raise it up, Reinforce, Respond, Rearrange, and Relax!) are also spot-on.

The real value in My Toddler Talks, though, is provided in the 25 play routines that Kimberly provides. The activities are simple and familiar, as great activities often are: animal farms, bouncing balls, dolls, puzzles and play-dough are all activities many toddlers and parents already enjoy.  Kimberly uses each of these activities to create powerful play routines, each with a beginning, middle, end and language techniques that are matched directly to the play routine. She also describes simple cues to increase the chances a toddler will imitate, such as when she suggests using a fill-in and the use of a phonemic cue ("I have a p...") to get a child to say, "pig" while playing with a farm puzzle.  Her combination of play routines and language strategies is fantastic and will surely be helpful to parents who want to boost their toddler's language!

Lucky for all of us, Kimberly has offered to giveway one free copy of her book!  To enter the giveaway:  "Like" this post and leave me a comment (here or on ChildTalk's facebook page to let me know you did so! If you leave me a commment on the blog, make sure you leave your e-mail address in the comment so I can contact you if you win. I'll select one lucky reader on Sunday 1/27/2013.

Looking for My Toddler Talks? You can find it on Amazon.
And, you can find out more about Kimberly and her book here.


Disclosure: Although I did receive a copy of Toddler Talks to reviewI did not receive compensation for this post. My views are my own.


  1. This looks awesome and great for parent education!

  2. Just beginning my journey for my non-verbal 3 year old son who has Autism. He has been in therapy since he was 18 months old and only has a few words so far. Looking for new ways and I am interested in seeing what this book has to say. :)

  3. This looks like a great resource, especially when it comes to parent education. Thanks for a great review and a chance to win a copy of the book!

  4. liked the post amanda hoffman
    and would love to win
    amandahoffman35 at yahoo dot com

  5. It sounds like a wonderful book to read and it would offer great insight! Thanks for the review :)

  6. Okay all, I randomly generated a number between 1 and 29 with 1-24 being facebook comments on the facebookpage and 25-29 being theses comments on the blog - the number generated was #4, so Carrie Freeman (#4 on the facebook page) is the winner! Thanks for all who entered!