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5 Target Dollar Spot Finds for an Early Reader

It is hard to stick to a list when you are strolling through Target. I find it nearly impossible to walk past the Dollar Spot without taking a look at what’s new. There is always something I can use in speech therapy, but some of my favorite finds help my early readers the most! 

There are a lot of important skills children need to develop prior to beginning to read. The following are the 6 pre-literacy skills children need to grow into successful readers: 1. Print Motivation, 2. Narrative Skills, 3. Print Awareness, 4. Vocabulary, 5. Phonological Awareness, 6. Letter Knowledge. We previously discussed skills 1-4 in our blog post, “How To: Increase Literacy Skills in Children with Regular Use of Story Time.

Here I will give tips on how to practice and develop phonological awareness and letter knowledge using some of my favorite items purchased from the Target Dollar Spot:

1. Phonics Flashcards 

Targets: Letter Knowledge

How they can be used at home:

  • Name the letter on the card and make the sound the letter makes. 
  • Talk about the silly pictures on the card – they all contain the letter sound! 
  • You could play a guessing game – flip through the cards and say the sound the letter makes. Your child has to tell you what letter card you have. If they are correct, they can keep the card. If they collect so many cards, they win something (ex: getting to pick the next game, movie or snack). You could even have your child quiz you!
  • Practice writing the letter on a card in shaving cream, sand, or paint. 

2. Rhyming Words Flashcards

Targets: Phonological Awareness

How it can be used at home:

  • Pick a word from a card and go back and forth naming rhyming words to see who can come up with the most. 
  • Use some of these words to create a game of Go Fish where your “pairs” are words that rhyme. 

3. Letter/Sound Matching Clothespin Activity: 

Targets: Phonological Awareness & Letter Knowledge

How it can be used at home:

  • Have your child name the object in the picture. 
  • See if they can segment the sounds in the word (cat = c – a – t) and decide which letter option makes the first sound. 
  • If this task becomes too easy, ask for sounds that are not an option (ie. “What is the middle sound/letter?” “What is the last sound/letter?”). 

4. Rhyming Clothespin Activity: 

Targets: Phonological Awareness

How it can be used at home:

  • Name a word that rhymes with one of the options and have your child put the clothespin on the rhyming word 
  • OR have your child come up with a word that rhymes with another word on the strip to quiz you! 
  • Take it a step further by having your child name another word that rhymes. 

5. Workbooks: 

Targets: Phonological Awareness, Letter Knowledge, and more!

How it can be used at home:

  • Many of these workbooks allow your child to practice rhyming, segmentation, and letter/sound or sound/letter identification on his or her own. This will help with writing letters too! Reward with the stickers included in the book!

Each of these activities help develop the skills your child needs to become a successful reader. The next time you stop in Target, allow yourself some time to peruse the Dollar Spot. You never know what you might find!

-Kay Caprez, SLP

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Crystal Scheibe

Great place, glad we found them. Been going to Medina over 2 months now and he loves Lauryn and Kyler. Wish they had more ABA therapy places available... live in Wooster and long drive everyday.

Karrie Swan LaRock

My 11 year old son has dyslexia and has made noticeable gains in working At LLA THERAPY. Katie is strong in her approach toward him and also keeps him comfortable enough to perform well. We will continue visiting both the Fairlawn and Hudson offices and recommend them highly.

Ron Monroe

My 9 year old just completed about 9 months of weekly speech sessions (due to his stuttering) with Matt Hagge at LLA and we are thrilled with the experience and results. What I thought might be a negative (what kid really wants to go to speech class?) was made very positive by Matt, and my son never hesitated or complained when we talked about class. He really enjoyed it and really took what Matt taught him to heart. His speech has been greatly improved and we definitely recommend LLA. Thank you so much!

Heather Dougherty-Pantoja

My son’s Occupational Therapist, Jess, is an amazing OT! She gives practical tips on working with my son at home and school!

Terri Apgar

I cannot say enough good things about LLA Therapy. My daughter was a client of Teal Simmons’ for approximately 2 years and was just released from speech therapy! She was diagnosed with Apraxia in 2015 and worked with Teal twice a week. Through Teal’s application of PROMPT therapy, my daughter had age-appropriate speech after one year. All of the staff we interacted with at LLA were absolutely wonderful. They really care about what they do and making sure your child achieves their goals.

Kelli Geisler Davisson

LLA Therapy has been an excellent experience for my son as well as my family! My son always asks, "When can I go see Ms. Jeannine again, is it Monday??" He has also made huge gains in only 5 months! I would highly recommend LLA and have already shared my experience with friends looking for services!

Victoria Hansford-Price

We are so grateful for our Speech Therapist Ms.Teal. We have seen a great improvement with our sons confidence and communication abilities since we have started "Prompt" therapy. What we love the most about LLA and Ms. Teal is that Kohl feels comfortable and relaxed which has played a critical role in his progress. Thank you Ms. Teal for all you have done.

Laura Lee Hogsett

They have helped in numerous ways. Speech, OT and behavioral. I've had numerous compliments on my son's progress thanks in very large part to LLA. I would recommend LLA before I recommend our local children's hospitals, though they are good, they don't have the staff that LLA does.

Amy Furukawa

We had a great experience with Matt Hagge at LLA! Our Middle School age son was becoming very conscious of his voice, which is nasal due to a cleft palate. Matt helped him to better form his sounds and project his voice in a way that makes the unavoidable nasality less noticeable.Our son is more confident and outgoing & even took on a speaking role in the church play. Matt has the perfect personality to relate with our son, and we would recommend him to anyone needing speech therapy services!

Jessica Havalotti

LLA Therapy has been an excellent experience for our daughter. I would highly recommend LLA. Miss Grace was so amazing and I can't believe how quickly our daughter showed improvement. Thank you!
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