Lemonade Stand

Here are a few photos from our lemonade stand this week. The kids did a great job mixing up two batches of lemonade–pink and regular–greeting, and helping the customers. It was a hot, sunny day–a perfect day for a lemonade!Processed with VSCOcam with m4 preset


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Great Spring Books to Read with your Preschooler

Spring is such an exciting season to work with young children. There are so many tangible things to see and talk about outside–from the changing weather to budding flowers. We also have lots of favorite books we read to coincide with the springtime theme. The only problem is choosing which ones to read. Here are some of our favorites.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle is everyone’s favorite. The repetitive lines make it easy for the little ones to participate by following along, echoing, and filling in language. We work on concepts like colors, counting, and food, and we simplify the language a bit to teach useful phrases like “I’m hungry. I want to eat.” We also try lots of different kinds of food when we’re reading this story and describe how everything looks, feels, and tastes.

As the days get warmer, lemonade stands start popping up in neighborhoods across the country. The kids love making, tasting, and selling lemonade. We set up pretend lemonade stands and the kids practice making and selling lemonade to each other, and then we go outside and set up the real thing.
In Pinkalicious and the Pink Drink, she experiments with different ways to make pink lemonade. And Maisy Makes Lemonade is a simple step-by step guide for making lemonade and sharing with friends.

The Very Lazy Ladybug is a fun story about a ladybug who liked to sleep so much she never learned to fly and has to hitch a ride with various animals. We get to practice moving and making noises like all the animals featured in the story.

Spring is the perfect time to read a story about planting seeds and watching them grow. The Little Red Hen is a great book to talk about growing plants with your child. We think this version in particular uses language that is simple enough to read with preschoolers. It’s a great book for sequencing and talking about helping our friends and family.

Three Little Pigs Recipe–Straw Houses

Our kids really love to help out in the kitchen. This recipe is perfect because it’s so simple–just a few ingredients and a few simple steps. It also ties in perfectly with our Three Little Pigs theme.

We use the following simplified haystacks recipe:

  • 1 cup peanut butter chips**
  • 1 cup butterscotch chips
  • 1/2 can chow mein noodles

Melt the peanut butter and butterscotch chips in a double boiler, fondue pot, or microwave. Remove from heat. Stir in chow mein noodles. Make small mounds on wax paper and let your child mold them into straw houses. So easy and delicious!

**If your child has a peanut allergy, substitute chocolate chips for peanut butter chips, and call it a stick house!


Here’s a visual so your child can follow along and read the recipe with you.

Straw House Recipe

straw house

Language Building Toys: Nesting Cups

Nesting cups are a common toy for people to have around the house.  Here, Brandy demonstrates a fun game that we like to play with them.

This game can focus on so many things.  A few things include:

  • Eye contact: Point or have a child point to the cup then wait for them to look up at you to nod, “yes” or shake your head “no.”
  • Pointing – Have the child point to cups to chose one.
  • Labeling put pictures on the cup that go with a book that you are reading, have the child label the picture on the cup. ( i.e., is the pig in the straw house, the brick house, or the stick house?)
  • Yes/No – Point to one have the child shake their head Yes/No to open it.




Autism Awareness: Tips For Reaching Out

Autism Speaks Light It Up Blue

If you know someone who has autism or a child with autism, it may be difficult for you to know how to interact with them or their child.  This can be made more difficult by misinformation you may have been given that people with autism are not affectionate, loving, or interested in social interactions.  This is not true.  What’s true is that everyone is a unique individual and has their own social preferences.  

A few useful tips when reaching out to a  child with autism:

  • Don’t be afraid to say “hi” and invite them to participate in things you are doing; they might just say no, but frequently they’re not sure how to join in on their own. 
  • Children with autism may need a little more time to be in an environment and watch before they feel comfortable to join in.
  • When giving directions or interacting, be as direct and concrete as possible.
  • Give lots of choices, both for participation and within the activity.  (“You can keep watching or  come stand here and throw the ball.”)

Ask a the child’s parent for tips on interacting with their individual child, BUT, don’t do it in front of the child.  

Today is World Autism Awareness Day.  And as you go about your day today, you might notice lots of blue.  

Autism Speaks has started it’s “Light It Up Blue” campaign to help spread awareness. You can learn more about autism here or support them and this project from their website. 


Playing at Home: Caterpillar Puppets

If your child is in early intervention with us, we’ve been reading The Very Hungry Caterpillar this month.  Here’s a fun language extension to play at home.

Using either a sock as a puppet or another item that you could pretend is a caterpillar, read the story.  Have the caterpillar pretend to eat the foods on each page, “yum yum yum.”  Don’t forget to get some good nibbles of your child’s belly while doing this.  After the story, look around the house for things that the caterpillar might like to eat.  Try some food, “yum yum yum.” And some non-foods, “Ewww yucky!”  Have fun, include lots of tickles and nibbles.

Here are some links to the The Very Hungry Caterpillar book and a fun caterpillar puppet if you are in need of supplies.

Building BLOCS Upcoming Playgroup Sessions

Building BLOCS is now enrolling for spring playgroup sessions 1 and 2.

Playing Store

Our playgroups are designed for children that have high language skills, but struggle with interactions with other children. All lessons incorporate lessons and concepts from Michelle Garcia Winner’s “The Incredible Flexible You” curriculum. Additionally, each session has a theme that is based on well-loved literature that help provides a base for games, play and pretend activities throughout the session.

Session 1: Eric Carle – Using several familiar books to talk about things we hear/see/feel.

Session 2: Pete the Cat!

Groups meet for one hour weekly at 4:15

Younger Preschool aged children meet on Tuesdays
Session 1: 3/18, 3/25, 4/1, 4/8, 4/15, ($250)
Session 2: 4/22, 4/29, 4/6, 4/13, 4/20 ($250)

Older Preschoolers and Kindergartener Groups Meet on Wednesday
Session 1: 3/19, 4/4, 4/9, 4/16 ($200)
Session 2: 4/23, 4/30, 5/7, 5/14, 5/21 ($250)

Building BLOCS is now able to accept insurance for groups from some heath care plans.

For more information email us at therapy@blocsaustin.com or call 512-827-7011.

Brandy Windham- Speech Therapist and BCBA!

Brandy Playing

In an effort to better serve our clients, Brandy Windham, the lead speech therapist and co-owner of Building BLOCS, went back to graduate school this past year and completed all the course work necessary to sit for the Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) Exam.  In addition to the coursework, Brandy also completed 1,500 supervised hours.  In September, Brandy sat for the exam, and on Friday, we got the happy news that Brandy passed the exam and is now a BCBA!   Continue reading “Brandy Windham- Speech Therapist and BCBA!”