GASP…Only two weeks left until the holiday shopping season officially begins! Take a breath. District Speech is here to help finish up your gift buying list. We’re continuing our countdown of some great and engaging games and toys that help promote your child’s speech and language!
This week: Learning Piggy Bank
This piggy bank may look like an ordinary toddler toy, but after a second look, it’s easy to see that it’s so much more! The Learning Piggy Bank plays music, counts, has a set of colored coins inside, a door that opens and closes, and has a fun, pushable nose. Our early intervention kiddos, primarily ages 1-4 years, absolutely LOVE this toy and if given a choice, will choose to play with this pig time and time again.
Learning Piggy Bank – Learning While You Play!
Whether at home or in the clinic here’s how you can use this fun toy to promote language:
A) Early Language/Receptive Language
The piggy bank is great for developing early language skills, specifically cause and effect, and understanding basic concepts. Here’s how to use with your client or toddler:
Skill: Cause and Effect, or understanding the connection between an action and a consequence, is the foundation for communicating intentionally. One way we support children to develop an understanding of cause and effect is by introducing them to toys or activities that they can operate by using an external switch or button.
How to use: Have your client or toddler push the piggy’s nose to hear him “oink”, sneeze, or sing songs. If he/she has trouble grasping the concept initially, provide hand over hand assistance to help them push the button, and then gradually decrease that assistance until they’re pushing the piggy’s nose independently.
How to use: Have your kiddo listen and then follow directions such as “put coin in”, “give me the coin”, “push the nose”, “first, close the door, then push the nose”.
How to use: If you’re just starting out with color or animal concepts, present two coins at a time to make it a bit easier. Place two coins in front of him/her and say “give me the red coin” or “find the dog”. As he/she gets better at identifying these concepts, you can present more coins at once, or you can move to naming the color or animal.
B) Expressive Language
If your child or client has a developmental or language delay, with weaknesses in oral expression, you can use this piggy bank for a variety of expressive language tasks. Here are some helpful examples:
Before getting what he/she wants, have him/her make verbal requests throughout play with the piggy, including “open”, “more”, “push please”, “green coin”, and “all done.”
Work on naming basic concepts by having him/her name animals and colors with the prompt “what’s this?”
You can also work on production of animal sounds by showing your kiddo the animal and asking them to produce the corresponding sound.
Thanks for joining us while we explore the practical benefits of some great toys and games. Join us next week for #5 in our countdown…
If you live in the D.C. area and have concerns about your child’s language or articulation and would like to seek additional help beyond what your school based speech language pathologist may be able to provide, visit www.districtspeech.com for more information on our assessment and therapy services for children of all ages.