Not all preschoolers learn the same way. Some develop specific skills faster while others require more time. Speech is a big part of growing up, and some children need different activities and tools to help them learn the right words and language to communicate more effectively.
Speech therapy provides different learning methods for those who may not grasp and retain words quickly or in the same manner as others. When it comes to preschoolers, especially, it can be difficult for some of them to speak and express themselves effortlessly, which is why the following ideas can make a big difference and help them with their delivery:
Play-DOH and Lego
The key to learning is to keep students engaged. If you have their attention, and they are interested in the presentation, they will want to learn. A great way to do this is through the use of toys they love such as Play-DOH and Lego.
All preschoolers will want to play with at least one of these, so you could place them in boxes and have the child ask for them. The first part is natural because once they see an interesting toy, they will want to play with it. This requires them to use words beyond their vocabulary to ask for the objects that they may not apply if they were not interested in them.
By keeping certain favourites like Lego and Play-DOH in small containers, you are inviting them to use certain words when they ask for help resulting in an effective learning experience. Additionally, as Lego and Play-DOH come in different varieties, you can incorporate ways in which the child would have to ask for a particular shape in order for you to give them a block or a specific colour of Play-DOH to play with.
Dolls and Puzzles
Toy sets that include dolls are an excellent way for preschoolers to learn because they can engage in conversation by having the dolls talk to each other. This is a great way for kids to use their imagination and participate in a “conversation” between their favourite toys resulting in the use of many words, and perhaps, even sentences. Puzzles help with speech as well because they are not only fun, but also a great learning tool that integrates words, descriptions and scenes for the students to see and learn from.
These are all great ideas because in many cases, the child is learning without even realizing it. By adding their favourite toys into activities that teach and strengthen their speech, they are not only learning but also having fun which eliminates pressure and helps them overcome their fears of communicating through the use of words.
Shelley Ortved is a Speech-Language Pathologist in the Toronto area whose practice is limited to pre-school, school age and teens. If you feel that your child could benefit from her services contact her today. Your child will improve their speech thanks to her specialized methods of pre-school teaching in a way that they will enjoy.