Every child’s day is filled with fun activities with a beginning and end and several events in between. Kids learn by remembering and describing events in sequence, using predicting, problem solving, analyzing, re-telling and reasoning skills, all essential for language growth. SPARK Jr. taps right into the interests of kids 4 years old and up, providing  8 sets of beautifully illustrated stories based on children’s experiences–raking leaves, ordering ice cream, building a doghouse, cutting a fruit salad, preparing a fish tank, setting up a campfire, nighttime routine and making a birthday sign. Developed by a speech language pathologist, each sequenced set has wh-question prompts from easier to more difficult. “Who are the characters in the picture?” and “Why are they raking?” to “How do they feel?” When children are putting the pictures in the proper order, they need to notice details to help them analyze what comes next and recognize changes in emotion and picture details. Finally when they connect the story to their life experience they are using higher level language skills to bridge the story to the details they’ve experienced, finding similarities and differences between the two. As kids sequence stories, they become familiar with the essential parts to a good story–characters, setting, problem and solution so they can become proficient story tellers too! I have to mention that this sturdy carrying case of thick cards was obviously designed by a therapist who knows the heavy use an essential tool like this will see as kids manipulate the cards and can even draw on them with dry erase pens for emphasis in their story. SPARK Jr. is ready for creative learning in the hands of kids!

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