child's clay collageI work with some children who have word-finding difficulties and sometimes it is hard to find fun activities to reinforce vocabulary within categories. When one of my students shared her “project” from art camp the other day, it struck me that it was a relevant activity for kids experiencing word finding problems.

She proudly showed me her “fairy’s house” made from clay, twigs, marbles, fabric flowers and ribbon. She was so proud of it and rightfully so! As I asked her about it, she pointed out and named the tub (with the marbles), bed (white fabric on the left), sink (the blue flower, and fence. She had created and named several things in a house that were otherwise hard for her to call up when asked to name rapidly within a category.

I often use art to reinforce calling up words within categories. I will read a picture book on a theme–school, playground, house etc.–talk about it and then have my student draw pictures of the vocabulary used within that category. We name the pictures and write the letters on the page. Each page is a different category of words. After a while, we have a notebook of vocabulary that we have used, discussed and remember.

Speech therapists, what are some activities you use for working on word-finding?