Spoken language and reading have always been really tough for Olivia. Before she could speak, I was really concerned and doing everything I could to get her to learn words and talk. She had quite a few signs at this point in time but very little spoken language. I wanted to do everything I could to encourage this. So I went around and took pictures with my digital camera of all of her favorite things and things we used daily: her highchair for eating, her bed, the bathtub, outside, the TV, her favorite toys, etc. I then added the word underneath the picture in large capital letters. I made them into 3 by 3 inch squares and printed out two copies.
I made one set into magnets for the refrigerator. Olivia would often crawl over the refrigerator and play so this I thought this would be a great motivator for her. Plus, we could talk about the pictures she chose while I was making dinner.
The other set I laminated and put on a ring. She could carry these around easily. That way she could use them to make choices of what she wanted to do by showing me the picture. We also could take them with us to appointments to practice words. This was her favorite method because she loved to carry them around.
Pictures associated with the word seemed to make a big difference to Olivia; I continued to do this with both of the boys and think that it helped them as well!!