The holidays are JUST DAYS AWAY! We know you’ve all been good this year (…right?…), so we have a special surprise for you this week…
For our final toy review this season, we are sharing NOT ONE, BUT TWO great and engaging toys that promote your child’s speech and language!
#9: Scooter Board
We were introduced to scooter boards by, once again, the special education team at Two Rivers Charter School in Washington, D.C. I tend to use this toy for the kiddos that love to move around. They lay on it and push themselves around using their hands. I’m sure you’re asking, “how is this promoting language?” Short answer: It doesn’t … BUT, when used in conjunction with picture cards or manipulative objects, it can.
We predominantly use it in two ways:
1) To Practice Receptive Language – We give a direction (e.g., get the blue ball and the green cup), and then encourage the child to roll themselves on the scooter board to collect the specific objects.
2) As A Reward – After a child completes a specific language or articulation task, we will let them ride the scooter board as a reward.
*** BONUS ***
Here’s one extra idea for you before the holidays (perhaps you already figured it out from our own puzzle in today’s headline?) . . .
#10: Melissa and Doug Puzzles!
We were exposed to Melissa and Doug puzzles in grad school, but no, it wasn’t at adult recess (how many credits would that be worth?). Melissa and Doug puzzles are the best because there are so many fun and interactive ones to choose from and they’re really popular with the kiddos.
Below are examples of some of my favorites:
Melissa and Doug Fishing Magnet Puzzle
Melissa and Doug Vehicle Sound Puzzle
Melissa and Doug Play Food
These puzzles are amazing because they encourage development of pretend play skills, fine motor abilities, and language. At home or in the clinic, you can do the following with your client, student, or child:
Articulation: If you are working on articulation of a specific sound, you can give the child a puzzle piece after they complete trials of sound productions.
Pretend Play: Depending on the puzzle set, you can encourage the kids to pretend to have a picnic, pretend to go to a restaurant, or even pretend to be construction workers building a house.
Expressive and Receptive Language: During play, be sure to use the specific vocabulary related to your puzzles. You can also have them make requests for certain puzzle pieces by using 1-4 word utterances, depending on where the child is developmentally. Finally, during clean up, you can encourage them to pick up specific pieces, two or three at a time.
We hope these toy reviews have been helpful! We will be taking a break over the holidays, but are excited to return on January 9th, 2017 with more ideas and strategies to share.
We may be taking a break from our blog, but we’ll still be available for your needs. 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.