Using the 4 S’s at Home

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What exactly are the 4 S’s? They stand for SAY less, STRESS, go SLOW, and SHOW and they are a helpful tool to support language development and increase communication opportunities for your kiddo.

SAY LESS-When we think about saying less, we don’t mean talk less we just mean simplify the words you use. Keep songs and sentences you use with your kiddo short and simple. Saying less gives your child an opportunity to process what they are hearing more easily.

AT HOME-Instead of asking your child, “Do you want more strawberries?”, say less by asking, “More berries?”. 


STRESS-When you sing or talk with your child, put STRESS on the words you want your child to learn. For example, “Ready, set, G-O!’

AT HOME-Simple one syllable words are a great place to start at home. You can stress the words you use most throughout your child’s day like ‘eat, more, all done’ and even exclamations like ‘wee, wow, boom’. Saying these words with more emphasis or stress will bring more attention to these words.


GO SLOW-If we sing or talk too fast our kiddo may be unable to comprehend what we are saying. Do your best to go slow even if it feels silly!

AT HOME-During playtime with your child, make a conscious effort to pause and over exaggerate how slow you’re talking. While you play with toys you can also pause after you say something and give your child an opportunity to communicate. It helps if you count to ten in your head!


SHOW-Connect words with actions! While you sing or say ‘Clap, clap, clap!” show your kiddo the action that explains the words you use. 

AT HOME-You can incorporate showing at home by acting out and narrating everything you do. During snack time you can show your kiddo how to peel a banana while you say (or sing) ‘Peel banana’.


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