|Kids can't seem to get enough of this game, although adults get tired of this one fast!|
This is a classic game where an elephant blows butterflies out of his trunk and are caught with nets. Short utterances can be modeled (e.g. “Pick up,” “Ready, set go!” etc.) as well as requesting, and turn-taking behavior. Important spatial concepts regarding spatial relationship (e.g. front, behind, top), quantity, colors, directions, etc. can also be addressed.
Pound a Ball:
This toy allows you to target color matching, prepositions (e.g. in/out, up/down), requesting, turn-taking, cause/effect etc. Just me mindful of fingers during this activity as children tend to get very excited and occasionally “miss” their target.
Melissa & Doug Sound Puzzles:
Sound puzzles are a great way to teach sounds and basic words as well as cause/effect. The child's receptive language can easily be targeted by asking them to “point to”, “show me”, or indicate “where?”
Bubbles are one of my favorite therapy tools because they can be used to assess language skills as well as promote its development. Skills such as eye contact, requesting, signing, sound production, word/phrase production, turn-taking, quantity, etc. can all be addressed.
|Classic Jenga with an updated look.|
Jenga is a classic no frills game that is a tried and true motivator. It reinforces turn-taking behavior and spruces up any speech/language activity. After producing a target sound, answering a question etc. have the student take a turn removing a block. I have also found this to be a great demonstration of concepts like “gentle”, “slow”, “rough”, “careful”, etc.
In addition to requesting and turn-taking, many concepts can be targeted with a shape sorter. Concepts include: prepositions ("in", "out", "on"), color, shapes, directions, full/empty (depending on type of sorter), quantity, etc.
Blocks are an essential part of any SLP’s toolkit as they encourage creativity as well as target prepositions, spatial relationships, directions, quantity, cause/effect, as well as social skills related to turn-taking, and sharing.
These are only a few examples of toys to utilize with the preschool population. I am fully aware that there are a plethora more available. However, I find that the simple toys/games/activities illicit the most language, as there are no bells and whistles to distract the child from their innate need to play.
I am very excited about my new summer position working with the little ones. I'm also extra pumped because I get the added bonus of a supplementary income. I hope my piggie bank is ready for all the cash :)