What are SCLANS?

  • Shapes
  • Colors
  • Letters
  • AND
  • Numbers
  • Plus the “s” to make it plural

They aren’t evil, but they aren’t nearly as important as you’ve been led to believe. If SCLANS sounds yucky, it’s because I’d like for you to stay away from them for a little while.

If you’d like more information on why (or I haven’t convinced you yet, ha!), check out my post on Good Page, Bad Page.

AND if you want to know why you should get rid of those flash cards too, read my post on The Need For Verbs.

  1. Carmen says:

    This is a great post. I explain to parents the reason “SCLANs” are not addressed in our sessions (for the kiddies below 3), is because there’s nothing functional about the memorization & recitation of these skills. Its a great eye opener for moms & dads when they understand the difference between rote/automatic language & true communicative intent and are able to create opportunities for their child to tell their story.

  2. Carol says:

    I like your SCLANS but I would replace your AND with ANIMALS. I don’t know how many toddler and preschool resources I have that focus on animals. Great if you live on a farm or in the wilderness but not terribly relevant for urban babies.

    • Kim says:

      Hi, Carol! That’s so funny. I’ll have to ponder that some more. I think a few years ago I would say I would have strongly agreed with you!

      I was like you, working with children in more urban areas, and agreed with that frustration. I didn’t see why farm animals and animal sounds were so important and rarely targeted them. In fact, the preschool I was working at always did a dinosaur theme and I hated it. Too abstract and limited pretend play options – fight and kill was about it.

      One thing I noticed though with my daughter was her immediate attraction to animals in both real life and in books. Her first real sound was imitating our cat’s meow and then the next was “a, a” which she said consistently for monkey. She’s obviously not had many or any experiences with monkey, but she pointed them out everywhere.

      So my point is, now I’m on the fence about animals. I’m going to mull it over some more and love to hear your feedback.

  3. Dana Shea says:

    Hi there! I am an SLP taking on the task of creating a blog for my county’s early intervention program. Just poking around finding blogs to get ideas from and link up to and found yours. Great site!

    • Kim says:

      Hi Dana!
      Thank you. You must work for a great program if they are interested in connecting with families through a blog and kudos to you for taking it on. If you’d like to talk more, I’d be happy to. You can e-mail me through the contact page.
      Kim recently posted..Rotating Toys, The Real Deal

  4. Summer says:

    I’ve been working with urban early childhood for years now, and I’m baffled by the farm animal thing as well—so many of the kids love them! I wonder if part of the issue is just that kids love onomatopoeia and we don’t do it with other things.

    Toddlers are delighted with “moo,” but they’re pretty happy with “slam” and “pop” as well, if you present those.

    I’d be very interested to hear if anyone has experience naming sounds in a more relevant-to-daily-life kind of way.
    Summer recently posted..Oh Bzzzpeek, how do I love thee?

    • Kim says:

      Hi Summer! Interesting idea with onomatopoeia. I think what both animal sounds and onomatopoeia are tapping into are environmental sounds, which come before words. I followed the lead of a smart colleague I had a while ago and really target environmental sounds in early intervention. What do you think?
      Kim recently posted..I Don’t Like My Child’s Speech Therapist

  5. Summer says:

    I was inspired by this discussion with my toddler class today. We were having crackers at snack time. I told them if they bite their crackers, they could hear a “crunch.” They were very excited about that!

    (Is that what you mean by environmental sounds?)