“Play is a powerful vehicle for learning in the early childhood years and a critical source for expanding cognitive, language, motor and play skills.” – Megan Rozartes, M.S., CCC-SLP
Sensory-language play therapy is a model of intervention that uses play activities to target a certain concept, sound or skill. It often incorporates schemes that engage multiple senses such as touch, sight, and sound. Activities like playing house, singing songs with actions, pushing toy trucks, blowing bubbles, digging in sand boxes, and even tossing a ball back and forth can be used to target many different language skills. Some benefits of play-based therapy are:
- Increased generalization of skills to the child’s natural environment
- Improved attention to tasks
- Improved trust and rapport between the child and therapist
- Natural way for children to learn
- Multi-sensory activities are incorporated to enhance development in other areas (e.g. fine motor, gross motor, social-emotional)
Springtime Activities for Early Language Development
Egg Hunt: Do you have leftover plastic Easter eggs? If so, create another hunt! Talk about where you found the eggs (under the bush, in the tree, beside the plant, etc.). Prepositions are essential for following directions and increasing vocabulary and expressive language. The Easter eggs can also be used for articulation activities. Put a picture that has the target sound you are working on into the egg. Have the child find the egg or have the child hide the eggs for you to find. For example, if you’re working on the /r/, put pictures of a ring, rhino, rose, etc. into the eggs. As the eggs are found, the child says the word 3 times.
Bell, Nanci and Bonetti, Christy, Talking; Visualizing and Verbalizing for Oral Language Comprehension and Expression. 2006 pp. 21-24 and 34.
Enrichment Therapy & Learning Center has locations in the Iowa City, IA area and Des Moines, IA area. We provide individual speech-language therapy and tutoring as well as offering small group academic programs. At Enrichment Therapy & Learning Center our passion is to help kids achieve effective communication skills and gain academic success. Contact us for more information on how we can help your child succeed.
740 Community Drive, Unit A
North Liberty, IA 52317
5530 West Pkwy, Suite 300
Johnston, IA 50131