Libby Kumin, in her book Early Communication Skills for Children With Down Syndrome, introduced me to a lot of these ideas. I’ve adapted them to what I can find at the dollar store (Dollar Tree) and I’ve added a few of my own along the way. It is notable that Noah’s ability to do some of these things and his practice of them was immediately followed by a huge leap in the quantity and quality of his vocalizations.
10. Lollipops – You hold lollipop while your child sticks his tongue out to touch and lick it.
9. Pop Rocks
8. Bubbles (mouth blowing kind)
7. Straws, crazy straws and coffee stirrers
6. Flavored chapstick
4. Party horns – all sizes and shapes
3. Whistles – all sizes and shapes
2. Paper horns (the kind that unfold as you blow)
1. And the number one dollar store buy for promoting oral motor strength and coordination is . . .
Thingy mabobbers (I have no idea what they are really called, but these are way fun!)