Today I was working on articulation (k,g) with my 4 year-old friend who loves pirates. After he did his “set up” as he called it–he set up a scene with all my Playmobil pirates and the ship, we moved to a pirate puzzle. This floor size Pirate Ship puzzle by Ravensburger is a language lesson too as the cartoon-like drawings of a cross section of a pirate ship encourage lots of talking.

We would reference the picture on the top of the box and then he would follow my models for “I can find the ____” or “Let’s get the _____” After we finished our puzzle we took turns showing our favorite scenes and practicing sentences from the pictures–from “a girl looking through a telescope” to “Pirates kicking off their shoes for a sword fight.”

Puzzles are a great therapy tool because they are fun and each piece can serve as a reinforcement after a child correctly says his words or sentences and kids forget they are practicing as they assemble the puzzle! Then use the finished puzzle to describe and discuss the picture.