Mooo, Baaaa, LaLaLa…Said the Speech Therapist
By Hallie Bulkin
I was just having a conversation with our fabulous intern, Lauren, this morning about animals and animal sounds being such a basis of early language intervention. Yes, young children love animals and their accompanying sounds but there are reasons as to why I can be heard Mooing and Baaing around my client’s homes and schools. I may love farm animals but that has nothing to do with why I rely so heavily on these sounds with young children!!
So why can you hear me mooing and baaing around town? There are 4 reasons!
- These sounds are easy for your child to make! After some of the vowel sounds, the /m/ and /b/ are two of the earliest consonant sounds a child produces and therefore they can be shaped into your child’s first words as well as other words, too! For example, moooo can easily become move or moon while Baa can become ball and even later developing words like Banana!
- Mooing and baaing leads to neighing and oinking…more sounds and more language produced! Here’s a silly tip: if you have never snorted when oinking…try it…that’s always a fun way to get your child’s attention and it often gets a giggle!
- There are an endless number of children’s books that have farm animals as the main characters. Grab a few off your child’s bookshelf and start labeling the animals while pairing them with the sound they make. This will you’re your child make the association between animals and the sounds they make; an early language skill. For example, while pointing to the cow you might say, “Cow…Moooooo” and wait to see if your child repeats it. I will warn you…many of the kiddos I have worked with like to call it a “moo-cow” at first, but they do eventually grow out of that stage ☺ One of my favorite books by Sandra Boynton is Moo, Baa, La La La…check that one out!
- Music is a great teaching tool! A variety of famous children’s songs involve farm animals and the sounds they make. For example, Old MacDonald Had a Farm, Baa Baa Black Sheep, and Four Little Ducks Went Out to Play! Here are a few others that are a play on some of our other favorites:
Sung to “The Wheels on the Bus”
The cow in barn goes moo, moo, moo,
Moo, moo, moo. Moo, moo, moo, The cow in the barn goes moo, moo moo all around the farm.
The sheep on the hill goes baa, baa, baa…
The horse on the farm goes neigh, neigh, neigh…
The pig in the pen goes oink, oink, oink…
The hens in the coop go cluck, cluck, cluck…
The ducks in the pond go quack, quack, quack…
Sung to “Down By The Station”
Over in the barnyard
Early in the morning,
See the yellow chickies
Standing in a row.
See the busy farmer
Giving them breakfast.
Cheep, cheep, cheep, cheep.
Off they go.
…Substitute other barnyard animals listed in previous example…
You will find that I love to sing as I find it a valuable tool in speech and language therapy. It keeps kiddos engaged and just about every child LOVES music (although sometimes they don’t love my singing…thank goodness for music videos on YouTube in those situations!)
Have fun mooing and baaing and finding your inner child!