Don’t we all want to get the most out of our therapy sessions while having fun?? I find it challenging to find fun activities that don’t monopolize the session, but leave room for plenty of responses by the child. Therefore, games that have quick uncomplicated turns are best.
Lately I have been using puzzles to great advantage with my kids from 2-4 years of age. They provide quick reinforcing turns, and are interesting to the kids. If you pick the right puzzle by ability and interest, the kids can’t wait to give your several attempts at their articulation or language target to get a reinforcing piece. Some of my favorites are:
- Lauri puzzles are made from crepe foam rubber so they are easy to grip and fun to push into the cut-outs. There is a variety of amusing subjects like construction, transportation, nature and castles. With the large assembly piece around the puzzle, and guide beneath, kids can see where the pieces go.
- Melissa and Doug chunky wooden puzzles are winners with preschoolers. I can’t tell you how many kids will attempt to communicate just to get the chunky wooden train or boat cut-out. An advantage of these puzzles is that they become pretend play pieces outside of the puzzle as you stand them up on the table. Duncan made a parade of boats and trains as he said his sounds and collected a puzzle piece. My favorites are “Vehicles” and “Safari.”
- Infantino’s “My First Puzzles” are a first introduction to a multi-piece puzzle. There are 2, 4 and 6 piece puzzles to put together and feel accomplished at completion!
- Frank Schaffer’s “Giant Fire Engine Floor Puzzle” has 24 jumbo pieces to construct the fire truck which stretches four feet long. Kids hardly know they are practicing their speech and language targets as they’re anxious to receive a piece and make this puzzle.
- Shure’s “Chunky World Magnetic Tow Truck” has thick, easy to grab vehicles with bright engaging pictures on each side. The powerful magnetic tow truck (that even hung on to my clothes dryer!) picks up the cars, trucks, buses and campers to kids’ delight.