Toddlers Lead the Play in Speech Therapy

Mr. Potato Head glassesNo matter how much I plan and pack in my therapy bag, I still have to follow the lead in play of the little toddler I am working with. What I thought was a great toy or idea often goes off in a different direction and thankfully entertains and keeps his interest for a productive language session.

Today I had the usual staples and some new finds–Play-doh, Fisher Price little people and vehicles, a car wash and gas station, a slide (great for making balls out of Playdoh and sliding them down for “go,” “down,” “ball” and “uh oh”), Mr Potato Head, and a pull toy and musical station.

Experience shows me that Mr Potato Head never quite gets completely dressed! The toddlers I work with often want to pull the body parts and clothing out of the holes right after we have “pushed” them in. But today took a different turn. Besides wanting to try on the glasses, my little friend found it a lot  more fun to put the pieces in and out of the opening in Mr. Potato Head’s body for storage, than complete him. Of course I went right along and set up a scenario where he had to name the object, and say a number of target words to get what he wanted, “open,” “in,” “out,” “shut,” and “shake!” As long as we can set up a play situation where he thinks he is in charge, but really I am, we are alright!

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One Response to Toddlers Lead the Play in Speech Therapy

  1. Melanie says:

    Great post! I was previously working as a full time SLP with students K-5, recently transitioned into to the early intervention world.. I need to realize that every game/toy activity is not going to keep the interest of my little kiddos all the time even if I feel I have planned the best activities! I frequently hear “no playdough” “no book” (ugh!) 😉 Currently searching for some hats/sunglasses to bring to next session! Thanks for the great idea!

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