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Communication made easy

Posted by Helen Dimond | Speech Pathologist | Joyful Little Voices on

As I say to parents in my practice all the time, it’s not the toys you use that help with communication development, it’s how you use it that helps! Toys don’t magically do this, if you give them to your children, but some toys are easier to use than others.
Try some of these toys from Toy Fiesta –

Making Stories is Fun Dominos

In this game, there are two sentence halves that children can make into a silly sentence. For example - The brown dog wears a funny hat. His grandpa eats flies. His teacher lives at the zoo!

You could use this for-

Identifying beginnings and ends of sentences by capitals and full stops

Practicing reading in a fun way

Making a three part story and identifying the beginning, middle and end of it.

Use ‘glue words’ otherwise known as conjunctions, to join the sentences together to make a good silly story even better!

Practice prediction skills – For example, what might happen if the dog wore a funny hat?

Explain absurdities – why can’t a teacher live at the zoo?

The eeBoo cupcake game

This is a good game to practice following more complex instructions, description, and grouping/categories. Age suggestion is 5 plus. Players must choose a cupcake first and spin to gather their ingredients in a set order, mixing bowl first, and collect one item from each category until they have all the items. You could:

  • Hide your cake from other players and describe it without saying the name of the cupcake. See if they can guess!
  • See if you can group all the items together first – what would we call the group with lemon zest, vanilla, spices and chocolate in it? These are all flavourings. Can you name other types of flavourings?
  • Instruct new players in how to play the game. Can you give enough instructions so that they understand

Hoot Owl Hoot

Board games are great reinforcers when you are doing therapy for speech sounds (say x many sounds before you have a turn). They are also good to teach social skills of turn taking and waiting, as well as winning or losing. This board game is a bit different though, because nobody wins or loses, all the players work together to get the owls home before the sun rises! It’s good for learning colours, but more than that, it practices good reasoning skills (see the explanation for Blanks Levels of Questions in the Take Play Time to the Next Level article). You can ask how you are going to get the owls home, what might happen if you don’t do that, and how else how could you reach your goals!

Have fun communicating!