My readers know how much I enjoy using a great puzzle in speech therapy. Puzzles can be used at a very basic level of adding a piece after a child takes a turn, repeating their target sound at different levels or a phrase with target language structures. The actual content of the puzzle can also afford an opportunity for a fun lesson too.
Ravensburger’s new “Finding Nemo Shark Alarm puzzle” is just that. I introduced it to one of my little clients this week and used it for reinforcement for his /sh/ and /ch/ carryover as well as took advantage of the 9 “surprise flaps” which are on slightly larger puzzle pieces and flip open with fun facts on Squirt, Gill, Bloat, Nemo and others. I used these little personality descriptions to launch a language lesson discussing Squirt’s “fearless and easy-going attitude” “spunky personality” and “expressive eyes.” Many of the character descriptions use some abstract expressions to invite conversation such as what does it mean to “have a temper,” “maintain a sunny disposition,” or “blow things out of proportion?”
For those of us who are itinerant speech therapists, it is helpful to have a therapy tool that can address more than one goal. Although I’ve been asked if I lift weights (no it is just my heavy therapy bags!) I am relieved to lighten my load with multi-purpose materials.