Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Homemade videos to teach everything

I recently completed our 4th homemade video to help teach our 2 1/2 year old daughter who has Down syndrome. This method is effective for so many things, so I thought I would share it. My 2 and 4 year old daughters enjoy watching television, but they are usually only allowed to watch learning type shows or DVD's. I thought I would take this genuine interest and use it to my benefit.

The videos I make are a combination of Your Baby Can Read (which is like Rosetta Stone for kids) and Your Child Can Discover, Brillkids, Brainy Baby videos, Baby Babble  and Watch Me Learn. They include video modeling, which is a visual teaching method that occurs by watching a video of someone modeling a targeted behavior or skill and then imitating the behavior/skill watched. Presley likes to toss things off the table, so I put several "on the table" clips in the video with plenty of praise. I continue to reinforce sight word recognition and explanations by saying flashcards in short bursts and reading books. I do songs and phrases with anticipated words that Presley likes, such as "Twinkle, twinkle little star, how I wonder what you _______" and Presley says "are" and we continue to pull words out of her as we go through the entire song. Also, ready, set, ______ and she makes her sound for "Go" each time. She has participated more actively in the conversations after beginning the videos. I want my daughter to know how to say "I love you" and know that she is very loved, so there are many times it is said and displayed. She leans over to hug and kiss me and say "mmuwah" each time she sees it on the screen.

I originally taught both my girls sight word recognition. After they had a grasp of words have meaning, I added some phonics. Presley is a very physical little girl, she walked and climbed early for DS, so speech was on the back burner for her. She can read over 150 words, knows her colors, shapes, numbers, and the alphabet with letter recognition and sound them out phonetically. However, talking has not flowed as quickly. To encourage talking, I made this video using the CVCS speech words with a close up of my mouth for imitation purposes. Presley is a very visual learner (as most children are with special needs), so saying it to her over and over did nothing. I had my 4 year old do what comes naturally for her, to be silly in front of the camera to explain each word immediately after I said it.

We had fun taking photos to teach emotions and presented it three different ways within this last video. I also had my older daughter show how fun sequencing could be by using the Simply Smarter app ( and identifying different body parts. Also, what looks like two little girls just playing, is actually two girls learning and following directions, which will help improve sequencing.

Suggestions you can accomplish:

* teaching the alphabet letters, numbers, colors, shapes
* teaching sight words or phonics
* displaying positive behaviors that you want to promote (exclude the negative ones) and show the praise that follows
* teaching emotions or feelings
* how to react in certain situations and for social interactions
* sequencing and following directions
* enunciation of proper speech sounds or words
* Teach them to properly clean or pick up their room, show them what you mean when you say to clean their room
* Teach sounds of things like birds, trains, cars, airplanes, etc...
* Teach songs and children's games like Ring Around the Rosy, Wheels on the Bus, etc...
* Show family members in loud rooms and how they remain calm and socially interactive or someone getting into an elevator and pushing buttons if your child is bothered by situations like these
* Reading books
* Concepts such as in, out, up, down, on, off, above, below, etc...
* Teach the five senses, days of the week, months of the year, seasons
* Addition/subtraction

We used Windows Live Movie Maker to make these videos. These homemade videos are really a family event as each family member is always in the video. It reinforces positive behaviors that are seen as well as positive feedback that they can see and hear over and over. It shows children it is ok for both children and adults to be silly. They have fun making it, and they LOVE watching themselves be the star of the show later. You will enjoy not having to repeat certain things numerous times, because they will see it on the video. You can slip serious learning in between the fun clips and they keep their eyes on the screen knowing the next clip features them. I hope this inspires you and helps your child accomplish new and great things. Good luck and happy learning! Blessings, Robin

Here is a link to our latest video about emotions, following directions, and speech sounds:


Here is a previous video to learn concepts such as in, out, on, off, above and more:

Here we were teaching colors and reading sight words with left over party balloons:

Here is Presley going through a book I made her of words I know she can say:

Here is Payton reading to Presley. Payton made up her own version of "Pete the Cat and his four buttons".


1 comment:

  1. Wonderful! Thank you! I look forward to watching with my son. I have been trying to make these for my 3 year old but I am not as imaginative as you. Thank you for sharing!