For some reason, I find myself getting several new students this fall, all of whom are 4 year-old boys with articulation delays. Several of them come described as “mumbling” by their mothers and have overall imprecision as well as substitutions on specific sounds they should have mastered by this age. It’s time to pull out the dinosaurs!
Yesterday I told a mom that her son and I “got in our groove” as I pulled out Alex Toys’ new 3D Dinoland puzzle, a new PAL Award winner, and had continuous talking for 45 minutes! We were working on “moving our mouth,” following my model of emphasizing all the sounds in a sentence, as well as auditory discrimination between productions where we moved or didn’t move our mouth. A simple thumbs up or down showed me that Ben could distinguish the difference in my speech as well as his. Our puzzle was the perfect therapy material for providing interesting phrases or sentences for Ben to repeat.
- First we put together the flat portion of the puzzle and talked about what pieces were looking for, “I need white dots,” or “I’m looking for a yellow tail.” It felt like a little treasure hunt.
- We made our way around the circular puzzle describing each section, “The babies have hatched,” “Something is peaking out of the cave,” or “The volcano is erupting.”
- Then we assembled the volcano, and each of the dinosaurs, including a Pterodactyl, T Rex and Stegosaurus repeating, ‘”I need two legs,” or “He needs hands.”
- Magically the figures entered into pretend play, as Ben flew the pterodactyl over the volcano, avoiding lava and put the dinosaurs through their paces of eating, playing, swimming and finally sleeping, where he used the Playmobil instructions as blankets!
Here is my full review:
Kids love to take over the floor to construct their 3D Dinoland jumbo puzzle. Piece together an ocean, forest, desert and mountain scenes as a backdrop for a variety of dinosaurs as the flat base for play as you build your six 3D dinosaurs and erupting volcano. Your stegosaurus, T-Rex, and pterodactyl dinosaurs can roam the land of imagination and pretend play as preschoolers provide sound effects and conversation for their models. High quality, thick cardboard pieces fit together to become durable pretend play characters to build a story and reinforce language skills.