Now that temperatures in the northeast have gone from the 50’s to the 70’s in one week, it is time to take speech therapy outside–spring is here!

This week I commented to a mom that it was so sunny on her front steps. She asked if I would like to work with James outside. Sure. We read our books, played with our props and then he took off playing hide and seek with his crocodile, asking me to count with my turtle. (We are working on pragmatic language skills through play). After hide and seek, I suggested we take our animals on a trip. We looked for a fitting airplane among the sticks and yard debris and came up with a hollowed out branch. I couldn’t have done better at the toy store. I asked him where he was going and he replied that he was going south. We chose Florida. We flew into the back yard, planning our trip as we approached his swing set. A bit ditracted, he set down “the plane” and started to swing. I said, “Wait a minute, what about the animals?” He cleverly referred to where he had ditched the animals and replied, “That’s their swinging place!”

The outdoors is a great backdrop for pretend play. Leaves can become boats, sticks can become airplanes and grass can be seaweed if you are in the ocean. Take advantage of props from outside and bring them into the therapy room if you can’t take your students outside. Fortunately, I deliver services at the child’s home, so I can utilize the great outdoors.

How do you use the outside as a backdrop for therapy? Let me know through the comments below.