Snuggle Puppy! A little love song
(for your toddler’s speech development)
by Sandra Boynton
With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, I thought to myself, “Why not write a post about Snuggle Puppy!”
In case you don’t know, I happen to be a dog lover, a music lover, a Boynton lover and you’ve guessed it, a snuggle puppy lover! Snuggle Puppy! is such a great children’s book because it has rhyme, repetition, song, and humor (i.e. the Seeing the puppy covered in cookie dough makes me smile each time.).
When I treat toddlers, I love involving their parents and caregivers. Why? Because they’re with their children much more than I am and when parents are properly trained in using a few techniques, treatment is much more efficient. Since this book affectionately shows a loving relationship between a doggie and it’s puppy, it’s all the more reason why I like using this book when training parents to elicit language in their young children.
Without further ado – if you have this book at home – break it out NOW!
Start here if your toddler is not yet talking. Keep it simple, fun, and upbeat.
- Read Snuggle Puppy! and sing the song a few times. Get the child used to its melody and rhythm. Let him enjoy listening to you sing.
- Once he’s familiar enough, start with encouraging him to say “ooo” or giving a kiss on command. Both of these oral movements help with lip rounding.
- Here’s how the Snuggle Puppy! song sounds (if you need some assitance finding your rhythm) This song is also available on the Grammy nominated, audio CD Philadelphia Chickens: A Too-Illogical Zoological Musical Revue by Sandra Boynton and friends:
- For “ooo” try the following:
- Bring attention to your lips and causally point to your lips and then his lips while singing “ooo” (this is a visual cue).
- Touch the corners of his mouth so they round or protrude a bit (this is a tactile cue).
2. For giving a kiss try the following:
- Bring attention to your lips and causally point to your lips and then his lips while puckering (this is a visual cue- same as the one above)
- Apply chapstick and let him “kiss” your cheek to leave a mark
- Make a loud puckering sound when giving a kiss, many children try to imitate new and unique sounds.
Next…pick another word to target.
- Once your child starts rounding his lips to say “ooo” and gives kisses, think about what he would most likely want to say next (this is where a speech therapist can help you, if you’re having difficulty).
- For instance, is there a particular part of the book that really interests your child? Does he light up when you say_____?
- Depending on the child, I like to cue him to say “mine” and “fine” by intentionally leaving out these words, pausing for a few beats and waiting expectantly for him to say it.
Then…move onto to having him sing the refrain. Don’t focus on his articulation! Most toddlers are not 100% intelligible at this age. Focus on being positive and building his confidence
- First, announce that you are going to sing all by yourself (“I’m going to sing Snuggle Puppy! all my by myself!”). Start singing. Then, uh oh, you forgot some of the words! Scratch your head, put your finger to your chin and pretend you can’t think of the word. If the child knows the song well enough, they will try to help OR they will think this really funny and laugh! Either way, you are encouraging a social exchange and having fun.
Lastly, wrap it up with a KISS and tell them how much you love them.
I hope you’ve found this post helpful. Remember have fun and be silly!
What are some ways you can encourage communication when reading Snuggle Puppy!? I’d love to hear your thoughts!
If you liked this post, check out:
*Amazon Affiliate Link to store front.
Kimberly Scanlon, owner of Scanlon Speech Therapy, provides speech therapy in Bergen County, NJ. If you have concerns about your child’s speech and language skills, please do not hesitate to call: 201-874-8951 or email: email@example.com.
©2013 by Scanlon Speech Therapy, LLC. All rights reserved.